Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

On the subject of visits to medical professionals, I recently went to the dentist. I have seen a lot of my dentist in the last year or so, what with the fact that I kind of sort of put off going to the dentist for almost two years when I moved here. In the almost two years between cleanings, I developed cavities in all four quadrants of my mouth, so I've had four appointments for fillings in the last six months.

And now cleaning time has rolled around again and she found a few more cavities to fill. I think there are only four cavities in three quadrants this time, and apparently they're things that were "on watch" six months ago, so I'm still reaping the punishments for my lax dental maintenance from before, rather than developing new ones (*fingers crossed*).

Let that be a lesson to you, children! Although I actually find fillings more enjoyable than dental cleanings, they are significantly more expensive. Especially when your dental insurance decides that you've had enough dental work for a year and they won't support your frivolous cavity-fillings anymore. Who do you think you are, anyway? Having teeth problems? And you expect dental insurance to cover that? Don't make me laugh. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Anyway, I didn't intend this post to be a tirade against my stupid mouth¹, but rather an Ode to My Family Ode to My Dentist. Here is why I like going to the dentist:

  1. Of the six times I've been to this dentist, I only had my teeth cruelly cleaned twice. That's a pretty good average. I hate teeth-cleanings so much. I hate the vibrations and the picking and the poking and the x-rays. Please give me some procedure where you will numb my mouth and I will have to take loads of Motrin later when the numbness wears off. It is so much better than the poking and the picking and the noggins and the friggins.
  2. My dentist has a better sense of humor than my doctor. When she told me that she was a math teacher before becoming a dentist, I told her that I wouldn't hold either of her career choices against her and she laughed. So there, Doctor! I am funny after all!
  3. This hasn't happened to me, but my boss tells me that whenever he goes to this same dentist, he seems to leave with an armful of free vegetables.
  4. My dentist is a trivia buff, so when I go to visit her, I save up trivia questions to try to stump her and the rest of the office, and she tells me little factoids that she thinks I would be interested in, or tries to stump me and measures my guessing-time against other patients.
  5. My dentist (and her receptionist) recognize me when I walk in the door AND remember what we talked about last time I was in.

That last one is the most important of all. When I was in high school, one of my group's greatest goals was To Become Regulars Somewhere. We wanted to go where everybody knew our name and were always glad we came, which is no short order for a gaggle of teenagers. I think we were hoping that we would acquire our own "local hangout" à la The Max or The Peach Pit. So we would go to somewhere (most memorably, the Loving Spoonful ice cream shop on Main Street) every week on the same day at the same time, waiting for someone to recognize us, but they never did. Alas. But now I am starting to discover that one of the charms of small-town life is that you can become a regular somewhere, and you don't have to become a star of your very own television teen drama in order to do it.

Nowadays, I walk into the dentist's office and the receptionist says, "Hi, Sarah. Have a seat and she'll be right with you." I go into the auto repair/oil change place and they recognize me by name and make/model. I go to the library and certain circulation desk clerks know that I always have something on reserve, so they head off toward the reserve shelves as soon as I approach the desk and pick my books up without even looking up my name.

I have to say, though, that being a regular at the library is a lot less expensive than being a regular demolisher of teeth and cars.

¹ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is totally an accident that I found an Anne of Green Gables fan video while searching for the John Mayer song. An accident... of AWESOME proportions!

srah - Wednesday, 1 August 2007 - 4:46 PM
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Comments (3)

gravatar Noor - August 1, 2007 - 8:58 PM -

I just got back from the dentist myself! I had the permanent crown put in on my root canal. I really like my dentist, too. I like her so much I even Yelped her - http://www.yelp.com/biz/n-38ZcnNn9gX7ahSf0Yamg#hrid:_bK2JnOmw38h12GrcPu9LQ

It is cool to go to a medical professional who remembers my name and knows exactly what she has to do or what she did before - without referencing her notes.

My only issue with my dentist is that she's a bit over-generous with the terms of endearment - sweetie pie, cutie pie, honey, sweetie, etc. I think she must think I'm really young or something. Mind you, she's pretty young herself - I'm guessing she's in her early to mid thirties. So it's not like she's THAT much older than me.

gravatar srah - August 1, 2007 - 9:04 PM -

Like ye olde Circle K shopmaiden!

gravatar Noor - August 3, 2007 - 1:40 AM -

OMG Circle K!! I don't think I've ever seen those outside the good old Midwest. You're right though - except those ladies tended to say "hon" more often than any of the other terms of endearment.

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