Dentistry Made Uneasy

March 11, 2009 at 9:15 am 30 comments



In these days of e-mails and text messages, it’s nice to receive a snail mail for a change. But a reminder for my next dentist appointment? On friday the 13th? Oh no, I hate going to the dentist. Like filing my income tax returns, it gives me the creeps. Certainly, I’m not looking forward to it.

My relationship with my dentist started when I answered his ad for a free dental checkup. It was supposed to be free but that didn’t stop him from asking if I had insurance. He also asked for my credit card number. Nothing personal, he said, just for their records in case of an emergency. I wasn’t able to escape from his clutch again.

He’s one carefree spirit in his mid 40s. His face is round like mine with eyes like that of a boy about to commit mischief. His fingers are stubby and strong. They are well-designed to pull even the most stubborn wisdom tooth. He’s a little heavy on the tummy that I can’t avoid physical contact with it while he’s servicing me. Sometimes I wonder about his sexual orientation but it doesn’t bother me a bit because, if that’s really the case, I think I have nothing that will excite him. My mouth perhaps? He looks into it so intensely that I feel totally exposed. When he asks me to open my mouth wider, I see signs of tenderness in his eyes, but whatever it is he finds interesting in there he keeps to himself. He’s a professional.

His only claim to vanity is his hairpiece. I swear it looks so natural you’ll hardly notice it. I shouldn’t forget to complement him on it on my coming visit. Maybe he’ll give me a discount. Surely his rates are steep. $250 for cleaning, $750 for extraction, and $1,500 for a crown. However, I don’t think the motivation is greed because dentistry is a noble calling. Besides, I’m sure he had paid off his college loan by now.

He loves to tell jokes and to ensure I don’t fall asleep he pokes his instrument into my gums a little deeper for my comfort. He interrupts his jokes by a plug for additional service like teeth whitening which I don’t mind. Although his jokes are oftentimes not funny, his voice sounds very comforting. It’s when he starts humming while choosing his next instrument that gets me scared. That’s the time for serious business. If you rate the pain forthcoming from 1 to 10 it would be around 12. You better believe me. I’ve been there.

Every time I see him there’s always something wrong. He’s becoming more like my auto mechanic. In one of my visits, he said a tooth was getting loose, and to prove it, and before I could utter a word, he jiggled it. The unwelcome demonstration made it looser I had no choice but to have it extracted.

I wonder what he’d find this time. If there’s no loose tooth, I’m sure he’d find cavities. Nefore my last visit, I remember flossing and brushing my teeth regularly and avoiding my favorite snickers bar for six months and still I got cavities. When i expressed my puzzlement, he said it must be my genes. This time it may even be for a root canal. I could only tremble at the thought.

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30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kate  |  March 11, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I used to hate going to the dentist, but have been with this one so long (21 years) he knows me and what scares me. He freezes the hell out of me, lol.
    I hope you don’t need a root canal! Mine didn’t hurt, but it swelled up for days.

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  March 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm

      kate:

      dentistry and the medical profession here are becoming more of a business than anything else. maybe it’s different in canada since you have universal health insurance coverage.

      Reply
  • 3. thatwordinme  |  March 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    that expensive? Where are you anyway? In america? magpunta ka nalang dito sa Pinas, it’s much, much cheaper. haha. my mom, when she has dental works, she goes home. She’s here now, actually, exactly for medical reasons.

    teka, i’ll add you nalang to my blog roll okay? πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • 4. plaridel  |  March 12, 2009 at 8:35 am

      kz:

      i’m in caifornia. anyway, insurance pays most of the bill, so it doesn’t hurt my pocketbook thet much. i’m adding you to my list of favorites, too.

      Reply
  • 5. thatwordinme  |  March 12, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    okay, correction: it’s “That Word in Me” πŸ™‚ how long have you been living there? Did you migrate?

    Reply
    • 6. plaridel  |  March 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

      opps! sorry, my mistake. just corrected it. anyway, i’ve been in the u.s. awhile it seems like forever. i came during the last century.

      Reply
  • 7. Den Relojo  |  March 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I find it uncomfortable to have prophylaxis because I have gingivitis and whenever the dentist would work on my mouuth everything turns red.

    It seems quite funny that you wonder about your dentist’s orientation. Well, I guess you have reasons to wonder about it… πŸ˜‰

    I don’t want to sound like a grammar police, but I take it that you trying to say compliment instead of complement when you said, ‘his only claim to vanity is his hairpiece. i swear it looks so natural you’ll hardly notice it. i shouldn’t forget to complement him on it on my coming visit. “

    Reply
  • 8. plaridel  |  March 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    den:

    i stand corrected. “compliment’ is the right word. ‘complement’ would imply i’m also wearing a hairpiece which i’m not.

