I tried to think of a fun, catchy title, but inspiration escaped me.
The way it escapes cows when confronted with electric prods.
I know. Not a fair comparison. Dentists and hygienists do not get their jollies by inflicting pain. A few Captain Hooks should be banished to Never-Never-Appointment Land. But the vast majority of dental professionals care about their patients.
That said, I would rather endure a tech’s-off-her-game mammogram than a full series of dental X-rays. I would rather do water aerobics in a November mudhole than suffer a root canal.
My extremely sensitive teeth dislike heat, cold, food and drink. They despise sour, sweet, spicy and yummy sustenance, preferring room-temperature oatmeal. They freak when dental personnel spray air on them, using blowers with direct pipelines to Alaska or Antarctica.
“Choose which you’d like,” the smiling hygienist says.
Instead, why don’t I leave for Alaska or Antarctica?
Choice is the operating word, here. Do I want cherry-, bubblegum-, cinnamon-, or boring old mint-flavored grit slathered on my teeth?
Sorry, Mr. or Ms. Dentist. No matter how much I appreciate your pure motives, nice personalities, and excellent expertise, I want outta here. My mouth is stuffed with cotton, metal, and wiggling hands. Lightning bolts of pain shoot through my gums with every poke, probe and grind.
Other sensitive-tooth sufferers urge me to request “the gas.” One boasts, “My dentist knocks me out to floss my teeth. I don’t feel a thing.”
Cursed with teeth like mine, my college-age daughter opted for “laughing gas.” After her oral surgery, I told her that while filling her prescription, I had slid into another van on icy roads. She haw-hawed as if on Comedy Central. She had so much fun that with my next procedure, I asked my dentist for the same stuff.
With one whiff, my dental chair took off at warp speed, zooming through far-off solar systems.
Did I grin while hanging from an intergalactic dental chair over a black hole teeming with crocodile-like aliens with very healthy teeth?
After that experience, I voted for full consciousness and major frowns.
Though I imagine, the staff might enjoy an occasional, for-real smile.
I will attempt one at my next appointment. Because of my dentists’ efforts, I have defied predictions I would lose my teeth by age 40.
Despite previous snarkiness, I am grateful. I would not have their jobs for any amount of money. Especially when someone like me shows up with a mouthful of mutant teeth.
Maybe they feel like boarding a plane for Antarctica, too?
Have you made a gazillion visits to your dentist? Or are you a lucky once-a-year type?