Last week, after years of dental avoidance, I once again stepped foot into a dentist’s office. With a series of friendly ladies greeting me in each respective room – I now have an entire list of Vegas traveling advice – it was a scene that managed to mildly ease my hesitations.
But, let’s back up a little, because I really liked my new dentist, and the ladies in the office; they are sullying the bad name of every dentist I ever went to. In fact, after the appointment, when it turned out I didn’t have dental insurance (the ageist insurance company said I’m “too old,” even though Obama told them otherwise) they cut me a deal. Now all I have to do is 1) turn 26 and 2) buy my own insurance, like an adult, so I can fix those cavities and get a brand new retainer. (Which do you think I’m most excited about?)
The Anti Dentite Stance*
Sure this may seem careerist to blanket all dentists under one category of dislike, but I’m not saying the profession shouldn’t exist, or that won’t go to a dentist. Rather, these are the reasons I hate sitting under a blinding light and being judged for not flossing – including those two examples right there.
- dentists try and talk to you while their hands are in your mouth
- their hands are in your mouth
- my mouth is small, I need all the space I can get
- the assistants comment on the TV shows you watch
- when they scrape your teeth with metal it sounds gross
- the assistants rarely get the correct water-to-spit sucker ratio correct
- they are expensive
- I am cheap
Also, this list, which are things that happened to me:
Side note: while I regularly exaggerate, this is one list of events that is 100 percent true. You can even ask Cork Head.
- I had braces
- And then I had them a second time.
- I was almost choked my the removal of my permanent retainer; sharp metal was lodged in my throat for 30 full seconds of gagging
- I showed up for a check up and was numbed and had an hour worth of work done; when you are 12 no one thinks to run things by you … or your parents.
- I slept in headgear to reset my jaw; rubber bands attached to teeth hooks, which then attached to the gear.
- I had a frenectomy (where they cut the piece that connects your tongue to underneath your bottom teeth) while only the top half of my mouth was numb. Crying is no deterrent for the dentist; Cork Head saw my tears and asked if I could have more drugs.
- The removal of my wisdom teeth resulted in dry sockets, which happens in only 2-5 percent of tooth removals; mine was 50 percent – two teeth out of four.
- The medicine for dry sockets (at least 11 years ago), tasted like rotten cloves. Rotten cloves that were in your mouth; there’s no untasting it.
- When said medicine was to be removed, the dentist said it had been swallowed, despite the fact that I could still taste it.
- Two months later, the same medicine was found under a new growth of gum.
- The dentist ripped it out via metal claw without administering pain medication.
Another contributing factor, caused by the above, is that I distrust men wearing magnifying glasses.
New dentist is a lady, as is my semi-new eye doctor. While I love a good who-let-her-out-of-the-kitchen bazinga as much as the next dude, I may just never book a male doctor appointment in my life again.
In contrast, Manny loves going to the dentist. Probably because they fluff up his ego, raving about his beautiful teeth. “You’re teeth are so wonderful,” they tell him, drooling over their natural straightness and symmetry. Two times a year, during cleanings, his dentist makes pension plan jokes and urges him to pass on those superior dental genetics. Imagine the hissy fit the dentist would throw after finding out Manny’s girlfriend is a two-time brace-e, frenecomy-having, wisdom teeth-lacking, dry socket victim, anti dentite.
Manny would likely get invited to the next yacht party, and be introduced to women with naturally straightened teeth. You know, just in case something were to happen to me.
Did I mention his dentist is a man?
*I dislike dentists only, race has nothing to do with it; do not make this political, Sharon.