I’ve spent pretty much all of my life going to dentists who make me feel uncomfortable.
Dentist #1: My childhood dentist who died. He was a good guy, but I had to stop seeing him because he died. (Continuing our relationship would have been creepy. Illegal, even.)
Dentist #2: The dentist who set up an appointment for a check-up, and then talked me into letting him sedate me and remove two wisdom teeth. When I woke up, he asked if I had a driver. When I said, “No. This was originally scheduled as a check-up.”, he said, “Well, be REALLY careful on your way home.” (I should not have been driving. I realized that when I was about halfway home. This will tell you how loopy I was: I drove past my apartment and straight to McDonald’s, where I tried to order a vanilla shake with my mouth full of bloody gauze. I ended up having to pull up to the window to place my order, and I’m sure I rattled the drive-thru employee with my bloody gauze, swollen face, and inability to speak.)
Dentist #3: The guy in Nashville who told me that he had a friend who could remove six of my teeth and then slap some braces on me to help me lose my migraines forever. That was fine (I had the teeth removed and I had the braces, but I continued to get migraines. Damnit to hell!) until he said, “But be aware that you’re not going to have those pretty fat lips when your braces come off.” Dear Lord, Nashville dentist. Pretty fat lips?!
Dentist #4: The guy who was recommended by a friend and I really really liked him, but he retired less than two months after seeing me for the first time. Argh!
Dentist #5 and #6: The married couple who took over #4’s practice. They were nice enough (although their political opinions are vastly different than mine. Please know that they made their opinions VERY well known, and they assumed I agreed with them. I’ve learned to act like I’m cool with whatever you’re saying if you’re holding a drill and pointing it at my mouth.), but they were highly impatient if you raised your hand because you were feeling pain and needed a break. The final straw came around when #6 didn’t wait until I was numb before he started drilling, and when I raised my hand and said, “I’m not numb.” he slammed the drill down and yelled for the receptionist to schedule more time for me. He then told the assistant that he really didn’t have time for this. And then, because my teeth aren’t the only things that are sensitive, a lonely tear ran out of my eye and dripped off of my ear and I know he saw it, but he remained all cold and weird. And that’s when I started apologizing over and over again. (I KNOW everyone occasionally (or often, even) has a bad day, but I don’t need your bad day to make MY day bad!)
Dentist #7: I used a Groupon. Need I say more? Actually, I do need to say more. This experience was so terrible that after the appointment, I sat in my car outside of a family-owned deli (and a cat clinic) and cried for nearly 15 minutes before I drove home. (I AM EMOTIONAL SOMETIMES!)
Dentist #8: Feeling desperate, I returned to #6. Still the same nice guy with very little patience. (When I asked about whitening, he said, “Why don’t you go to Walgreens and get yourself some strips? You’ll quickly learn that they don’t work and that your teeth just change colors as you age.” OUR PERSONALITIES ARE VERY DIFFERENT, NO-NONSENSE DENTIST!)
Dentist #9: Jeff’s boss’s boss recommended this dentist, and I’m very pleased to say that he will be my Forever Dentist. Broadway artwork on the walls. Vacation photography slideshows in the exam rooms. Hygienists who listen and compliment my hair. An office manager who is super friendly and kind.
Anyway, I went to #9 yesterday morning, and as soon as I walked in the door, the office manager said, “I have something to tell you.”
Me: What is it?
Office Manager (I’m not providing her real name because: Anonymity!): Are you a blogger?
Me (very reluctantly, because I don’t really identify myself as a blogger): Yes.
Office Manger: My daughter in New York knows your blog.
From there, we had a five minute conversation about a website that watches nannies and reports negligent behavior, parenting blogs with questionable commenters, and what it’s like to grow up in the city as opposed to the suburbs. I then went back and had my teeth cleaned and checked out, and was given the Free to Fly for six months. No yelling. No tears. No sedation, no driving drunk, and best of all? No Slingblade-esque comments about my mouth.
Anyway, Yes. It always makes my day when someone else brings up my website. It’s rare, but smiley. Like “I’ve finally found a nice dentist” smiley.
Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.