TB’s Anti-Dentite Manifesto

Quote of the Day:

Some tortures are physical, and some are mental, But the one that is both, is dental.” –Ogden Nash

I hate those kitten posters tacked by the window or even worse on the ceiling that say things like “Smile”.

I hate the big window. I hate the birds outside it who can fly anywhere they like and will never have to sit in the chair.

I hate the magazines, even the ones I normally like, and especially “Highlights” Magazine, which I never even liked as a kid.

I hate being asked the same inane questions twice a year and being reminded “we haven’t done x-rays in a year” as if I didn’t already know and in a tone that falsely suggests I have some choice in the matter of whether “we” do them today.

I hate the sharp hook and the sound it makes on my teeth and the agony it inflicts on my gums.

I hate the sound of the water swirling around in the miniature sink to my left, the one they quit letting me spit in back in about ’89. I hate the banal, one-sided conversation coming from the cleaning chair next door. I hate the smells, the certificates, the gritty paste.

I love the miniature cold water hose that washes away the gritty paste and that took the place of Dixie Cups and spitting back in about ’89. But I hate the miniature vacuüm they use to suck all that refreshing cool water out before I can get a drink.

I hate being judged on the quality of my gums and the efficiency of my flossing. I am not a monster. You can’t pigeonhole me.

What I hate most of all is that I can never win. Every six months, there I am, sitting in that chair waiting on the verdict. Do I get another six-month reprieve or will I be sent to the drillin’ room? I really hate that if I get the drill I have to fret about it two weeks before getting it over with. I hate that drill. I really, really hate that “it looks like part of a filling has broken off.” I’m glad he “doesn’t see any decay.” I’m glad he thinks we can “push back replacing it for awhile.” I hate the inevitability and the uncertainty that diagnosis conveys. I hate that in 6 months I have to endure all this mental and physical torture again and its as if today’s success was but a mirage.

And the hell of it is I like every dentist I’ve ever known, even Waldo who once laughingly boasted that “pulling a tooth is the most barbaric act in all of medicine.” And one day I guess they’ll want to try that on me. But for the next six months I’m clear. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

I guess I have to admit one thing. I like that my Mother insisted I live this way. I like that I still have good teeth, for the most part. Because I’m pretty certain I would hate a root canal.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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10 Responses to TB’s Anti-Dentite Manifesto

  1. Harmony says:

    I, too, hate going to the dentist.

    I especially hate how my dentist tries to carry on a conversation with me while having various objects in my mouth. Leaving me to respond with throaty noises or eye blinking. Every time I give a throaty noise response, my eyes do the ‘oi, why am I responding’ maneuver. Plus she is a bit of a whisperer, so half the time I can’t hear what she is saying over the suctioning device and I have a real issue with asking people “what?” more than three times.

    I hate when the dental assistant accidentally gets the suctioning device stuck to the side of my tongue and then pulls it off by sliding it upwards until it pops off the tip of my tongue.

    I hate that I have to remember to take antibiotics before a cleaning and I hate the way my lips dry out during a visit.

  2. Samsmama says:

    I love the dentist!


    I made a joke yesterday about having been for a visit. Something I regret I haven’t done in a couple years. I kid you not, within an hour I chipped my tooth. I’ve got an appt tomorrow morning at 9:30. Yippee.

  3. Jessie Lou says:

    SM – that is fate – and I must admit funny too. Sorry though!

    TB – I love going to the dentist -always have. I guess because I’ve spent so much time there or so it seems – having teeth pulled plus plus braces for upteen years. In fact I’ve worked for an oral surgeon and an orthodontist. I think you missed braces but where I worked the patient’s head was always right at boob level – I dare say you would have complained much about that! I could tell some stories.

    I just went back at the beginning of the month and your old hygenist still asks about you. I believe she told me you had the nicest smile if memory serves me.

  4. Harmo….yes-yes….I hate those “soothing” voices they use and that damn adult contemporary radio station oozing calm in the background too.

    SM–(shuddering) good luck

    JL–I love Tana. She is the best.

  5. Mac says:

    We are 5 by 5 on this one. Hate the dentist with a passion. One thing I will add is that I can’t stand for any fluid to accumulate so I am constantly swallowing (and yes, I am acutely aware of how gay this sentence sounds) everything, including the super toothpaste they scrub with. So when I leave I have a stomach ache to boot.

  6. DI says:

    My teeth are befitting of someone attempting to land a leading role in Deliverance:The Sequel. I’ve spent much of my life in dentist chairs.

    Now, I’m like Otis from the Andy Griffiths show. I just walk in unannounced and plop down in a chair and they start drilling. During the GOP convention when everyone chanted, “Drill baby drill,” my Pavlovian response was to push my recliner as far back as it would go and resignedly ask for them to crank the nitrous.

  7. ZEEK says:

    WALDO RULES!!!!!!!

  8. jessica o says:

    I love the sucky thing. I love polished teeth. I love this post.

    I hate comment ratings. I am already very self-conscious about my comments. Ratings just make me want to crawl into a crevasse in my molar and rot.

  9. I agree about the ratings. They are gone.

    You have changed the world by speaking up JessO! Well, at least the TBU, I’ve been meaning to dump that feature for awhile.

  10. jessica o says:

    Dang it! I was looking for 5 stars!!!!!

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