Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some thoughts on the dentist.

I doubt any of these observations will serve as revelations. I did, however, have my six-month cleaning/scraping session the other day. I should be happy that I made it out without any cavities. I guess I am. I could not, however, help but record the events in my mind as they took place. It was all I could do to not listen to the FM 100 holiday music drivel playing ever-so-faintly in the background and focus – intently! – on my teeth. I have few beefs with my dentist. He does a great job of acting like we’re the best friends ever. It’s the new dental hygienist that gets under my skin.

1. Is it going to kill you, older-than-I’ve-ever-seen dental hygienist, to introduce yourself to me before attacking me in my mouth? Even if it is something along the lines of, “Hi, name’s Lucy. I will be the person extracting a few quarts of blood out of your gums for the next hour or so. Don’t mind the hook.” Instead, she just started to lean my seat back, launching into asking me questions about what I did for a living. Didn’t ask my name and didn’t care to tell me hers. She caught me by surprise; I was caught so unawares that my magazine remained open and on my lap until she was done hacking away.

2. No, I’m not crying. My right eye does that when I’m staring into a light aimed directly at my face and I’m focusing on tensing up all of the muscles in my body. But, hey, if you’re going to go to the trouble of asking about it, you could at least offer a courtesy tear-wipe. Adversely, I’ve always believed I could win a stare-out contest with the person in scrubs hovering over my chair. I’ve mentally prepared many years in a row for this. Someday, I’m going to stare right at her and discover, once and for all, that I’m right. So, if you’re reading this, you best watch yourself.

3. I’m fairly convinced this nameless woman cleaned dog’s teeth before she ever tried out her torture tactics on a human person. Dogs get sedatives, while we pretend to act relaxed. Can’t you at least wipe off the bloodied end of the hook that I have to look at cross-eyed while you attempt to whittle my incisor down with the other end? Former dog cleaner and angry lesbian.

4. Why “angry lesbian”, you query? I only say that because, well, she looked exactly like a woman who I used to work with who was a former lesbian (one look of her hunka burnin’ love husband and she changed her mind/lifestyle/gender preference). She wasn’t a dead ringer, but those eyes were the same. Unfeeling and a little on the blank side (think Terminator). And, really, it makes sense. If she were a lesbian – and one of the angry variety – it was no big deal to hurt the one attempting not to look hurt (aka me). Perhaps it’s easier to hurt a guy, too. I can’t rightly say. But, even though I wanted to whimper, I didn’t. Take that.

5. Why are the mouth vacuums clear? I admit the blood getting sucked inside them is a pretty shade of red, but still. Methinks she opened up a gusher somewhere, because my mouth blood was flowing like a broken bottle ‘o wine. Hence the gauze. Too bad it tasted like tinfoil (the blood, not the gauze). Don't think I didn’t see that, Lucy. I may have very well been fighting my crosseyededness and been entirely too focused on that damn hook, but I could still see (and feel!) the blood.

6. Isn’t it about time we introduced spit guards? I mean, I guess it’s sorta neat to see little sprays fly away – a bit like the dancing fountains in Vegas, really – but why aren’t we doing this yet? It’d save us the humiliation of having to wear bibs, I think. But then you wouldn’t have anything to wipe that extra scraped-off skin on, so I just may be way, way off here.

7. And, lastly, I’d just like to suggest you lift up on my lips before you try and brush/polish them. I can smile as wide as a Cheshire cat to allow you to get in there and fish around with that tiny whirring polisher, but it’s hard to expose my zoobies for that long a duration. First off, it’s just not natural. Secondly, it makes my upper lip quiver like I’m trying to be Elvis or something. And I’m not. Not for her.

(Author’s note: I wrote this the day after all of this happened, but there was a whole more where this came from. I’m just not going to blather about it anymore. I think I’ll rebel instead by never ever flossing again. Ever. Do you have a bone to pick with your dentist? If so, I’d sure like to hear what it is.)


ZLB said...

I have a very nice dental hygienist, who knows me and is a family friend. She is gentle as a lamb and I can hardly feel her cleaning my teeth. However, even with these pleasantries aside. . .why the crap do they ask you so many questions when they've got your mouth propped open, or are sucking it with Mr. Sucky? I can't possibly pretend to carry on a conversation with a mirror, a scraper, and two hands in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

The blood isn't supposed to be coming out of your gums, you know. Maybe you have gum disease. That would be sad.

aisy said...

for heaven's sake, don't give up on flossing, just change your hygienest. she sounded awful.

plainoldsarah said...

she sounds just exactly like mine! except mine knows my name and i know hers and she acts like she's my grandmother. but there's still plenty of blood and pain. when i commented on it she blamed me for not flossing more. i've always been a so-so flosser so she may have a point, but i've also had plenty of hygenists in the past who didn't cause week long pain.