Krentist the Dentist

Friday, December 4, 2009 | 0 Comment(s)

Back to the dentist.

After managing to rationalize my way out of going to the dentist for . . . ahem . . . 3 years or so, I finally sacked up and went.  and went.  and went again.  Today was my 3rd appointment in as many weeks.  And i already have 3 more scheduled in the next 6 months. 

The crazy thing about this is that my teeth aren't that bad.  Did my gums need some work.  Apparently yes.  My first appointment consisting of me waiting 20 min. for the dentist to take one look at my mouth and say, "Set up an appointment for a debridement" and then leaving (we'll get to that in a second).  What I didn't understand about this was that this was my first visit with them.  And I had told them beforehand that I had been, shall we say, "enamel insensitive" over the past few years.  What did they expect?  What situation could have occurred in which i was not visiting merely to make a 2nd appointment?  I mean I brush, with a sonicare toothbrush, twice a day.  It's not as if I opened wide and bats flew out through the cobwebs.  It made me feel like I was at a car dealership looking to reel me in more than a health provider.  Sadly, the difference between these industries has been declining.

The second visit.  The debridement.  Let me start with this.  I deserved it.  I was not expecting my return to dental responsibility to be an entirely pleasant journey, and I can assure you that this procedure proved me absolutely correct.  I'm pretty sure this procedure got the name debridement because it hurts as much as i imagine a virgin's wedding night might feel.  This procedure consists of the mental (sic) hygienist taking a metal pick and tracing along my entire gum-line.  Simultaneously she is calling out numbers which refer to the number of millimeters that she can dig this pick-axe into my gum canal.  Yes, this hurts.  It hurts as much as it sounds like it hurts.  It is as bad as it sounds.  My eyes teared (and while i am a sucker for a sad movie i have a fairly high pain threshold).  Apparently, this little exercise reinvigorates your gums.  I believe the mechanism of action is that it reinforces the fact that you have to floss with such an incredible amount of pain that you never forget again. 

The third visit.  The third visit was today.  I'm not entirely sure what we did today.  The lady pick-axed me a little, although much shallower and less painfully.  She then re-polished me again (after 3 years of no polish me teeth get two spit-shines in a week!) Then the dentist came back for another 5 min. fly by where she said, oh. . . .aaaaaa. . .1 little 2 little 4 little minor cavities.  Set up an appointment for fillings.  And once again bounded off.  Haven't caught her name yet.  I'm sure she's wonderful when you get to know her (that's in all seriousness actually--she even has a hyperbolic chamber in her office for stroke victums and autistic kids.  I have no idea how those things relate for the record--I just want to be "fair and balanced").

I do need to recount two of the conversations i had with the debridement hygienist before i am through. 

The first:  She pokes at my gums with the metal spike.  When she gets to the back of my mouth she jams it pretty hard and exclaims, "OH, this one's bleeding a little."  The subext here was, you still aren't doing enough brushing, flossing, and gum-line brushing to keep your gum's from bleeding

I have, for the record, brushed and flossed my face off since my first visit.  I neurotic like that.  So i did not feel particularly inclined to think that this blood was a factor of my oral laziness.

While I obviously couldn't reply (since i had a sharp metal object and a tiny mirror up in my grill [literally]), here's what I was thinking: "Of course i'ts friggin bleeding! You just shoved a god damn spike into my gum.  If you were to jam that thing anywhere on my body it would be bleeding.  That's what happens when you cut skin sister.  How bout going easy with the ol' longsword instead next time."  Perhaps in my head I even showed her how if I were to plunge said spike into her leg, it would gush too.  I digress.

Second conversation (after the revelation of the cavities--same woman):

Her: So i guess you should cut down on the sugar in your coffee (I had mentioned that my gf worked at a coffee shop).
Me: I don't put sugar in my coffee.
Her: Soda?
Me: Nope.
Her: Power drinks, Gatorade, Protein shakes.
Me: Nope, not at all.  I'm a juice man.
Her: (In all seriousness) OH, well then that's it.  Gotta watch out for those juices.  Especially between meals, only water.  Seltzer is ok, but not if its the kind with fruit in them.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME.  I'm sorry, but i've been brought up to fear almost everything (if you don't believe me check out yesterdays blog RE: 70's music).  But if seltzer water with mandarin orange flavoring really is a silent killer, then i quit.  Apple juice is bad for me now!  I am almost to the point of calling this fear-mongering.  If I lose a tooth over 70 years of natural fruit juice enjoyment then so be it.  I refuse to fear lightly flavored sparkling water.  I have to draw the line somewhere.

Lucky for you guys I still have 3 visits to go. 

ps.  Unknown Matt fact #351.  I secretly enjoy the gross banana gum numbing Novocaine stuff, so i'm hoping that that hasn't gone out of style in the past 3 years.  Fingers crossed.

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