Thursday, April 9, 2009

Put a watch on 24

So I go to a new dentist today. The disclaimer here is that I have VERY NICE TEETH. Everyone says so. And that I am a reasonably responsible user of oral care. First cleaning in a year, no cavities in about ten. My old dentist, he was fine, a Dr. Welby type. Small operation, lots of small talk, easy breezy. Sort of like a midwife of oral care, my teeth were doing just fine but he would be there if something went wrong. I can see the hollyhocks growing out the exam window. They're putting up a Starbucks next door. Are you from the east coast? I can tell by your teeth. It's the water. How is your son?

Then my insurance changed. Ha.

The new dentist is really more like a dental EXPERIENCE. Multiple receptionists and free herbal tea and such. Possibly the prettiest person I have ever seen ushers me in to the second room on the left. Takes a zillion x-rays. I kind of can't stop looking at her because she is so pretty. I read People magazine while waiting for the doctor to come in to do my exam (Poor Rihanna!). After which he will leave and I will go to the first door on the left to get an actual cleaning, by another person who is neither the doctor nor the pretty one. It's all very complicated. All blinding in their white coats and such.

So the doctor comes in--hello, I'm Doctor P. And I should have known right there I was in for it. Do you have any CONCERNS today? No, just cleaning, please. And he's all, well, let me EXAMINE you. And that was the end of that.

He interacted mostly with the pretty one then. I can't say I blame him, she was stunning. Three, three, two. Canine. Three, two, two, four. Then to me: you've never HAD one of these pokey thingies where I poke this INSTRUMENT at your gums and then say a bunch of numbers that the pretty one writes down?

And I'm all, no.

And he's all, are you happy with the way your teeth look?

And I'm all, ummm, yes?

And he's all (to pretty) has she had ortho?

And she doesn't know. So to me: Have you had braces? And I'm all, yes.

And he's all, do you still wear your retainers? And I'm all, no. Are you kidding? Since 1991? And he's all, did they tell you it was a LIFETIME DEAL to wear your retainers? And I'm all, no. And pretty one is all, My ortho never told me that either. Except she is perfect so clearly her ORTHO was better than my ORTHO who I thought was just fine until TODAY.

And he's all, you might be a candidate for the invisible braces. Because it looks like there is some slippage here.

And I'm all, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (except I'm just like that in my head)

And he's all, to pretty one, put a watch on 24.

And he's all, OK, you are what we call MODERATE TO HIGH RISK. You have TWO cavities. It is either snacking or you are drinking too much soda. Or you might just be one of those people who gets cavities. And anyway you are AT THAT AGE when these problems start. But other than that, NOT BAD!

And then he's gone, leaving me with my botched ORTHO job and my deplorable eating habits and I haven't even had my damn cleaning yet and I've been there an hour already.

And then I meet Sadie the cleaning specialist, it even says it on her white coat, RCS or something, I don't know. I'm making that up but it did have some letters. And she's all nice and stuff, really, until she gets out her instruments of SCRAPY CARNAGE and starts talking about the DEBRIS in my mouth. Seriously, she said that. DEBRIS. You'll want to take an ibuprofen later, she's all. I keep thinking I GOT IT ALL and then I go in and there's MORE!

So I am deflated. I miss Dr. Welby, except he never screened me for TMJ or gum disease and he quite possibly missed my budding cavities. On the other hand, he also did not put watches on my gorgeous teeth or try to get me into BRACES or accuse me of (horrors!) snacking. And my teeth hurt. Now where's the Easter candy? The end.

26 comments:

planetnomad said...

Ick. I've had those types of cleanings and examinations before too. And your teeth do hurt afterwards!

You're on the right track though. Ibuprofen and chocolate.

Janet said...

I think I go to your dentist...

justcurious said...

I, too, went from a Dr. Welby type to the full frontal experience. I, also, am an apparent candidate for all kinds of watches, veneers, whitenings, filling rejuvenations, gum happiness, and cancer screenings. I had no idea that my old dentist and I were just bumbling along out in the country, skipping through our collective ignorance.

smalltownmom said...

I went from no dentist at all for 10 years, to the EXPERIENCE. However, my teeth are better for it.

Professor J said...

I am concerned about 24, though.

GroundedGirl said...

I'd like to recommend Dr. Andy Marashi for a far nicer experience, if you're interested. The receptionist checks up on my job search and love life. The good doctor himself examines your jaw and head, not just your teeth, and the views of downtown are stunning. Delta Dental covers it. LOVE.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Oh, you are an innocent. I have my teeth cleaned 4 times a year and still have to hope that is enough.

Mac and Cheese said...

Sounds like the Seinfeld episode that never happened.

All Adither said...

Screw the invisible braces. He sounds incredibly anal. And excited about making a lot of money from a new patient.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I am not a fan of that pokey thing.

The Gossamer Woman said...

Your teeth could have grown crooked in your mouth and have rotted and your old dentist never would have noticed it. You're truly blessed to have this new one. Welcome to the brave new world.

phd in yogurtry said...

Not good. First of all, Dr. P, do the exam after the cleaning. Mucho nicer for you that way. I mean, wouldn't he rather smell rasberry or mint instead of garlic and onion?

Second of all, compliment your patient on what they are doing right. For starters, sitting in your chair for an annual cleaning.

And don't make presumptions about why there are cavities. One dentist I know very well says cavities are probably more related to heredity than sugar consumption. And if sugar were the culprit? I'd have no teeth.

I'd say find a new dentist.

Brindi said...

Had trouble reading this - hate the dentist - that sounded horrible!

Angie said...

I hope I never have to experience 'THE EXPERIENCE' - thanks anyway.

Keep me in the dark......with gum disease:)

Tricia said...

I seriously need to go to the dentist, and I really, really don't want to. Yes, I know I sound like an 8-year-old.

My last dentist was like your new one. Blahhh.

Mama Goose said...

I recently changed dentists and I was horrified at all the things the hygenist tried to "sell" me: whitening, night guard, toothbrushes, crowns etc... Just when I thought there was nothing left to sell, the dentist came in and said, "Gee, have you ever thought about braces?" I was FLOORED! I have NICE teeth too!!! I'm changing back to my old dentist (If they'll have me!)

BZ said...

Find another dentist.

And back off the wine.

Ha. Ha.

ellen said...

It's been my experience that the majority of dentists and their perky assistants are very anal retentive and have an overdose of the Critical Parent gene.

Dani in NC said...

My insurance coverage is spotty at best -- I may have coverage for a year, then no coverage for two years. Even when I have coverage, dental insurance pays SQUAT and I have four kids who inherited my jacked-up mouth rather than my husband's naturally wonderful teeth. With all this in mind, I only go to the dentist when I am in pain. As soon as I sit in the chair, I say that I know my mouth is a mess but I only have money for you to fix the very worst thing in my mouth. That usually shuts them up.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your new dentist is looking to buy a new home or boat (depending on how many new treatments you agree to.....) Find a new dentist!

Stacy (mama-om) said...

My teeth went to hell the last few years.

I blame it on my kids. :)

Dorothy said...

When I moved to a new town, I ended up at a dental practice like you, run by a family of dentists (father and children). Shortly after I begin going there, they upgraded their offices to the latest and greatest equipment and then expended upstairs with an ortho office. After that, each time I went I felt like I had just spent and hour at some type of sales office, not the dentist. I think they needed to pay for their upgrades and expansion. I moved on and found a dentist, not a salesperson.

Ulrike said...

Insurance companies make you change dentists? Wow!
I think I am glad I live in Australia :-)

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