Monday, April 09, 2012

Bonnie Goes to the Dentist

About two weeks ago, I went to the dentist for the first time in…a long time. As in, an embarrassingly long time. As in, there's a very good chance my age had the word "teen" in it the last time I went. Now, before you start judging or gasping, let me lay out a few facts:
  1. This visit only uncovered one cavity. 
  2. I brush at least twice a day, recently started flossing, occasionally use mouthwash, and use white strips once or twice a year. 
  3. I had braces for 3 ½ years and visited an orthodontist every month. That's enough dental visits to last most people three lifetimes. 
  4. I had traumatic experiences as a child at my dentist, who I nicknamed Doctor Devil. Seriously, I don't think I ever left this woman's office without crying.
However, my goal this year was to be an Adult and make my way to all the doctors I put off. So I did. And funny things happened.

First, we'll begin with the sweet receptionist, who asked me if I was referred to them by "my husband or a friend." This, to me, is funny, because "husband" has never been a word ever associated with me. (Unless being used in the sentence "never going to find a.") And I froze. And had an awkwardly long pause while I thought.

In my head: "Oh thank goodness, I already have a husband. That's one thing I can cross of the list. Do you by chance have his number?"
Out loud: "No, a coworker referred me."

Now I'll never know if I already have a husband out there. Or what she was thinking while waiting for my answer.

Next, it was time for the cleaning. It was a small room and a small chair and my legs barely fit in it. I then proceeded to gag and drool my way through the 200 X-rays the hygienist took. Surely with all the technology we have nowadays there has to be a better way to do these X-rays? Or, at the least, create a wireless remote so she didn't have to step over my feet and out the door to turn the machine off and on?

However, I'll forgive the wonderful hygienist because, in yet another example of what an epically small world this is, she was a UNC graduate AND from my hometown! And if you know my hometown, you know that no one is from there. When I said the town's name she just laughed and said she didn't believe me. She lived in the actual city whereas I'm from a rural community outside it.

After the cleaning, and general fun times with the hygienist, it was time to see the dentist. First, he looked at my X rays.

Him: "Have you ever been punched in the face or been in an accident?"

Insert another awkward pause while I try to remember if I have ever been punched in the face or in an accident.

Out loud: "No, I haven't."
In my head: "Oh my god, what is he going to do? Is this some sort of Dentist Fight Club?"

Another awkward pause.

Him: "Because you have very large sinuses."

Out loud: "Oh, ok."
In my head: "Whew, it's just large sinuses. Wait, WTF! Are sinuses supposed to be large? What does this mean!?"

But then I was distracted by the next sentence: "You have a cavity. We can fill it now or later."


Him: "Judging by the look of terror on your face, you weren't expecting me to say we could do it now."

Apparently I do have a terrible poker face like one of my friend's always claims. But in the ultimate Adult Move, I opted to have the cavity filled then. And because of my look of terror, the dentist was extra gentle and kept asking me if I was alright. A far cry from Doctor Devil.

So I had the cavity filled and then was on my merry way. (Well, merry-ish as he referred me to an oral surgeon to have my two wisdom teeth removed. But I'm going to have to work up significantly more Adult Courage before I make that appointment.)

And thus ends the tale of how I survived the dentist. This time.

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