1,000 Words About the Dentist. I’m Sorry.

January 12, 2012

I accidentally didn’t leave the house yesterday. I was going to, but it was very snowy and the dinner I was supposed to go to got canceled. So I made soup. And other people who were less lazy then me, came over to play games. We played Dutch Blitz which I had actually never played before, but it is pretty much the same as Nertz, so it was really fun. And I dominated. Which made it funner. (I know funner isn’t a word. Leave me alone.)

You guys, I have to go to the dentist today and get cavities filled. Plural. Because apparently I have lots of cavities.

Did I ever tell you the story of my last dentist visit? It was horrible. I had to find a new dentist up here in Denver, and I found a good deal at a new office over by my place. I went in thinking it would be a normal dentist visit — they would polish my teeth, I would hope they didn’t mention how I floss about once every six months (right before I go to the dentist), and I would be in and out in about 45 minutes. I was wrong.

I got there about noon and they brought me in to do some x-rays. I had never been there before, so I figured they needed to check on the state of my teeth. No worries. However, they did not just put me in the chair and take a quick four x-rays. NO, they took like 16 x-rays. I am not kidding. And, the girl who was doing them was not very good at it, because she kept putting things in my mouth, attempting to take the picture, failing to get the right angle, and retaking the picture. All-in-all we probably did 30 x-rays.

Then we went to another room where, just for fun, Miss Radiation-Fanatic decided to do more x-rays. Then she took some literal pictures of my teeth and mouth — like with a camera. After about six hours, she finally stopped snapping away. I wondered if this was just a staged dentist office for mobsters who were going to kill me and use my dental records to somehow claim my fortunes after my death. But then I remembered that I don’t have any fortunes.

Finally, I thought. Time for the cleaning. Right? Wrong.

Next the dentist came in to tell me what all my x-rays meant. By this time, most people had left for dinner, but Dr. Dentist had apparently stuck around. He came in and looked at a couple of the 400,000 pictures they had taken of my teeth, gums, baby teeth residue, nose cavity, spleen, toenails and brain cells. “You have three cavities,” he said. “Sucks to be you.”

This lady is happier than I was at the dentist. Much. Happier.

Umm, I had just been to the dentist six months previously and hadn’t had cavities in a long time. I thought it was suspicious that I suddenly had three cavities. But then I remembered that they’d taken pictures of every proton, neutron and electron of my teeth. I’m sure they had found something that would possibly turn into a cavity sometime within the next forty years. They had photographed the depths of my soul, for goodness sake.

“Fine,” I said. “Let’s get to the teeth cleaning.”

“Calm down, Speedy Gonzales!” screeched Dr. CavityHead. “Our payment specialist will come talk through your cavity finances now.”

I tried to get up to leave, but all of the x-ray radiation had weakened me. So I stayed in the chair while a woman literally came in to tell me that cavities cost money to fill and I would have to pay for them. By then I could see the stars twinkling outside of the window — the moon was full and bright that evening.

Miss X-RayElectromagneticus came back and poked around at a table behind my head. Then she drank some tea. Then she went and took a bath. Then she drove over to The Gap. Finally she came back with new skinny jeans and decided to polish my teeth.

“Umm, excuse me,” I yawned. It was past my bedtime. “Don’t you scrape at all the plaque before you do the cleaning?”

“Back it up, crazy lady!” she screamed. “I am not qualified for plaque scraping. What do I look like? A professional plaque scraper?” (She did, with the scrubs and all.) “I polish teeth. Dr. CavitiesAreMyFavorite will be the one to deal with your plaque, ma’am. He is a licensed professional, a dealer in all things plaque, a connoisseur of teeth slime.” Then she showed me his diploma on the wall. Dr. Dentist Bucktooth CavityFace, Ph.D. of Scraping Gunk Off of Your Teeth.

So, she proceeded to polish my teeth and floss them before the plaque removal. Is it just me or is that completely and totally backwards?

“OK, then,” I sighed. “Time for Dr. PlaqueExpert to come get this plaque out of here, right?”

Miss TeethPolishingIsMyMiddleName looked horrified. “It is late!” she cried. “What do you think we are, an all night dentistry of 24-hour dentists who like to stay up all night?” She handed me a Snuggie. “You can sleep in your chair. The dentist will be here in the morning.”

I snuggled down for the night.

I awoke to the birds chirping, and the sun rising golden in the east. Dr. PlaqueMandu sauntered in, apparently waiting for me to bow and clap before His Plaqueness. He sat down and checked my throat for cancer. I was clear. Then he got to scraping.

I finally left, with a sharp reminder from Mrs. PointlessFinancialWoman that cavities cost money and they would not be doing them for free.

So, I’m going back today to get two cavities filled. I’m bringing three changes of clothes, books to read, and food rations.

I may have dramatized the story a bit, but not much, you guys. I was in there for two entire hours for my teeth cleaning. And the financial lady did come talk to me. And they did polish my teeth before the plaque removal. It was so odd. Clair, is this the new trend in dentistry? I was so confused — I have never had a visit like that. So pray for me today. I’m scared. For so many reasons.

Well, I’m sorry this post happened to you. I’ve literally written 1,000 words about nothing. Have a good day not going to the dentist! I shall see you tomorrow if they haven’t overdosed me on novocaine and hatred. Bye!

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14 Responses to “1,000 Words About the Dentist. I’m Sorry.”

