Friday, January 9, 2009

Doting Dentist

I did not have any cavities until I was 25. When I had my first cavity filled well... let us just say that I no longer go to that dentist.

My new dentist works on famous NBA players and beauty queens along with all the "regular" peeps like me. For the two years I have been with them my mouth has been fine. They extracted two wisdom teeth while I "slept", but I have not had one cavity. Until...

I went to the dentist in December for a cleaning. From what I could tell everything was great. The dental hygienist remarked how great my teeth are. Dr. M came in to inspect my teeth. "Wow, you have amazing teeth." "Thank you, Dr. I know I need to work on the flossing, but..." "Yeah, we all do, but you really have really great teeth." Just when I thought I felt a blush coming on..."I just need to fill these two big cavities in the far back on the left... and the two tiny ones between your teeth on the right... and the one little one between your teeth on the left."

"I have five cavities?!?! F-I-V-E, five? but my teeth are great?!?!"

"Your teeth are great. Get into the habit of flossing and you won't have cavities."

"O.K., Dr. Anything else I can do, or...?"

"Just come in and get those filled... Do you have any tooth pain or sensitivity, jaw pain, or headaches?"

"No, Dr."

"Well, we've been watching your teeth and you are definitely grinding them. I would like to fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night."

"O.K. You really think I have great teeth?"

"You have great teeth." said the Dr. while flashing me his perfect smile. "Set up those appointments and I'll see you soon."

So, I set up an appointment to have the big ones filled on New Year's Eve and to have the three little ones done on January 8 (yesterday). I have no complaints. Aside from a little swelling on the left side of my mouth which took about 24 hours to subside, there was no pain. He is the most gentle, kind, efficient dentist I have ever met.

There is just one observation I have made:
Having dental work is an intimate experience.
It is not like "oh la la", but it is intimate.
You and your dentist have to trust one another.
A person leans over you for 30 minutes to an hour while manipulating your lips and mouth.
How is that not intimate?
How is that not trust?
My dentist is so sweet, professional, but sweet.
We do a little talking.
He tells me to "just slide back, relax and close your eyes."
He says I don't have to do anything until he asks me to.
I do as he says.
He periodically checks in on me "Are you o.k.?" "Does everything feel alright?"
He finishes up.
I thank him.
We say "Farewell and take care. See you soon!"
I'm not trying to make it sound dirty. It's not dirty. Just intimate in the sense that you are trusting someone and you have to work together. Intimate in the sense of "intimate - thoroughly acquainted through study or experience".

Anyway, when I leave I feel like a beauty queen because I am far too short to ever feel like an NBA star.

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