Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Telling the Tooth -or- Back in Plaque

After all the photos are loaded and the random observations are noted, it's time to get back to the theme of this self-serving cyber scroll -- my stumbling, bumbling, humbling journey into adult life.

After college I put off going to the dentist -- half out of not reading my insurance plan and half out of laziness -- who likes going to the dentist? I know this was a foolish mistake, but I figured, hey, I take decent care of my teeth and I stopped opening beer bottles with my molars years ago, so no big deal.

Well, since moving down to VA and getting situated, I figured I should make up for a year's worth of dental neglect and make an appointment in the area. I asked around at work and found a nice little office (and by nice I mean they accept my insurance). It was a cozy little place -- lots of pictures of the dentist's family and fishing memorabilia. I plopped down in the chair yesterday and awaited the verdict.

The dentist -- a nice guy it seemed -- stared into my gaping maw and let out a shriek. Remember that scene in Raiders were the Nazi scientist melts? That was the facial expression this guy gave me. I was like, what?

He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Son, you have plaque."

He delivered the news as if my grandmother had passed or something. I was like, yeah, I got mad plaque, so get rid of it. And he did, working the pick and mirror like a seasoned pro.

But after he was finished scraping, he stepped on the lever to reposition my seat and then removed his glove. I was about to tell him how nice his daughter looked in the family pictures when he slapped me across the face.

I was like "What the hell?"

He looked me dead in the eye over those crazy-ass microscope glasses and said, "Your gums are not healthy enough."

I was shocked. "Look, dentist," I said, "I know I don't floss everyday, but..."

He friggin' slapped me again. Windup and everything. "Look, big guy," he said in an altruistic tone, "you have take better care of your teeth. I want to see you back here in four weeks to make sure the cleaning was sufficient. So brush twice a day and floss, or else I will slap your bitch ass so hard you'll think orthodontics are the same as periodontics."

On the way out he made me sign up for another visit and then handed me some free coupons for Tartar Control Crest. Then he smiled and pointed to the door. His voice said, "Thanks for your time, Jake," but his eyes said "Every six months you son of a bitch."

I rubbed my aching cheek -- the gums hurt on the inside and the handprint hurt the outside. On my way home I picked up some listerine and a sonicare.

That'll be the last time I get the spit beat out of me.


Post a Comment

<< Home