  1. Clarissa said

    “You have three cavities, sucks to be you.”. I laughed really hard at that! I am guessing they took a full mouth series of x-rays instead of just four bitewings? Sometimes they do that if you have several questionable areas or lots of previous dental work. I don’t know why they used an intro real camera, the primary benefit of that is to show the patient what is going on, it’s not really diagnostic, more educational. I really don’t know why in the world you had teeth polished and then cleaned. Some places don’t even polish anymore (it is shown to remove a few microns (yes, microns, dentistry is so very anal), of enamel). If we do polish it’s always after the cleaning. Are you sure she did not do more of simple cleaning and then he did a deeper cleaning? Truthfully, even then it’s odd, dentists don’t really do cleanings, hygienists do… Was this a corporate dental office? Just curious.. I love reading accounts of dental visits, since that is what I do all day, this was tooooooo funny!!!!!

  2. Clarissa said

    Sorry, I meant intra oral camera..

  3. lyddiebee said

    Love the creativity in your exaggeration. Its inspirational, really it is. =) I love my dentist but he retired. Right when he retired, suddenly the new dentist found what he said looked like cavities starting in the early stages. I would say, get a second opinion (unless someone you know and trust referred you there). Dentists these days seem drill happy to me. Last time I went in they told me I have two really small baby size cavities (practically not even formed yet) and they want to drill. I say, wait for the cavity to weaken the enamel before getting it filled. After all, doesn’t drilling weaken the enamel too? My dental hygienist is the best. She is so gentle and nice and affirming of all the positive attributes of my teeth. AND she scrapes plaque but you would never even know she was doing it because she is so gentle. It’s like she uses a magic wand to get rid of it…(okay so maybe I just don’t have that much plaque). I have been to some plaque scraping hygienists and it felt like they were trying to pry my teeth out of my mouth with their teensy tiny little plaque scraper. Do you think its a coincidence the tiny plaque scraper looks like a miniature scythe (You know the thing the grim reaper carries around) Dentistry is confusing and sometimes obnoxiously frightening. Prayers are with you and your poor little teeth…

  4. Steve said

    Last time I went to the dentist I had to have a couple of wisdom teeth out and it took 2 visits to get it done. The first trip was 6 hours in the chair. The next time was 4 hours in the chair. They did let me up once or twice to go to the bathroom, but other than that it was straight through.

  5. denisemorris said

    Clair, yeah I was shocked by all the x-rays. They knew nothing about me — it was just the very first thing they did. I’ve not had extensive dental work done. They just decided to do lots of x-rays. The hygenist did the cleaning/polishing with the little electric toothbrush thing, but then the dentist came in and did the plaque. I’ve always had the hygenist do the plaque scraping — never the dentist. It was so odd. I think it is a corporate dental place.

    Lydia — that’s what I felt like. They wanted to find tiny cavities and have me come in and spend money.

    Steve — that is awful! So long. I had my wisdom teeth out, but I had to go to an actual orthodontist and they put me to sleep.

  6. Clarissa said

    It’s hard for me to know anything without being there and seeing your chart. But, if they did a full mouth series without even looking at you previously, I would be wary. Also, I would go with your instincts…if you think they are over treating, and generally feel uncomfortable, you may be right. It’s important you can trust your provider.

  7. Kristy said

    Denise, I can totally relate. I LOATHE the dentist. Here is why:
    1) Without fail, every time I go, either the hygenist or the dentist says to me, “Did you know you’re tongue tied?” (BTW, tongue tied is the layman’s term for ankoglosia–my tongue is attached to the bottom of my mouth by a string. It’s weird. BUT ALSO EXTREMELY OBVIOUS.) I am 28 years old. Yes. I do know this. When I went to the dentist a week ago, the dentist said, “So, the attachment from your tongue to the bottom of your mouth…were you aware of that?”
    2) I have had this “almost a cavity” for approximately 5 years. It’s tiny, and usually every time I go in they say, “It’s too small to fill now, we’ll do it the next time you come in.” It has yet to grow, so it’s still there. Probs we should just realize it’s not growing and leave it alone.
    3) I hate it when they start talking to you while they’re doing stuff in your mouth.
    4) I also have these back molars that are kind of hard to reach. Every time I go, the dentist/hygenist says, “Those back ones are hard to reach, but I’ll teach you how to brush them better.” One time, ONE TIME, they actually did. And while they did that, they said, “Oh. Wow. This is harder than I thought.” Thanks. Appreciate it.

    That was too long of a comment. I’m sorry. You just got me all riled up.

  8. denisemorris said

    Kristy — hahahahah!!! I love it. Next time I see you I’m going to ask you if you know you’re tongue tied. I just feel so awkward at the dentist.

    Clair — PLEASE move to Colorado and be my dentist so I don’t have to feel awkward anymore. Just be.

  9. kerry said

    I do not see any exaggeration in this blog whatsoever.

  10. i second what Kerry said.

    additionally – you come to MN every six months or so right? — you can go to my dentist. he’s cool. i had 2 itty bitty cavaties and i was in and out in 35 minutes. and a regular “just the cleaning, ma’am” visit is over in less than 15. even WITH xrays.

    the best part: there’s ever only 2 people to deal with. him, the dentist man, and her, his receptionist person. you still have to pay, but they’re nice about it and you can take care of that all after you’re out of the chair.

  11. Jeff Buszta said

    I hate to be a kill-joy, but I enjoy going to the dentist. The hygenists are great, kind and attractive and my dentist has a great sense of humor and a great conversationalist!

  12. denisemorris said

    Becky — I may be visiting your dentist. 🙂

    Mr. Buszta — So glad you have a great dentist! I’m realizing how important it is. 🙂

  13. […] Friday Listday. I got my cavities filled and was out of the dentist chair within an hour. So much better than last time. Except for all the painful shots and teeth drilling. They had to give me extra Novocaine, so I […]

  14. t said

    Some of the most enjoyable words I’ve read today – easily could haave read even a thousand more like them!

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