Haha, that title cracks me up. I needed that.
This morning I got a phone call from the dentist’s office to say that they had an opening, and could I come in for a check-up and cleaning this afternoon? I agreed, and added it to my agenda for the day.
I really hate going to the dentist. I can’t think of anyone who likes it, but it’s never a pleasant experience for me. It’s sometimes tolerable, but usually it’s just 45 minutes of poking and scraping and lecturing. I’m not very great about caring for my mouth, and so I dread going to the dentist because I JUST KNOW what they’re gonna tell me.
Why do we keep up with bad habits when we know they’re bad? Who knows… just one of the drawbacks of being human, I guess.
I left the office around 2pm for my 2:20 appointment. I had already filled out all of my paperwork (hurrah for online forms), but I still had to wait around for 15 minutes or so. No big deal. I did the X-ray thing, which was interesting… you bite down on a little plastic stick that’s shaped like an upside-down L and the machine rotates around your head to give a panoramic view of your teeth. Like those pictures from the top of the Eiffel Tower, except far less scenic.
The hygenist took 4 more X-rays using a sensor she placed inside my mouth and I remarked that the office was pretty high-tech. (Or had it just been that long since I’d been to the dentist? It was just a year ago!) She laughed and said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She chatted me up about my oral history (ha!) and I told her my woeful tale of wisdom teeth, foolish teeth, broken teeth, and my terrible habits. I pointed at the side of my face and told her where it hurt. Then the torture began.
Okay, so I may be overdramatizing. But she did do that pokey gum depth measurement thing, and then the scrapey-scrape cleaning thing, and the gum irrigation water thing. We talked about flossing. We discussed next steps for my oral care regime. REGIME!!
The actual dentist stepped in for about 1.7 minutes, long enough to glance at my panoramic scenic X-ray, poke his fingers in my mouth for a moment, and announce that #15 (broken tooth), #16 (pokey wisdom tooth), and #17 (super painful evil wisdom tooth) would all need to come out and that he could take care of them in the office, but #32 (not currently posing a problem but will certainly make me sad down the road because it’s really crooked wisdom tooth) would have to be removed by an oral surgeon. Fair enough. I got the estimate and was sent on my merry way.
I got in the car and looked in the mirror, and I didn’t even get to adequately rinse. I looked like I’d been eating barbecue chicken. And I’d just been giving my big “I just got my teeth cleaned” grin to the receptionist. No wonder she was looking at her computer so intently.
It looks like next Tuesday I’ll be going back to have #15, #16 and #17 taken out. And hopefully get a prescription for some good painkillers. And perhaps a reason to take a day off.