I just came back home from the dentist.

Surprise, surprise, the sweet-tooth has got herself some cavities.

No one has ever said to me that they love to go to the dentist’s. If someone did say that to me, I wouldn’t know what to say in return. “Are you feeling well?”

Or “Are you married to said dentist?”

It’s an understandable stereotype. The dentist experience is not a pleasant one. You have to lie back on a chair with your legs higher than your head and your mouth forced open. The whirring sound of a dentist’s tool is a sound born out of hell, and you have to hear it ring through your skull as the vibrations from it scraping your teeth rattles your jaw.

And I could just be describing a simple cleaning right there.

I used to have this really cool dentist when I was a kid. I live in a small town, so he was the dentist most kids I knew had when they were younger. My friend Mia went to him as well. He retired when I was in middle school, so for a few years, I didn’t go to the dentist while my family was on the hunt for another.

When I did finally get myself a new dentist it wasn’t really a dentist. It was a dental group.

If you’ve never heard of a dental group, consider yourself blessed.

Well, I don’t know, maybe there is a dental group out there somewhere that is chill and cool. All I know is that I hated the dental group I went to.

They had several dentists working there, and you never knew who was going to see you when you went in for an appointment. Plus, there was always an atmosphere of hurry. As soon as you were in the chair, it felt like it was their job to see you out of it as soon as possible. I understand that as a thriving business, they need to see as many patients as they can per day. But I felt like a car going into a body shop instead of a living human being who needed some dental care.

They were never gentle during procedures either. Dental procedures are never fun procedures, I’ll give them that. It’s hard to make a cleaning or a filling relaxing. But they sure didn’t try. Those numbing shots they gave hurt like a motherflubber because they injected them so fast.

And the only reason I know how wrong they were doing things is because I eventually left them. At some point, I figured out that they did not provide the kind of dental care I wanted to receive. So I went looking for another dentist, this time one with a single name on the door. I found one I liked and started seeing her.

And holy moly, the difference was immense.

Those numbing shots that had hurt so much before were far lass painful. And I recognized the people who were seeing me, even though months would sometimes stand between each visit. (The oral hygienist there is the best.)

I still feel a bit embarrassed and uncomfortable when I go to the dentist. This is partially because I have lingering bad memories of that dental group. It is also due to my guilt over having someone spend time dealing with a gaping hole in my body. I feel like apologizing every time I go to either the dentist or the gynecologist.

But having a nice dentist definitely makes the experience easier to bear.

So even though I just came back from the dentist and my mouth is just starting to feel normal again, I’m glad to be keeping my teeth and gums on the up-and-up.

Braces and a puppy

4 thoughts on “Dentists”

  1. Finding a one-dentist office is great advice. Finding one with excellent word-of-mouth references is even better. My wife spent years finding a good dentist here in Phoenix. Now she tells everyone she knows about him. He doesn’t even have to advertise. The personal referrals keep him more than busy enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. you’re right, the dentist is never fun, but the right office makes a difference. my teeth are in vile condition from my eating disorder and i left a dentist who made me feel bad about it. the current ones are understanding and kind, even when i cry (which i do far too often). as you said, keep looking ’til you find a good fit.


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