There once were a few peanuts, and a couple of raisons, and a small piece of chocolate. They gave such pleasure, until they gave such pain. Truthfully though, the peanut was guiltiest of all!
A tiny piece of peanut and a broken tooth – so begins the search for my dentist.
Now before I begin with my sorry little tail . . .er . . . um. . . tale, I just know that there will be people shaking their heads in wisdom at my folly. Yes, I know you’re right. I should make regular visits to a dentist (and remember who it is). I should probably see a doctor too for that matter. The thing is though that I’m fairly healthy if a “bit” overweight. But that doesn’t really have anything to do with this post. Well, except maybe to point out that I like to eat – and I don’t like doctors and dentists very much. Both wield needles, if you have to ask. I’m not scared of needles, understand. I just avoid those little instruments of pain as much as possible.
So how does a person go about finding the right dentist? You start by asking the folks who do actually visit one of course. Funny thing though, nobody seem to agree on who is the best dentist around. And who knew there were so many of them in our town?! I listened to everyone’s stories. I made a few calls. I finally decided who I’ll turn to in my hour of dental need.
Off I went to the dentist’s surgery and filled out the forms. What a great shield those things are when you try to pretend that you’re not nervous at all! I fiddled with my phone, looking anywhere but at that dreaded door behind which one of those typical reclining chairs looks so deceptively comfortable. From the stories I heard about this dentist he’s been around a few years. In my mind’s eye I saw a guy ’round about my age, with maybe a little grey in his hair and a few wrinkles around the eyes. Imagine my surprise when the guy who came out to invite me into his “parlor” looked like he just stepped out of college. . . or medical school . . . or where ever it is they learn to dig in people’s mouths. He introduced himself. Nope, definitely not the guy I assumed I had the appointment with. I felt like throwing anchors and yell – I don’t wanna see you, you’re not him! I didn’t have the guts. Besides, my tooth was really sore.
In case you didn’t know, it pays to be friendly with people in whose medical hands you entrust your physical well-being – be that body, gum or tooth. Okay, maybe that’s debatable. I once went to a dentist who talked to me while my mouth was stuffed with cotton balls and whatnots, things he had put in there. And I mean talk, as in asking me questions he seemed to be expecting answers to. What sense does that make, I ask you?
Getting back to doctor Young-Guy. He made sure I was comfy (I lied and said I was!) then started doing his thing. I don’t know if anybody else feels the same way I do but it is kind of weird when people talk about you like you’re not there, about things that sound alien but are actually your teeth. I find it difficult to decide where to focus my mind in situations like these. I mean, here is a guy with his face so close to yours you’ll be able to bite his nose if it wasn’t for that little mask thingy he wears. Ugh! No, not something I want to think about. What else? His eyes. Will he notice if I inspect his eyes while he taps and scrape my teeth? Better not do that. I certainly don’t want him to shift his attention away from what he is doing, especially when he starts using powered tools. How about if I just cast my eyes down. It isn’t so bad inspecting your own nose, but I can only look at black heads for so long. Ah heck, there’s no choice really. Just look up and aim a little bit to the side of dr. Young-Guy’s head. Aah yes, there it is. The ceiling.
Something I remember from dentist surgeries I’ve visited before is that they always have some form of entertainment on the ceiling for kids. Mostly they have busy images like the one above, other times they have puppets or model airplanes stringed up there. It seems that the practice where dr Young-Guy works has come a long way from simple posters and figurines on the ceiling. Instead, they have a monitor mounted there in a very nice wooden frame.
At first I did not pay too much attention to the screen as the conversation between dr Young-Guy and his assistant had changed to a subject other than my teeth. He was now complaining to her that he was running behind schedule and he did not sound happy about it. At all. He gave these huge sighs while deliberating what should be done to fix my tooth. Can you imagine what went through my head after hearing this?
I decided that no, it is not necessary to panic – yet. Focus on the ceiling, focus on the ceiling I chanted to myself. I did. Focus. On the ceiling. I’m sure my eyes bulged. I’m pretty sure I blushed. My eyes are playing tricks on me, I thought. I glanced away for a second. I looked back. Oh jeez! My eyes are still 20/20.
What I saw on the ceiling was a bunch of people. People in various stages of no-dress. People with leather belts around their waists, but not a fig leaf or loin cloth in sight. N.A.K.E.D people! Huh?!
Okay, so it was a documentary and not a blue film. I’m not sure if that qualification helps to ease my mind though. Given that no sound accompanied the images that bombarded my eyes and I could not identify at first sight that there was (presumably) a narrator guiding me through the whole thing. . .
You may think me a prude if you want, but I got a good jolly old shock that afternoon. If you have kids and you take them to a dentist you don’t know, I advise you to inspect his ceiling first!