Friday, May 27, 2011

SnaggleTooth and why I hate the dentist

I chipped a tiny part of my front tooth. It was microscopic and went that way for years. Until I chipped a not so tiny part of my tooth. Which required me to get into the dentist stat. And since we switched insurance last year I have to find a new dentist. Stat. My least favorite question at a new dentist is always: When is the last time you were at the dentist. I am not great about 2x a year let me confess. I am great about cleaning, flossing and brushing but not great about visiting the professionals to talk about, poke, or Xray teeth. So I like to give vague, broad strokes of time. Like "not too long ago" when it was actually January 2010.

I blame our childhood dentist who reminds me of the guy in Full Metal Jacket. He didn't even like children but my Father's stance was "zip your yap" about our opinions on the old, former military and mean dentist. And then he would say mean things in a harsh way like "YOU HAVE TO BRUSH IN CIRCLES" and then "DROP AND GIVE ME 20 YOU WIMP" So this is how I developed hate for the dentist. I have known other great dentists but I once had two root canals and two crowns put on in one day which pretty much felt like what I suspect an afternoon in a prison yard would feel like: bad and ugly. 

So yesterday, I hop to the dentist like a bat out of hell. I have to get a check up and cleaning first since I am clearly past the 6 month mark. Oh, and some Xrays. Which, by the way, those giant plastic pieces they put in your mouth just about gag me everytime. The good news: my teeth look great. Except for the snaggle. So the dental tech tells me I should not get the chip fixed. She thinks I don't need it. She shows me her chipped tooth and says, "See that? You can't even tell unless I point it out."

Ummm, except for the part of your chipped tooth I can see from 25 feet away, easy.  Even with my eyes closed. And then she tells me I should keep it because it has character. Well, my tooth isn't auditioning for Glee so it doesnt need character. And a chip is not the same kind of character as a Lauren Hutton or David Letterman gap either.

But the more I talked to her, the more hilarious she was which helped reduce my dental angst or what I like to call damn you are a baby when it comes to the dentist.  And the new dentist comes in and he is great. Although I clarify that I will NOT need a shot of any kind to fix the tooth. He laughed. I asked if they told him I was a baby. He laughed and said "no" even though you know he was politely warned. I confessed up front. Let's put all our baby cards on the table.

And he fixed my tooth with high tech hand-held gadgets and high tech formulas.

So after all the chores, I left the dentist after three hours. But with a smile. And happy that everyone in this dental group was great. And clearly know how to calm down fussy adults. I know the dentist is important and skipping the dentist is not necessarily wise. So don't be a baby if you are and go! Oh, and I left with this advice for my new and perfect front tooth:

Dental Hygienist: Don't bite any food with it.
Me: Hmmmm. For today?
Her: Do you want to keep it?
Me: It is highly likely.
Her: Well, front tooth location is tricky so I would avoid it. Is that going to be a problem?
Me: Hopefully not. But since just about the only job my teeth have is to bite food, I will have to let you know.

SnaggleTooth fixed. Hopefully for good.

Have a gorgeous holiday weekend if you are celebrating. We have giant fun plans this weekend. More to come on that bit.


the walking man said...

Now seriously a little chip without the Novocaine because you're a baby? C'mon do it right id you don't want the needle JennyM...get them drilled and filled without the needle then I'll know your a real tough chick. Or better yet have 9 pulled without anything but the gas..gas is good. I like gas. I think they call it huffing in your part of the country, here they just call it crazy.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Have an awesome weekend! glad your tooth is fixed.

Chain Stitch Crochet said...

Ugh...I hate the dentist too. I don't think there's very many out there that do like them. Necessary evils.........

Hope you have a fab, safe weekend!

Simply Suthern said...

Pretty sure you could have rocked the chipped tooth look. Did you try whistling thru it it?

Might have been a fashion statement and a handy tool.

