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2005-03-26 @ 1:00 a.m.
dental anguish

So how do they look? (me getting up close to my monitor so that you can see my newly cleaned teethies) Good I hope, since I had to be strapped down to a large plastic barcalounger today (well, that part was fun) and put on large plastic goggles, just because I'm cool, and then have a strangely intoxicating woman named Inga alternately demand that I spit and suck on various sharply honed instruments of plaque destruction.
The last time I went to the dentist was 2002. At that time, I was so excited at the prospect of having someone scrape plaque off my teeth, that I somehow managed to access Fear Central, which is located right next to the part of my brain which makes me eat chocolate and watch reality television, and flipped on the switch which controls panic attacks.
I had been to this dental clinic once before. Of course dental clinic isn't really accurate. Its really a Medicaid dental clinic, which is the secret code word, for the place where they send dental hygienists with anger management problems. How do I know this? Because I had previously been to the Dental Hygeninist Nazi. You know, the one wielding a blow torch. The one who kept wrenching my neck in awkward positions so that she could filet my gums with sharp instruments. The one who when finished, made my gums looked like a package of raw bleeding hamburger. Yeah, her.
So, when I went back for my second appointment and saw that I was going to have that same women, who had made me think I was going to die from a staph infection from my scarred gums, I started to get a panic attack.
Of course, right before my appointment, I had been driving through the 'hood, and some kid, who was walking in front of my car at a stoplight, decided I looked like I might possibly want to run over him, so he ran up to the front of my car and started pounding and beating on the hood with his fists and screaming profanities at me for no particular reason. I was a little spooked. Ok, a lot spooked. That was the second time that had happened in a year, and I was like "what's up?" I'm like this totally innocuous white woman in a piece of crap old car on a city street. Why do black men keep coming up and beating on the hood of my car? Is it like a gang initiation if you beat on the hood of a white girl's car, you get to get into a gang? I'm just glad their initiation didn't involve guns.
So, by time I got to the clinic, I was already pretty wrecked. And I was just on the way there from another doctor's appointment where I was waiting to hear about some earlier cancerous polyps. So I was thinking about those. I was thinking about getting attacked at stop lights. And then there was the Dental Nazi. Its no wonder that I got a panic attack when they laid that heavy x-ray bib on me.
So I didn't go back for almost 3 years. But the one good thing that had happened was that the Dental Nazi had instilled some true fear in me at the first appointment. I am now a serial flosser. I had never flossed in my entire life. But after that first bloody mauling in the dental chair, I floss like way too much. I even floss while I'm reading d'land entries.
I've never been particularly thrilled with dentist anyways. I happen to have really excellent teeth fortunately (thanks Dad!) and have only had about 4 cavities in my whole life. There was a brief period when I was a teenager that braces were discussed. I have a very slight overbite and have always had a space between my front teeth. My mother used to make fun of it. She made fun of it so much when I was a kid, that I refused to smile for pictures. I was very self conscious of it. Fortunately, as I got older, and got my adult teeth, everything got pushed together so now the space is barely noticeable. Except to me. But now its more psychological than anything.
So the dentist my parents sent me to as a teenager was this nerdy 40 something guy who had an office on the second floor of the local shopping mall. I went to him for an appointment and I guess he did a cleaning. The only unusual thing about the appointment was the fact that rather than putting his dental instruments on some kind of swing away tray like, say, virtually every dentist in the universe does, Dr. Perv decided to lay out his instruments on my chest. I thought this was a little weird at the time. He was cleaning my teeth and kept picking up his tools off my bosoms. Hmmm. I had never seen that before. When I went home I asked my Dad if the dentist had ever laid his instruments on HIS chest. Well, I guess you know what the answer was to that....An unqualified NO. So calls were made. Yelling was heard. And braces were never forthcoming.
An Orthodentophile, I guess.
Fortunately, when I went into the dental clinic today, the Dental Nazi was not there. It was a different woman. That right there, made me feel better. I had just been to the office about a month and a half ago, but I had arrived about 12.5 minutes late and they wouldn't do the cleaning because I was late. So today they returned the favor. My appointment was at 2:30, and I didn't get in until 3:06. Glad they're staying on schedule! I then had to fill out a bunch of paperwork...after I got in the chair. Paperwork I should have been able to fill out when I was waiting out in the waiting room for a half hour. I was also given this sheet to study about dental care. I was told there was going to be a test afterwards. A test? Huh? What do they do if you flunk? Spray sludge and blueberries on your teeth?
The cleaning with the new woman wasn't quite so bad. The chair actually looks out over the big lake in my city. heh, heh. As if I really saw it. I mean, I had my eyes closed most of the time, because I'm like the world's biggest wuss. It still hurt, but at least I didn't feel like my gums were hanging off like a shredded beef sandwich. Of course I was feeling a little giddy by then. She had the dental barcalounger tilted so that my head was lower than my feet and all the blood had rushed to my head. It was then that she decided to spring the dental quiz on me. I made a joke about not being able to think because all the blood had rushed to my head. She just looked at me blankly.
wittykitty...queen of all that is funny! not.
So, she brought the dental barcalounger in an upright position, since she really thought that would help me be able to answer the dental quiz questions better. Yeah, as if. I actually totally nailed the dental quiz. I got A+, she said. I'm actually thinking of launching my own website, with all the answers, so you can study before you go to the dentist. And maybe even write them on your palm, in case you can't remember how many times a day you're supposed to brush (cough-two) and in what direction you're supposed to brush...up and down or sideways. (Up and down silly. Sideways is too forceful and you can damage your gums.) I can see you're going to be needing some study guides. I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend. I mean, besides listening to my new ultracool Dangerspouse CD mix which arrived in the mail today. I just don't know how I can get any cooler than I already am, now that I own a Dangerspouse CD mix. Except when I smile and dazzle people with my bright, new white smile.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty