I’m actually not someone who normally hates the dentist. I’m cool with drills, I’m generally ok with people poking at my mouth (that’s what she said), I have a fairly high threshold of pain, and I really like to have clean teeth. Generally, the dentist is just fine with me.
I went to the dentist today, however, and it was pretty much the worst thing ever. Now, while I’m generally good with the little pokey instruments (that’s what she said) and the drills, there’s two things I hate about the dentist: getting the full set of xrays and the questioning.
I hate the xrays because the activity usually features this little guy:
This is the instrument that they use to guide the xray tube or something. I’m not really clear on the details other than I know that I have to bite down on the end that doesn’t have the circle and that pretty much causes the worst pain ever. I found out today that the reason for that is probably because I apparently have an extra bone in my mouth (that’s what she said) that sticks out just enough for the square part to dig right in where the bone is, no matter what position they are trying to put it in (that’s what sh… oh, forget it).
In any event, I now have a mouth full of sores which will be a lovely parting gift from the dentist for the next few days.
The other part of the dentist I hate is the questioning. Look, I’m a paranoid person and I’m pretty much assuming that at any given point the person I’m talking to/looking at/in the same room with is judging me. That feeling is amplified in the dentist.
I actually started off pretty good today. The dental assistant asked how many times I brush. “Three times a day!”* “Great! Do you use manual or electric?” “Electric!”* “Great! Good job. You’re doing really well with your oral health. How often do you floss?”
There it is. The question I hate the most. “Uhm… a couple of times a week?”**
By the way, does anyone ever ACTUALLY floss? I think that might be an urban myth. I don’t think anyone flosses.
And, now I’m going to get it. I’m probably going to hear from the total pro-flossing contingent about how awesome flossing is and how it has changed their lives. If there’s anything that the internet has taught me, it’s that the internet has a contingent for EVERYTHING. I bet it even has a contingent of fans of those evil looking hairy centipedes:
*poke, poke. Scrape.* “Hmm…. Do you use a flouride rinse?”
*poke, poke. Scrape.* “Hmm… You’ve had braces in the past, haven’t you?”
*poke, poke. Scrape.* “Hmmm… Do your gums bleed profusely often?”
So then the dentist came in and if the pain and the xrays and the judging weren’t enough, things were about to get even worse.
I have always been told I grind my teeth, even by my husband who can hear it, but apparently it has reached epic proportions. I have “severe tooth wear.” If I don’t treat it it’s going to lead to tooth nubbins and eventually, and I am completely and 100% truthful that he used these words: face collapse.
So now, I’m picturing that in 10 years I’m going to look like this:
You tell a vain 30 year old woman that her face is going to look like that in 10 years and she’s pretty much ready to spend whatever she needs to to prevent that. Apparently it’s going to cost me $1800 because I need a nightguard, to fix a crown that my grinding has knocked loose, and to fix some bonding that’s broken because of the grinding.
I think I’m going to turn this into my firm as a workers’ comp claim. It’s totally their fault anyway since I’m all stressed. I think it’s only fair that they help make sure I don’t end up looking like a 90 year old man who can swallow his nose.
* This is actually true, thank you.
** Total, complete lie.