You Know The Drill

One good turn of creative bankruptcy deserves another I never say. So, following the lead of one Coaster Punchman, allow me to lead you into that darkest corner of fear, a visit to the dentist! Cue the music.

When I moved to my current suburban installation a few years back, I began a rigorous search for a new dentist. My main criteria was that the candidate for my affections be located close by. I'm lazy, no question. As I gathered stores of energy to prepare, I happened to look out the window and spied an office quite nearby that was home to a drill of dentists. Such luck!

Before I get to the inquisitive new dentist, I'd like to take a swing or two at a few of the old guys. In reverse order.

My most recent dentist was an Asian man who stood at about 6.5 feet tall. (A 6.5 foot tall Asian guy in a mask walks into a bar...) He was nice but continually gloated about all the fantastic vacations he was taking with my insurance company's money. He did make me laugh though and when they were talking about picking a new pope, he showed his progressive sense of humour by saying he wanted to promote more equality in the papacy by printing on t-shirts the slogan Black Smoke For A Black Pope.

Prior to this and after having just moved again, I chose a dentist a few doors away (criteria met) to work on the lone wisdom tooth that showed up to my party. He had a bit of the look of mad scientist about him but seemed amiable enough, at least until he set to work tearing away part of my soul through my gums.

He stitched me up, gave me medication and sent me on my way. The pain and bleeding continued beyond reason and I made a return visit. He'd left a piece of the tooth in and had to go back after it. Following more pain, bleeding and medication, I found myself in front of a pharmacist asking me why a dentist would give me something with aspirin in it, a well known anti-coagulant? If only I'd had two wisdom teeth to guide me initially, this bit of quackery might never have occurred.

Growing up, there was kindly Dr. Gillis. He was what you might call in polite circles a sadistic fucking asshole. He never used enough freezing and I think, enjoyed that. I went to school with a couple of his children and there was no doubt their teeth were perfect but I'm sure it was out of fear and not his dental tutelage.

Flash forward again. Everything here in Candyland is sunshiney and beautiful and the trees are filled with gumdrops the happy songs of Egyptian plovers.

My new dentist is about about 7 years old, seems to know how to use all his Little Tikes dental gear and he pretends to like me which I enjoy.

When I first applied to be his patient, there was a questionnaire to complete with the last question being 'Have you ever had a bad experience with a dentist?'. Like all the best questions, there was barely space to answer and so I checked yes and noted that my former dentists were sadists. He's never asked about my response but that may be because he's too young to understand such a big word, but I smile big every time I see it on the green page that flutters as he opens my file.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is something very disconcerting about placing your health in the hands of high school (or younger) kids. It was bad enough when I used to think to myself "didn't I used to babysit you?" when meeting my new physician or someone similar, but it's even worse now when I think "didn't you used to go to playgroup with my daughter?"

faith said...

"until he set to work tearing away part of my soul through my gums."

Poetry. I think all of us have had an experience like this at some point in our lives. When I read it I laughed at first then recoiled at the memory of my bad dentist exeperiences.

Btw, I thought being sadistic was a prerequisite for Dentistry 101?

The Freelance Cynic said...

Good luck with your new dentist.

Just make sure to give him a lollipop before you leave.

Chancelucky said...

Your system must be different from ours. In California, we have dentist appointments but see the actual dentist for about three minutes. 90% of the work is done by the dental hygienist. The dentist just comes in, says that looks okay, that doesn't look okay...make another four appointments if you want me to actually do anything.

I thought Canada had national health care. Is the dental system private?

Allison said...

I do believe I'm one of the only people alive who enjoys the dentist. Maybe because I attribute it with travel, our is in Toronto, working off opposite criteria to you. And my mother is a dental hygienist so it was out of the fear of god I have perfect teeth and no cavities.

Jake's Mom said...

Up until recently I always seemed to get the dentist in 'Little Shop of Horrors'. I have only sympathy.
Going to the dentist is like listening to fingernails on the blackboard.

Creepy said...

I prefer visiting my tattoo artist than my dentist, and I'm not one of those psychos who enjoys being tattooed. Friggin' sadists (dentists).

