The Dentist

I was talking to a friend the other day when they mentioned something about the dentist.

"The dentist," I thought. "I forgot about that whole thing. That used to suck."

And then I thought about it-- I hadn't been to the dentist in a long time, because there hasn't been anyone telling me to go to the dentist in a long time. It seemed that this was one of those things. One of those things I kind of had to take initiative with myself.

I was going to have to act like an adult.

So I hunted down a dentist, and made an appointment. The initial phone call went smoothly. "Okay," I thought. "Maybe the dentist isn't that bad after all."

Yesterday, I went. And it was horrible.

I had forgotten the horrors--

First, the lady went in with some ultrasound death needle thing and splattered water all around.

Then, she came in with the little pickaxe, while I tried to distract myself by thinking about my fantasy football team. This is probably the worst part. And when she's on tooth #3 you know that there are like 29 teeth left to go.

Then came the hideous scrub-brush experience. I don’t really know why this is so miserable. The scrub-brush doesn’t really hurt, exactly—it’s just incredibly unpleasant. Maybe it seems so bad now mainly because 6-year-old Tim hated it so much. So she scrubbed away for awhile, with all the little grains of that dry toothpaste flying around everywhere. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I was contemplating a worse job than a dentist’s teeth cleaner lady has, and all I could think of was the person who has to apply makeup and hair styling to dead people before the funeral. Then I thought about it and realized that I’d rather have that job than clean peoples’ teeth.

Anyway, when the scrubbing finished, I experienced a rare glimmer of hope—just as I was bracing for the disgusting foam mouthpiece things with the sealing gel in them, I realized that adults don’t have to do that.

At this point she sent in the dentist and his nosehair. So he goes in with the pickaxe for awhile, and then declares that I have a minor cavity.


I have never, once, had a cavity before. I used to eat candy all the time. Now I eat almost none. I used to eat sugar cubes. I used to eat plain frosting. I don’t do that anymore. And now I have a cavity?

Was this like the chiropractor? I went into a Thai take-out restaurant last year and while I was waiting for my food there was a “FREE MASSAGE RAFFLE!” bowl on the counter. What the hell, I thought, and threw one in. A few days later, I got a call. I had won! What were the chances? Of course, it wasn’t a free massage, it was a sleezy chiropractor office luring people in. I went for my “massage” to find out that I had to schedule it for next month, but that today I could receive a free back exam. So they tell me my back is basically crumbling and that I need a 6 month program or I’ll suffer permanent damage. I declined, but asked the doctor about it next time I was in the doctor’s office—and he said my back was fine.

So since then, I’m suspicious of health professionals, and when the new dentist tells me I have my first cavity after 25 years without a problem, I was skeptical. So skeptical that I let them drill into my tooth and put in a filling. Now it feels weird when I bite down.

On the bright side, they gave me a new toothbrush. I wanted to ask for a balloon since the child dentist always gave me one, but I refrained. “I’ll get a balloon elsewhere,” I accepted.


Anonymous said...

wow. i thought getting my teeth cleaned is like an annual spa for my teeth! let the water blast away all the ugly plaques and dirty stuff...

thank god for white filling. it makes cavity less of an issue. imagine having the silver ones...shudder.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I know what you're talking about. I HATE the dentist. I still have to get that stupid foam thing in my mouth for like a minute. The same thing happened to me. I ate candy, frosting, sugar cubes also when I was younger, and not once a cavity. Then I got a few years ago, and I have a cavity. That's from not eating vandy or anything also.. I'm like, what the hell. Anyways, interesting story :)

Anonymous said...

this actually happened to me.
I hadn't been to the dentist in a long time and they told me I had a minor cavity. The only difference between you and me here is that the next time I went to the dentist, they did nothing about this "minor cavity". Now, 2 years later, that was all I ever heard of this apparent cavity. Kinda like your "back problem" except I win.

Anonymous said...

Dude ... I thought you were dead. Now, I just hear that you were at the dentist. Go figure.

At least you haven't gloated about the bosox or anything lame like that.


p.s. Torre with the Dodgers ... and ARod back in pinstripes. Comment on that!

Anonymous said...

Of all that there is to write about
you remind me of the dental work I
need that I've put off for about 17

The horror.

The horror.

frmr jhi ...

Nichole said...

I think the very first email I ever sent you, I comment about your amazing smile! Glad to see you are still tickin!

Windshield "Whymper,"


Don Shetterly - Relaxing Piano Music said...

You gotta feed me xanax to get me in a dentist chair. And that's even when I make the appointment in addition to the actual visit.

Not all chiropractors are this way. Some are but so are some medical doctors. Massage, chiropractic can be good but like with everything - there are lemons in the bunch. (just like with medical doctors).

Unknown said...

i find visits to the dentist oddly arousing

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