03 July 2008

And they call him a doctor...

This post which I have just carelessly spewed forth was inspired by my wife's post here. I love you honey.

I secretly believe that while some dentists may actually enjoy dentistry (all the others are likely just sadists), the one common thing they all delight in is making their patients look downright foolish. I mean come on folks think about this one. The dentist has quite a view once you’re all gussied up and ready for your semi-annual torture session… you have to sit in an oddly shaped chair that somehow seems to pull your pant legs up to make it look like you are wearing high-waters, and you have to hold your legs at awkward angles to keep them from slipping of the vinyl covered “foot rest.” Next they place a man-sized bib around your neck and give you some oversized sun glasses that would put even Groucho Marx to shame. Then they lean you back just far enough in the chair that an uncomfortable amount of blood courses to your head, but not so far as to make you lose consciousness (you will see why this delicate balance is so important in a moment). At this point the dentist and his assistant/accomplice begin to warm up their routine with a few subtle jabs such as the classic, “are you comfortable?” line. Once sufficiently warmed up, the interrogation light is turned on and the real verbal abuse begins (reference comment about the importance of retaining patient consciousness). The dentist will likely amuse himself by asking you questions such as the following:

“So, do you brush three times a day?”

“Do you consume a lot of candy or sugary drinks?”

“When was the last time you flossed?”

“Do you even know what floss looks like? Ha ha, just kidding.” (No, actually he’s not kidding at all. Don’t fool yourself into thinking he has compassionate feelings like other humans. It will only make the rest harder to bear.)

After the dentist tires of verbal play, he will move on to the next act in his sadistic show, the one where he gets to use all his fancy toys. This act opens with yet another blow to your pride in which the dentist shoves whatever is close at hand into your mouth…cotton pads, rubber wedges, metal tooth spacers, sheets of latex, etc. This adds a chipmunk effect to your ensemble. As a side note, it is a little known fact that dentists play Tetris while prepping for patients to perfect their mouth stuffing skills. Now pause for a moment if you will and picture yourself from the dentist’s vantage point. It’s probably only the desire for you to naively return someday for another round of torture that keeps him from popping a bright red clown nose on you right then and there. Of course if he did he would probably say it was the latest technology breakthrough in helping patients avoid the nasty smell of their own rotting teeth burning as they are being drilled away in order to expose the sensitive nerve (a procedure which is done so they can spray it with high velocity water followed by cold air to give you that bone chilling zingy pain in your mouth).

As far as the physical torture is concerned, I will not go into detail about the sharp shiny objects thrust repeatedly into your mouth with the occasional “accidental” slippage and subsequent puncture of the tongue or gums. No, that is all explained away by the dental cult as necessary discomfort in order to achieve optimal dental health.

Ultimately the dentist will find some excuse to inject you multiple times in your mouth’s most sensitive areas until the left side of your face is numb enough to feel like someone has injected it with a pound of gelatin, but not quite numb enough to actually absolve you of the pain he is about to inflict while stabbing, chipping, drilling and sawing away at what used to be known as your pearly whites. Not wanting to miss any opportunity to degrade you to the maximum extent possible the dentist will use this time to make small talk with you. And you, having been taught from a young impressionable age that it is impolite not to respond when someone asks you a question, will inevitably attempt to answer. Of course you will sound like a walrus with laryngitis and occasionally choke on your own spit in the process, but hey, no one wants to be rude.

Of course the best part of the devil’s, er… I mean dentist’s day is when he gets to tell you that you need to make another appointment to take care of the rest of your sorely neglected teeth. Oh, and don’t forget to see the cashier on your way out. They’d be more than happy to help you. :)


jvjw said...

Well said! and oh so funny! I HATE going to the dentist...did you know that the last time I had dental work done, I talked the dentist out of giving me the numbing pain killers? I really hate those nasty shots - "just a little prick now" Hah! I also really hate those hours of weird numbness afterwards --- and we PAY for this torture! So, anyway, since he wasn't drilling down to a nerve, I said "NO", and was able to walk out of the office without being numb! Of course they said I was crazy....

bekibug5 said...

And my kids still think that going to the dentist is "fun"....wonder how long I can make that last?


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