Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dentista slash dentist

I went to the dentist (wentist) today for the first time in two years.

Here's why I am terrified of the dentist:

1--Not to brag or anything, but I've had 26 teeth pulled. I still have dreams of that crack-crack crackling "just before it pops out" sound.

2--Dentists are, as a general rule, mean. I don't know why...maybe they're tired of all of us breathing on them all the time. I'd hate that too.

3--I'm still convinced that dentists (conventists...just kidding), like auto mechanics, are all a huge scam. How can any patient be sure that you MUST have the four quadrant periodontal deep cleaning that they tell you you MUST have or your teeth will fall out? "Oh, by the way, your insurance doesn't quuiiittte cover that."

4--I generally leave the dentist office feeling horrible, because of all the lecturing. I don't know anyone who flosses every day, ok? Stop making me feel so bad about it! I'd floss more if it was awesome in any way. It's not.

4--Everything smells scary at the dentist.

ALSO...I grew up without dental insurance much of the time, so I'm just not used to going. It's like how I hate showering...I grew up lying about showering, so I got used to not doing it. More on that another day.

So when I first moved back to SD and had my own insurance, I scheduled my first big girl dentist appointment. I went to some group in Hillcrest. They were mean, lectured me, and told me that I MUST have the four quadrant periodontal deep cleaning or myteeth will fall out. And oh, by the way, my insurance didn't quuiiittte cover that. I made that appointment, then didn't go.

Two years after that, I was feeling bad about not using the benefits I so diligently sign up for each year (thanks Joyce), so I made an appointment with a highly recommended local dentist. I lecture, some guilt because apparently my gums were going to fall out soon (PS they're still here), no four quadrant cleaning. Not bad. Unfortunately, the dentist is SO nice and SO nice looking that I could never go back. I don't want someone who I hope to one day hang out with at someone's 31st Birthday Backyard BBQ envisioning my bicuspids (just kidding, because I don't have any--those were among the later of the pulled teeth) and judging me eating curry (which somehow is featured at the Backyard BBQ) when we laughed by the pool.

Two years after that was today. I decided to try this dentist because his office is 10 doors down from my house. That makes things feel a little more comfortable. Here's what happened:

--told them I didn't have a dental insurance card, because I was so sure I didn't, because I never remember seeing it
--finding said card in my wallet, and first wondering how it got in there, then second wondering how it could've been in there the whole time without me even realizing, then third realizing that I was obviously the one that put it in there.
--meeting the hygienist
--telling her I'm super scared of her (my strategy--it makes them go into five year old mode...not like THEY'RE five year olds [I never let children clean my teeth], but they treat me like I am one, which is great)
--her doing a really quick and good job cleaning my teeth
--no lecturing
--me being weirded out by that, so asking about flossing (sometimes I freak out and just start talking)
--her saying "yeah, I mean, you don't have any cavities, which is great for two years of rarely flossing, but it wouldn't hurt for anyone, you know?"
--meeting the dentist
--him being nice, but not so good looking that I couldn't look him in the eye
--hand-shaking, and realizing that his hands were very, very soft
--him giving me a toothbrush
--him looking in my file to see EXACTLY what my insurance covered
--him saying "Ok, let's get back on the every six months plan, and off the two year plan"
--me booking my next cleaning, because that's what my insurance covers.

All in all, success. Thanks, Dr. New Dentist. He might be the first one who I go to more than once.

Or I might freak out again and just not go back. I'm never sure about what I'll do.


  1. I'm just so proud you went! I can't wait to go to my new dentist with the blankets and aromatheray and the muuuusiiic!

  2. i just loved this. you forgot to mention it's soooo close to home!!!