If I didn’t have such a wonderful dentist and hygienist, there is no way you would ever get me to the dentist.
I have ultra sensitive teeth and I dread every teeth-cleaning, drill piercing, jaw stiffening, gum bleeding, mouth-rinsing visit but my dentist and my aptly named hygienist, Joy are..well…really nice people. For that matter, so is the receptionist. She gives me free stuff. Then she gives me the bill. Then she gives me a “free parking” pass – that saved me $12.00 this morning.
Today was a longer-than-normal visit.
I got a new fluorescent pink mouth guard. I just know my husband is going to love it when he leans over to kiss me tonight – this sexy appliance in my mouth makes me lisp and drool at the same time.
The dentist wanted to fill a couple of “wear marks” on my teeth so I needed to negotiate with him about freezing. I HATE needles but I HATE the nerve-hitting, “jump- out-of-my-chair-because-it-feels-like-I’m-chewing-aluminum-foil” jolt even more. I’d rather have a completely numb face for six hours afterward and have one side of my face droop while I sip (and drip) tea with a friend.
“Dr. Gardner, remember...my teeth are REALLY sensitive. Maybe I should get some freezing first?”
“Let’s try it without a needle, Diane. Trust me. We’re friends – we go way back.”
Here’s the thing – I DO trust my dentist. He IS my friend.
After repeating his predictable, “Relax your lips, Diane” exhortation about ten times while filling a tiny “wear” mark on one of my canine teeth, Dr. Gardner gently took his hands out of my mouth and patiently reminded me that “We’re on the same team, Diane…stop fighting me.” I told Dr. Gardner that I have to die before him because there is no other dentist in the world who will be able to handle my D.C.A.L. (dental chair anxiety level) He responded with a nervous laugh.
After the mouth guard fitting and the teeth wear filling, came the actual cleaning and Joy took over. I tried to stall – I showed her pictures of the new swing that Chris built in our back yard and the bird feeder on our front lawn. I told a couple of funny stories and complimented her on her good taste in dental uniforms. I know – it’s pathetic.
When there was a lull in the conversation, the treacherous picks came out and I started tensing up once again. I mean, look at these dreadful tools. There’s something prehistoric-looking about these devices.
One hour and about fifteen rinses later, the torture was over.
I had survived another trip to the dentist…and he had survived me.
I’m sure there was an office-sized sigh of relief when I left the premises.