I went to see the nice dentist today. She is quite pleasant and efficient and has kept my teeth in as reasonably good shape as someone can when they have an uncooperative patient. When I was a kid I must have eaten too much corn candy and too many elephant peanuts or forgotten to brush my teeth a lot because I have some serious decay issues. Back then, I didn't actually so much forget to brush my teeth as to simply pass the brush under the water spigot momentarily, and then tap the damp brush against my front teeth once or twice, and then run and show Mom the wet brush and be done with the morning ritual.
Responses (sorted by date)
Suki: So True (7/3/12)
The town dentist in Pella was a sadist who loved to pull living things like teeth out by their roots. He particularly loved doing this to small children. He had to pull teeth out of my mouth because of things he called abscesses and pontificated about other disgusting things
happening in my mouth. All this caused my mother and dad to part with money they got from selling a hog to pay the man some money to stave off the dental equivalent of the end of the world. A large mean looking ill tempered attendant held me down while the dentist yanked my pearly whites out with a Vice-Grip pliers. He pulled out teeth and bone and all
sort of gunky, bloody stuff. It was awful. Mom had to help hold me down and I have never really forgiven her for the betrayal.
That old dentist used drills and pick axes and sharp pointy objects and generally made my life miserable as he excavated in my mouth. He drilled into teeth that seemed perfectly fine to me and then filled the huge holes he made with heavy metals that will probably give me cancer some
day. I don't worry about retirement as much when I realize the amount of precious metal I carry around in my teeth.
Anyway, I made the appointment today to get my teeth cleaned and to have the dentist look at a tooth that the sadist had filled back in the day. A corner cracked off of it a few weeks ago when I was chewing some Gouda cheese and so I called Jeanne, the dentist's front office lady who always tells you the bad news about how much things cost and how your insurance doesn't cover it, and she answered the phone and said she could get me in for an emergency appointment, but I assured her it didn't hurt and I was fine with waiting and we finally scheduled for today.
The cute little hygienist chattered away as she scraped away the gunk and ask me a million questions none of which I could answer since she had her hand in my mouth along with sharp instruments and a mini shop vac that was sucking up spit. She asked how often I flossed and brushed and massaged my gums and I gurgled nondescript answers in
response. Eventually she was finished and the dentist came in to examine my mouth.
She looked in my mouth and frowned and clucked and murmured and hemmed and hawed and finally asked if the broken tooth hurt. I told her that it did not. I've learned to tell her the same thing even if it does hurt since she comes from the same profession as the Iowa guy. She told me it was one of the teeth that the Iowa sadist had overfilled and that now the corners were breaking off of it. Eventually she got Jeanne to calculate the bad news which is that I need a crown that costs $801.00. I asked Jeanne if we could just go with $800.00 even, but Jeanne doesn't laugh much and is very accounting oriented so it is best not to mess with her head. If you screw around too much with her she creates billing errors and insurance miscalculations and sends you more bills. The dentist said she had an opening next week and we could get this thing taken care of very quickly. I asked if we could just leave it alone since it wasn't bothering anybody and it has been a nice reminder to not
hang out with evil sadists who practice the dark arts back in Pella or ever let them near your mouth. The dentist gave me a horrified look when I suggested I was fine with doing nothing.
She gave me the same horrified look back two years ago when another overfilled tooth broke off and they had to pull it out in a surgeon's office and the surgeon might have been a cousin of the guy in Pella except that this guy gave me drugs that prevented me from yelling at the top of my lungs for the police and also made Mom holding me down completely unnecessary. I ended up with my lip dragging on the ground
for a week and it left a gaping hole toward the back of my mouth and the ever helpful dentist wants to put in something called a post and then put a fake tooth on the post all for the low, low price of just $4,771.00 after insurance and so I laughed and told her I didn't have that kind of money and she's been fretting ever since that the other teeth are going to conspire to fill the hole and I am going to be in real trouble one of these days. I think that the teeth forming community to cover for a fallen comrade is sort of Biblical or patriotic or something. Anyway, she mentions the hole a lot and also fusses about the chip in my front tooth and tells me she could clean that up for some
amount of money that Jeanne has to calculate, but I don't really care since I think it got chipped back in the sixth grade when Denny Stimson and I were fighting over who was going to ride Pamela to school on their bike and he socked me in the mouth. Anyway, since then I managed to get Kathy to marry me despite the chip in my tooth so I think I'm golden.
The dentist is a nice lady, but she frets a lot and she tells me she can whiten my teeth and straighten them and make them look beautiful and I keep trying to convince her that will just make the rest of my face sad since it will never be as pretty as all the composite porcelain teeth in
my remade mouth and today I told her I am soon going to turn sixty and the age of decay is setting in with a vengeance and that it won't be all that many years before I'm going to get a brand new body anyway, so I think I'll just drive this one until it falls apart on the road and then get it towed across the river to that place where they remake everything including some shiny new teeth that maybe even she will admire.
She patted my cheek and told me she was just trying to make me look nice. Like that was ever going to be an option...