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June 30, 2005

Has It Been THAT Long?

After living here for 8 months, I have finally made a Dentist Appointment. It has been 3 years since my last one. I know I know, that's not good. But I've moved 4 times in the past 3 years and it's kind of hard to find a fricken dentist when you are moving. Get off my back!


Ok, so I found this dentist. I was dreading this appointment. Thinking of any excuse to get out of it. I dread going to the dentist more than the doctor. I rather have the YEARLY appointment at the doctor than go to the dentist. That says a lot!

Something about pointed hooks poking at my teeth and gums, miniature drills sanding my teeth, a sharp needle entering my gums, and string running back and forth in-between my teeth until my gums cry out in pain with blood....just doesn't sound like something I want to do twice a year.

Let's rewind on my dental history. When I was 10, I was climbing up a slide, turned my head and fell and broke my front tooth. Yes...half of it was gone. Talk about redneck! Got a root canal. It's been fixed...but if you look really close, you can see where the real tooth turns to fake tooth.

I have also had braces and still have a permanent retainer on the back of my lower teeth, and I have had my wisdom teeth pulled.

So back to today. The first thing they have to do is x-rays. I hate these. They put this gigantic piece of cardboard with film in your mouth that cuts the roof of your mouth. Meanwhile, you have the choice of drooling your saliva out your mouth or choking on it since you can't swallow. Your mouth is put in every position possible except for natural!

I was surprised this time. No cardboard. Just a piece of plastic that sticks out the mouth. The lady had to fight with my tongue some. It has a mind of its own and was fighting her when she'd try and make me bite down on this thing. Too many bad past experiences. The lady says, "Man, you have a small mouth" She is not the first person in a dentist office to say this. I have heard otherwise elsewhere.

What is cool, is that after the "beep" of the picture being taken, the x-ray showed up immediately on the TV screen. WOW! Has it been like this for awhile? Because she looked at me like I was stupid when I was amazed by this technology. No more waiting for the film to develop and trying to read them on those crappy lights?

Also on this screen, I can view the services they are doing that today. The lady pushes a few buttons and it tells me how much I will be paying out of pocket that day. Wow! I said, "That's a whole lot better than getting a surprising bill in the mail in a few weeks" She again acted surprised by my excitement.

The hygienist comes in to do the cleaning. Nothing too fancy here. Still sucks! The cleaning stuff doesn't taste as bad as it used to. She did turn on a Soap Opera while doing the cleaning. I thought she was being nice and doing it for me. But, she then asks "Do you watch soap operas?" Nope! Yea, she kept it there. She was trying to catch her Young and the Restless. Only time on TV I have looked forward to seeing commercials!

Afterward, the dentist comes in, takes a look, and says everything looks good. I have two areas for potential problems, but if they are not bothering me, not to worry about it.

He then asks about my front tooth. I explain the situation. He said he would suggest Veneers. I said, ok. Thinking it was some procedure to fix that tooth better. Afterward, he takes me to some chic sitting at a computer where she shows me a video and a sales pitch on Veneers. I am listening as it is hard for me to interrupt a sales pitch. She then starts to go over pricing and in the computer it comes up as $850 a tooth. She apologizes and said that's an old price, changes it to $1200 and tells me I should get six of them.

WTF? My parents spent a lot of money on braces to make my teeth straight and I do everything I can to keep them clean, white and pretty. I've never had any complaints about my smile so how the hell are you going to tell me that I need six f*cking veneers? I don't think so!

So is this what has happened to the dentist in the past 3 years? Technology and sales pitches?

Posted by Sissy at June 30, 2005 09:29 PM

I think there is a big difference between private dentistry and military dentistry. I was also amazed by the technology!!!

Posted by: Amy at June 30, 2005 10:06 PM

My dentist has none of that technology.

I don't mind the dentist, 20 minutes in and out unless x-rays are needed, then 25 minutes tops.

I gots good teeth!

Posted by: Machelle at July 1, 2005 09:54 AM

"Man, you have a small mouth"

I bet the boys *really* like you?!!!

Posted by: Machelle at July 1, 2005 09:55 AM

I just found a new dentist; hated the first one I used after I moved here. He's in a small town, costs about half of what I pay in my "upper middle" suburb, and is a pretty straight shooter. I suppose Iowa is too far away for your dental work...

Posted by: Jody Halsted at July 1, 2005 04:17 PM

I miss having an "old school" if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it dentist. My last two were "what can I sell you today?" types.

Which may explain why it's been a LONG time since I've gone...

Posted by: Harvey at July 2, 2005 01:22 AM