It’s just a cleaning, but I’m dreading it as much as a root canal. I hate going to the dentist, and it has nothing to do with the pain factor; I have a pretty high tolerance and rarely get Novocain. No, the problem is, between my dentist and her staff, I always walk out of there feeling like I’ve been insulted. Remember a few months ago when I posted this little gem of an exchange?
Hygienist: “Your overbite is really bad. Have you ever noticed that your top teeth completely cover your bottom teeth?”That’s what I’m talkin' about. Or this.
Me: Oh, really? I never noticed that, you stupid fucking moron. I only look in the mirror a hundred… no, make that two hundred times a day. Thanks for clueing me in.”
Hygienist: “You have a lot of fillings.”They can never just clean my teeth and be like, “Good job!” They always find something that could go wrong and maybe give me a problem someday.
Me: “Oh, really? I was wondering why dentists were drilling away in my mouth all those times. Thanks for clearing that up (you stupid fucking moron).”
I’ve always had one of those mouths that’s required a lot of dental work. And the thing is, God only knows how much of it was absolutely necessary. I’ve come to believe that dentistry is extremely subjective; you can get a treatment plan from one dentist and the next one will say, “No, no… you don’t need that done; you need this done.” That actually happened to me a few years ago when I took a treatment plan from a dentist in Vegas to my old dentist in Albany; their opinions were totally contradictory. (My dentist in Albany won out.)
Is it me or do you, too, feel dentists have us by the balls? Like if we have a medical problem, we’re all over the Internet, right? We march into the doctor’s office armed with our research and a million questions, telling them how to do their jobs according to our demands. But with dentists, we’re at their mercy. How do we know if those fillings really do need to be replaced, or if that root canal must, in fact, be done? We just open our mouths like idiots and let them have their way with us.
This has been bugging me for a while. What do you say?