    Reply
  • 9. Den Relojo  |  March 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    πŸ™‚ No problem. It was an awesome post though!

    Reply
  • 10. AC  |  March 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    hahaha! sales talk! additionals ervice coming your way.. nyarrr.. haha! πŸ˜€

    i grew tired of going to the dentist regularly because i wore braces for five years when i was younger. i didn’t wear my retainers/expanders and my teeth almostw ent back to their awful form because of that. ayoko na ulit.. ganun din eh.

    cleaning na lang akin. hehee. πŸ˜€

    Reply
  • 11. plaridel  |  March 30, 2009 at 9:20 am

    ac:

    seeing the dentist twice a year is a necessary evil. it keeps us from losing our teeth before their time. it keeps him employed, too. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • 12. crickette inserto  |  May 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      well, u’re really supposed to see a dentist twice a year but with me, i usually lay it out in one go… when the patient opens his mouth the first time, I GIVE HIM/HER A BREAKDOWN OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE and then i let him decide on a treatment.

      ultimately, it is still the patient’s choice. if the patient is out of budget, i cant force him to undergo a treatment he cant afford or haven’t accepted yet. (unless it’s an emergency and NEEDS A SOLUTION ASAP).

      for expensive and extensive treatment plans, i let the patient think about it. of course with this strategy you can sometimes lose a patient… but u see, ultimately… u’re there to provide service (but of course lots of professionals forget that — cus we are businessmen too).

      i’d suggest for u to try another dentist… just see if u’d be comfortable with another one… i cannot assess whether he’s making up all the things that needs to be done with you cus i am not able to see it clinically, but another dentist will tell you honestly.

      let me know what happens!!!

      Reply
  • 13. plaridel  |  May 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    crickette:

    i ended up needing a root canal. it was done by the orthodontist that my dentist recommended. it cost about $1,500. thanks qoodness, the insurance paid for it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 14. crickette  |  May 30, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    omg!! super expensive! but thank God for insurance huh?

    Reply
  • 15. Ann GrubbsnCritters  |  February 21, 2016 at 6:14 am

    What is it with dentists – they seem to find something wrong always…a cavity here, a cavity there. Those are expensive rates though! In Thailand, cleaning sets you back by 20-30 USD. Not a bad deal! You can get your whole mouth with new teeth for less than 2k USD. I still don’t like going to the dentist. I always wonder why anyone want to be a dentist; it’s like they find pleasure looking into other people’s mouth with plague and all, with food bits stuck in between, Ewww. But I guess someone has got to do it.
    Root canal is an utter bitch! Urrgh!

    Reply
    • 16. plaridel  |  February 21, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      ann:

      unfortunately, going to the dentist is something we had we deal it until we die or lose all our teeth whichever comes first. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • 17. Ann GrubbsnCritters  |  February 22, 2016 at 6:11 am

        True that. Though I think the teeth will go first way before you are dead. ;p

        Reply
        • 18. plaridel  |  February 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          ann:

          don’t you worry, in our lifetime, science will find ways to regrow them. ::

          Reply
  • 19. unebellesmusings  |  July 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Wow, your dentist sounds interesting!

    Reply
    • 20. plaridel  |  July 22, 2016 at 9:05 am

      unebellesmusings:

      he’s looking for new patients. interested? πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • 21. unebellesmusings  |  July 22, 2016 at 9:52 am

        hahaha… not really lol

        Reply
        • 22. plaridel  |  July 22, 2016 at 11:11 am

          unebellesmusings:

          ok, i just thought i’d ask. πŸ™‚

          Reply
  • 24. theidealistwriter  |  May 4, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Same here. Dentists are the group of people I fear the most. The moment my eyes falls up on their apparatus my legs and body starts going weak. I have so much ‘bloody’ memories of dentist appointments from my childhood. πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • 25. plaridel  |  May 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      theidealistwriter:

      sometimes, i console myself it’s not personal. they’re just doing their job. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • 26. theidealistwriter  |  May 5, 2017 at 8:16 pm

        Haha πŸ˜€

        Reply
        • 27. plaridel  |  May 6, 2017 at 3:10 pm

          theidealistwriter:

          believe it or not, when i showed this post to a dentist (not my dentist), he got a kick out of it, too. πŸ™‚

          Reply
          • 28. theidealistwriter  |  May 6, 2017 at 11:46 pm

            Haha that’s funny. Now finally I have put on braces and the dentist happens to be my cousin. That’s the first time I have felt calm near a dentist

            Reply
            • 29. plaridel  |  May 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm

              theidealistwriter:

              lucky you. maybe you get a big discount, too. πŸ™‚

              Reply

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