Jaime said...

don't bite any food with it? that's almost as stupid as them telling me not to run any marathons 15 minutes after my knee surgery. yeah. cause i had BIG plans of doing that after they played slice and dice with my leg. :p

have a great weekend

Unknown said...

But now your smile lacks character.

brokenteepee said...

Aaaah, yes. I had the world's most wonderful dentist in NJ and then we moved to Montana. I hated to leave her. In fact for the first two years I had my check ups when I flew home to visit family but the dentist in NJ = $$$$$$$. The dentist in Montana = $$ so I had to find one here. The office was in a trailer (aaaack). In the middle of a cow pasture (bigger aaaack) But he turned out to be very nice and his equipment was almost into the 21st century....heh

Glad your tooth is fixed. Smile on!

Jennifer Vanderbeek said...

I'm another wuss when it comes to the dentist: I blame it on the 5 years of orthodontic hell I went through in middle/high school.

There's a dentist in town who advertises Relaxation Dentistry and I've almost worked up the nerve to call for a consultation. If I can get someone who'll listen to my concerns, not do expensive things without giving me a chance to say yay/nay and not be so freaking patronizing I'll be happy.

GunDiva said...

I. Hate. The. Dentist.

I've got a ton of work that needs to be done, but just can't make myself go. I need to win the PowerBall so I can afford to go to a sedation dentist and do it all at once while I'm floating away in La-La land thanks to the sedatives.

I'm glad you found a good dentist - maybe there's hope for me yet.

joanne said...

I also have horrible memories of childhood dental much so that I won't go until there is a problem. Last Halloween I bit into a frozen mini three musketeers bar and broke off my two front teeth...OMG it was awful, it felt as if I had razor blades in my mouth and the on-call dentist was a pediatric dentist. Needless to say it did get fixed but I sure felt stupid in the kiddie room with all the kiddie distractions so he could work on the teeth...what a big baby eh?

Anonymous said...

I hate the dentist. I have a very sensitive gag reflex so anything inside my mouth (other than food) makes me want to hurl. It's been an obstacle in my past love life. Maybe that's why I don't have one.

Anonymous said...

I hate the dentist. I have a very sensitive gag reflex so anything in my mouth (aside from food) makes me want to hurl. It's been an obstacle in my past love life. Maybe that's why I don't have one.

So. Cal. Gal said...

I hate to brag but I love my dentist...and the 2 prior to him who were all in the same building. I'm convinced that office is a magical place. said...

Yea! I feel your relief! Being snaggle-toothed is only cute when your about 5 years old.

Maria said...

I greatly dislike the dentist too, but because of the wonders of bad genetics that gave me shitty gums, I go every three months. Yuck!

Unknown said...

The dentist of my childhood wore a pencil thin mustache. He never spoke to me except, "rise, spit". The time he gave me three, count
1, 2, 3, injections of novocaine and then drilled anyway, even thought it didn't take, killed me and then sent me home where my whole face froze solid for four hours..... Well, I think that about explains why I hate the dentist too.

K A B L O O E Y said...

OK, so my daughter has this problem too, since she's losing teeth. What you do is eat with the side of your mouth. Then you come home every DAY from kindergarten with catsup smudges on your cheek. It works for her.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

My favorite?

She shows me her chipped tooth and says, "See that? You can't even tell unless I point it out."

Ummm, except for the part of your chipped tooth I can see from 25 feet away, easy.

A good friend from high school showed up in my new city and just happens to be a dentist. She fixed my front tooth chip and I felt like a million bucks. Until I let her orthodontist husband talk me into round two braces . . . now I get my mouth prodded every six weeks. Because that's how I roll.

Jen said...

Glad you had a good experience! I'm happy to say our dentist now does x-rays digitally & it's much less painful. And yes, I go every 6 months :)

Intense Guy said...

I love my Dental Hygienist. She is soooooooo damn cute!!!

I always eat a bag of Oreos before I go - just for the extra time with her.