A Trip To The Dentist

Why is this interesting? I don't know. Maybe it isn't. I was amused, though, and this is my blog, so I get to do what I want with it; that includes amusing myself.

Or perhaps I find it interesting because I've never had a bad experience with a dental exam, cleaning, or surgery, and yet I still manage to get all jittery (anxious, Beth says) and discomfitted with the idea of being vulnerable. I'm not sure why I feel vulnerable, either. Perhaps it's being laid out in the chair while people poke and prod in my mouth. Perhaps it's not knowing what they're going to diagnose.

I don't know. Anyhow, here's the retelling of this morning's visit.

I get to the place of torture at 8:20 and they ask if I have an appointment. I say, "yes, nine o'clock." They say, "sure, we have you right here. Take a seat in the waiting room and we'll be right with you." Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

At around 8:50 they ask if someone's given me the new patient paperwork to fill out. I say, "no." They give me the paperwork. I fill it out. I give it back to them and take a seat. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

The X-Ray Tech comes and gets me and tries to make small-talk as she irradiates my head. She apologizes for the delay. Apparently she was the one who noticed me sitting there for half-an hour and told them to get my paperwork done, because when she steps out of the room to trigger the x-ray gun, she has a clear view of the waiting room. X-Ray Tech goes to check if they're ready for me. She comes back and tells me that they're cleaning the exam room and that it'll just be a minute. I go back to the waiting room. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Five minutes later, a Dental Assistant comes to get me. She leads me to the exam room and explains that she has to take my blood pressure first. Cuff goes on, bladder fills with air, bladder deflates, and VIOLA! 140/102. Dental Assistant glances at the meter, and then takes a second much harder look. Pregnant pause. "Uh... what's your normal blood pressure?" she asks. "Dunno. Maybe one-thirty-something over ninety-something... or something like that..." "'Kay, I'll be right back..." Five minutes go by as she has a whispered conversation with someone. The Dental Assistant comes back and says, the doctor will be right with you. Another few minutes go by and a girl-next-door type of pretty thirty-ish year-old woman comes in and introduces herself as the dentist.

You'll note that nowhere do I mention actual names. Keep in mind that they all introduced themselves by name in a very professional manner, but names, like water, are almost impossible to grasp.

Dentist Chick, goes through a few highpoints of my medical history including the six eye surgeries, the underlying condition, and the current prognosis, as well as the fact that she's sitting on my deaf side (sorry, Bill, my half-deaf side), my smoking history, and, of course, my blood pressure. "Well, we're going to have to check your blood pressure again, especially if we have to do any work. With it being this high, I can't even administer an anesthetic." I don't know what to say so I say, "uh... sorry?" I'm so smooth I smooth-talk myself sometimes.

Dentist Chick goes through the exam. She pokes and prods and chants her stream of consciousness, dental/medical, jargon to the Dental Assistant who carefully interprets the mystical wisdom streaming from her toothsayer into my chart with modern stylus and tablet. The mystic trance ends and Dentist Chick's eyes focus on the here and now once again. She explains that there appears to be no infections, no cavities, and my one remaining wisdom tooth will come out eventually if there's ever any decay or other issues with it but it's fine for now. My gums, too, are healthy but mildly receded in parts where I may have brushed too hard.

She asks if I have any questions. I tell her of the painful tooth that prompted me to break my eons-long abstinence from her ilk. She explains that I may have bitten something hard or that because I grind my teeth enamel wear might have left the tooth a little sensitive. She asks if I'm still having trouble with it. I pause... feel the tooth with my tongue... bite down on it... and like the car that won't make the noise at the shop, the pain is gone! Hallelujah! The sorceress practitioner of the mystical, arcane, dark, DDS arts has healed me with a touch and a word... or words... and poking... and prodding... and a little, angled mirror-thingy on a stick... whatever... I'm healed...

Dentist Chick tells me that I'm done and walks me to the front desk where she asks that they schedule me for a cleaning since Hygienist-Dude does not have an opening at the moment. Said appointment scheduled, I leave.


I'm shocked you didn't dislocate your jaw for your dentist for each reach... or to show off... which is it again? ;-)