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Little Office of Bethie's Horror

2005-01-17 @ 11:03 p.m.

Little Office of Chickie's Horror

Despite my completely legitmate and founded fear, I finally swallowed my pride (and apparently, one of my old fillings) and made a dentist appointment. After two years of not seeing a dentist I searched for a doctor nearby, in Arlington. Being that my dentist was well, a little drill-happy, I called 1-800-DENTIST to per chance find a female dentist who wouldn't try to woo me with her laughing gas, sexy dentist shoes, flavored flouride and then proceed to molest me. Yeah, I know, lofty goals.

So last week I came in for my first appointment. I knew I was going to get lectured since I had not had my teeth (professionally) cleaned in two years (no insurance/rapist dentist), so I wasn't surprised when she sat down with her clipboard and checklist. She ran through her list of questions and began the obligatory hygienist-interrogation. I've come to realize that the police and dentist association are in cahoots together to trick people into telling the truth. Think about it. It's all in the lamp, people. I do not think it is merely a coincidence that the lamp used in a police interrogation room to get suspects to squeal is the exact same make and model used in dentists offices to make patients tell the truth about their brushing habits. It's hard to lie when you have a gigantor light blinding you, maneuvered by a masked woman with sharp, metal torture devices in her hands.

* how often do you floss?
* when was your last visit?
* how often do you wear your retainer?
* do I look fat in this uniform?
* mint or bubblegum?

My answers were mostly true (you decide which is which.)

"Two years ago, twice a day, just in the butt, mint, and I don't think I've unpacked it yet, actually I think it's with my summer clothes somewhere..."

She cleaned my teeth, stabbed me with her razor sharp sterilized-lie-detector and told me to come back this week to get two fillings and a sealant replacement. Oh joy!
So this morning I came back in prepared for excruciating pain. I've had quite a few traumatic dentist visits, so I figured this would be a walk in the park. Or rather, a walk in a park near a construction site wearing an ill-fitting drool bib while engaging in phony hygiensts small talk. Lucky for her I know sign language. Unlucky for me, she does not. You would think she would have learned some sort of non-verbal communication method. I've concluded that they only ask questions that they know damn well I can't answer with cotton, novacaine and an air-sucker-thingy in my mouth, just so they can make fun of me later.

"So you had to work today? That's a bummer"
"Ya he kdnw o know lmamb ma mabeo"
"Yeah, you're right, it is cold out today"

So she starts to 'numb me up' which means 'jamming needles into my gums' for a few minutes. Of course I have developed some sort of super-human-chickie-leg immunity to novacaine. She kept on having to put more in. "Does your lip feel numb yet?"
Of course I wanted to say "How could I possibly tell with 30 cotton swabs, air and water tubes stuffed in my mouth?"
But of course what I managed to garble apparently translates to "yes, I'm numb please drill my teeth, and oh yeah if I squint my eyes and shake uncontrollably, that means, 'I'm totally numb please continue'".

I don't know if it was the near-novacaine-overdose or just the complete and utter fear of being there, but I swear the entire time I was in that chair I was shivering. I can't believe they didn't notice, but they never said anything. She would just occassionally ask "how we doin'?"
'We'? What is this 'we' crap? Well I have enough equipment and drills in my mouth to build some kind of locomotive or something and YOU are the one doing it. I'd say that 'we' want to kick you in the face."

Twenty minutes later, she sat me up and told me to rinse out and make another appointment to discuss my further visits. (I'm trying to do everything at once here). This is when I believe the novacaine actually started to kick in. Perfect! Now as you know, being the receptionist, I had to have people cover for me at work. I tried to get back as soon as I could, because I know how much people hate to answer the phones...

So I arrive at work and I have to answer the phones for the next FIVE HOURS. ...WITH A SEMI-PARALYZED FACE.
Good thing it was a holiday and barely anyone called, because I feel sorry for those that had to listen to me try to answer their call. However the people that came in probably had it worse; I could tell they were trying to decipher whether I was mildly retarded, or just recently shot in the face.

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