AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: July 11, 2013 | COMMENTS: 1 Comment
Dear Dr. Dentist,
I don’t hate you. Really, I don’t. I realize you are most likely a compassionate person who was called into the field of dentistry to serve your fellow man. It’s a noble calling—a noble calling I will never, ever understand—but noble nonetheless.
Here’s the thing. I hate visiting you. I hate it so much that the last time I sat in your chair I actually went through a mental check list of things I’d rather endure than being right where I was at that very minute. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I have to tell you…it included things like multiple mammograms using machines kept in a freezer, emergency c-sections with crappy anesthesia and the removal of a post-surgical internal abdominal drain.
Yup…sitting in your chair is that bad.
(It might be just me…but honestly…I don’t think it is.)
Anyways, while I was with you yesterday and in addition to the mental checklist mentioned I was trying to pinpoint the worst thing about going to the dentist. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the assault on my senses. Yes… the sounds of drills and “Mr. Thirsty” are the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Yes… the tastes of whatever flavor tooth polish is repulsive. (FYI…Mint, cinnamon or bubble gum flavoring doesn’t change the fact that they are applied with the equivalent of a Dremel drill and have the consistency of sand paper.) And, yes…the smell of something burning combined with the view of smoke wafting from my mouth is unpleasant.
The worst thing I could surmise regarding my dental check ups is an uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability.
Here’s what I mean.
When you are hovering over me with that pointy thing and your mirror shouting out secret codes to your assistant about each tooth in my mouth? That’s the part I hate the most. You see, while you are saying things like, “Number one…MOD. Number two…MOA. Number three…MBA. Number four…DOA” and your trusty sidekick is furiously recording each code on a chart of my mouth I’m thinking, “What the hell?” As in, “What the hell does that mean because I think you just said my one tooth got an MBA and my other was dead on arrival?”
I’m imagining facial expressions and body language exchanging between you and the hygienist that lie somewhere between pity and disgust which makes me want to rebut your diagnosis of my upper-right molar but I can’t because my mouth is wide open, my ability to speak is impaired and I have no friggin’ clue what you just said.
Cue anxiety coupled with a little bit of shame…which is the weird part…because I don’t know what I’m ashamed of because I have no idea what the hell is happening.
In the end, sitting in a dentist’s chair is a very vulnerable place for me. And guess what? I don’t like feeling vulnerable.
So, there you go. Yes. I know. You booked an appointment for me six months from now but we all know how that’s going to unfold. Don’t worry, however. After a few lame-ass excuses as to why I have to cancel I’ll eventually wander my way back into your chair and the crazy will unleash in my head the way it does every single time I’m there.
Just be thankful I can keep it in my head.
Seriously, be thankful.
All the best,