Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On the Verge of Becoming an Anti-Dentite

I went to the dentist this morning.

At 8:00 am, to be exact.

That's early. Especially since I've been home this year with the girls.

Normally, I don't mind going to the dentist. I'd even go so far as to say I LIKE going to the dentist. I enjoy it.

I don't always take great care of my teeth, but I take pride in them. They're so straight, and I always get complimented on them.

I should. My parents spent a small fortune on my mouth: I had braces twice, plus jaw surgery.

Believe me; it was worth it!

Anyway, I love having clean, polished teeth. I love how smooth they feel. I love how much brighter they look, just from having a cleaning.

Not today, though.

Oh, sure. My teeth are clean, polished, smooth, and bright; but what a cost for these pretty teeth this morning!

The dental assistant was one of those genuinely nice, soft-spoken, friendly, conscientious people. She was a dream, personality-wise. She was meticulous and calm. Everything you could want in a person who's going to have her hands in your mouth.

Her only fault: she was heavy-handed.

First, she checked my gums to see if they were receding. You know, where she sticks that little metal instrument in between your gums and teeth? It doesn't usually hurt.

Today, I was in agony! She plunged that thing in hard, all the while talking in her smooth, calm, friendly voice.

While I was recovering from the shock of the unexpected pain, she took the first cleaning instrument out and began to scrape my teeth.

Now, I don't take meticulous care of my teeth, but I definitely don't neglect them.

Most dental assistants can scrape my entire mouth in less than 10 minutes.

This assistant spent 10 minutes on 5 teeth!

Five! That's it! Five!

Did I mention I had Sleeping Beauty with me? No? Well, 10 minutes on 5 teeth wasn't going to cut it with that child. She was behaving just fine, but who knew when she'd erupt and want out of her car seat.

The assistant (bless her heart) realized it was taking too long (not that SHE was taking too long, but that the cleaning was taking too long), so she decided to use a different instrument. One with water. And power.

Fine. Whatever, I though. Just get the cleaning done.

She did one tooth and asked me if I was okay. Of course I was okay after one tooth. No big deal.

Oh, how I wish I had stopped her when I had that chance!

That instrument was painful! She stuck that thing in my mouth, squirted and scraped away at my gum line, and left a trail of pain in her wake.

O Lord; spare me from this instrument ever again! And perhaps the dental assistant, too.

My knuckles were so white from grabbing onto my sweatshirt hem, trying to be brave, and willing myself to keep my mouth open and steady.

I did not want that instrument to go rogue on me. Who knows what damage that thing could have inflicted if is escaped from my mouth? My poor gums are still bearing witness to its destructive powers.

And then the dental floss. Oh! I detest having anyone else floss my teeth. No one is as gentle and careful with my gums as I am.

Especially not heavy-handed dental assistants!

The only positive thing I can say about it is the cleaning sure went quickly. I was done in no time! Well, no time relative to the speed of the woman cleaning my teeth manually.

I'd probably still be at the dentist, otherwise.

My teeth are still aching. I feel like I just had a wire replaced and tightened on my braces.

I don't have braces anymore.

I know it wasn't the dentist's fault; I don't blame him in the least.

However, I'm more definitely NOT looking forward to my next appointment in 6 months.

Maybe this assistant will have the day off then.


Please, Lord?

Pretty please?


  1. It's my turn at the dentist tomorrow... here's hoping that the past year of using an electric toothbrush has paid off!

  2. Oh, I just love that laughing gas because I am such a baby when it comes to the dentist. In fact, i would rather DELIVER a baby than go to the dentist. (Did I mention that my last baby was 10.2 pounds?)

  3. wow, unless you're pulling story tellers license and embellishing I would definitely either call them up and let the secretary know (you can wait a week or so) that X assistant was very rough on your mouth, or write an anonymous letter.
    And then make sure you specifically request any assistant but her next time!


"Only a life lived for comments is a life worthwhile." Albert Einstein, modified. Okay. Not really, but comments sure are nice.