X. Dell said...

Um, when I need dental work in Canada, I think I'm heading to the first guy you mentioned, the tall one. I'd appreciate his sense of humor. All the dentists I've ever been to in the States tell really corny jokes.

Anonymous said...

I guess sensitive people who can't stand to inflict pain get weeded out of dentistry pretty quickly.

That's why it's best to go to the younger dentists-- they might not be hardened sadists yet.

Writeprocrastinator said...

My dentist is the best and a rare one at that. He tolerated fifty-too many jokes about "is it safe now?" and the only part of "Little Shop of Horrors" that I remember: "you'll be a dentist, you'll have a talent for causing pain"

Jill said...

Do you have a problem with him being younger than you???
Do you have some tips got I need a new one, but since I need a lot of filling... I've been putting it away...

justacoolcat said...

Now that you've separated the two you must have to pay your Sadist out of your own pocket.

Chris said...

My dentist growing up was a former Green Beret in Vietnam. He wasn't exactly what I would call "gentle".

Dale said...

Isn't it alarming how old you've gotten Barbara? I mean we've gotten. Sorry! :-)

Hi Faith. Dentists must be one of the most maligned professions for a reason I think huh?

Excellent idea Freelance Cynic. I'll see where that gets me next time.

If it's just for cleaning or something, it rolls that way here too Chancelucky but if you need a filling or anything, the kid stays in the picture. And yes, dental care is separate from the rest of the health care which now that you say it makes no sense. Good dental health has huge and direct impacts on every other kind of health.

Smile then Allison! I don't mind the new guy at all and now I do fear only one of the hygienists who is a little Germanic, especially for a Jewish lady.

Let's hope your newest is a little more like a plastic fork on Jello than nails on a chalkboard Jake's Mom.

That may be because the dentist can't make such cool designs as your latest tattoos Creepy! Plus, there's no lotion involved.

They're often a humourless bunch for the most part X. Dell. I'll hook you up and he can do his act for you.

You may be right Pink Fluffy, not a soft touch in the crowd. Mine's good because he has up to date equipment, techniques, he explains everything and is personable enough. I don't mind buying the kid a yacht.

Hard to find but good to know there are a few out there WP. I've never seen Little Shop of Horrors in its entirety but I have seen the dentist part from the film.

Not really Jill, as I get older, I get less and less afraid of everything. Look for one who doesn't smell like booze.

Touche Coolcat! I don't mind paying through the nose but the teeth? That's wholly different.

I clenched my teeth together just reading that Chris. I bet you're on best behaviour at all times when you're there.

Coaster Punchman said...

I always feel dirty when leaving the dentist's office. For years I didn't know why. But them I remembered (as per my recent post.)

"jew" "girl" said...

I enjoy a dentist who dispenses good drugs. I hate going. I want to be high upon arrival, during and after.

is he a good dentist? gentler than the others?

Old Lady said...

My current dentist is marvelous! Can't praise him enough. Firm believer in painless dental work.

Molecular Turtle said...

Hahaha, Nice post. Dentists have it rought though. No one ever wants to see them, and they have the highest suicide rates of any profession.

Jill said...

I knew you were weird!!! Most of the people I know usualy get scare of more thing as they get older!! OR is it that you are regressing in mental age??

Mob said...

A very timely post sir, as I meet with a dentist about some tooth extractions on Tuesday of this week.

'Extractions' they are calling it, but they're actually yanking 7 teeth from my head if you don't sugar coat the language.

Evidently I'm like a shark, with several rows of teeth to spare.

Dale said...

So you get drunk before you go Old Lady? Good find!

And their tears fill the oceans that float their yachts Molecular T!

I've always been at the mental age of about 5 Jill. No appreciable changes since then.

Sugar coating may be what led you to this day Mob! Let me know when you'll be on shark week and good luck. Sounds very friggin' painful.

Jill said...

Could I have been doing some minor diversion(d├ętournement de mineur, go search by yourself for the good translation!!) all this time???

Dale said...

Jill, you're definitely been a minor diversion.

Jill said...

I have been, or I have been doing??(And is it really the good translation?? I'm still missing some voculabary in my second language!!)

Dale said...

I charge for lessons Jill.

Philippine Prudential Life said...

Nice article. very interesting, thanks for sharing.