Write a 500-1000 word commentary or rant of your own:
Forget Birthdays, Halloween, and even Christmas; my favorite part of the year is when I visit the dentist. What could be better? I can’t be the only one who eagerly counts down the days until my latest appointment? As a child, I fondly remember those daydreams spent in the dentist’s chair, having my teeth cleaned and my cavities filled; frolicking through the hallways and causing a ruckus with the x-ray machine and the fancy tools used by the hygienist’s….okay, okay….I can’t do it anymore….frankly, I hate the damn place. I could never be caught saying such positive things about any dentist, not even with a gun pointed at my head or someone offering me a lump sum of 10 million dollars.
To begin with, when I walk into my dentist’s office, why does it always feel like I’m entering hell? A hell more along the lines of No Exit, except I’m stuck in an office with other miserable people and I’m forced to have my teeth brutally cleaned for an eternity. I can deal with the pits of fire, dining with Hitler, and the Devil’s fiends whipping me with their spikey tails; but not this hell.
I always get a kick from watching all the other individuals saunter into the office. They enter all alike: the door slowly creaks open, there is a slight pause before the said victim enters; when they cross the threshold, their color changes, as if their heart drops to their stomach; they sigh, linger around the room before walking to the front desk and signing in.
Inquiry: Do the dental hygienists realize that when they’re cleaning our teeth, we can’t answer their periodically asked questions? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that our mouths are ajar, their hands are in our mouths, there’s drilling, and we obviously can’t respond with words? I don’t get it. I would prefer the dead silence as they cleaned my teeth, not the annoying sound of their voices.
Inquiry: Do the dental hygienists know how violent they are when they’re cleaning our teeth? Who in their right mind flosses that rough? Do you clean your own teeth as if you’re trying to skin an animal? I hate the little spike tool they use to get deep down in the gums. My guess is that it’s a modern torture weapon. The hygienist usually goes around my teeth twice digging into my gums, causing me to nearly scream out in pain. She’s face to face with me, is she oblivious to the pain on my face? You’re torturing me, woman! What the hell did I do to you? The last time I checked, this isn’t Marathon Man! “I don’t know what you mean…I can’t tell you if something is safe or not…!” I also hate the twisted tool they give us to suck up all the water after they clean our teeth. Its loud sucking noise irritates me; it doesn’t really mix well with the drilling sounds. I wish they’d let us spit out the water in a bucket so I can accidently spit on the hygienist. “Oh, sorry…I’m so sorry. I guess I missed the bucket. I apologize for spitting blood stained water on your pants. Maybe you shouldn’t be so…rough?”
Inquiry: Do you know that the dental hygienists do more work than the dentist himself? He comes in at the end and checks my teeth for about thirty seconds, repeats everything the hygienist told me, and he’s off. I’ve noticed they usually speak a few words in code. Don’t alienate your patient with silly code names for cavities and molars! “This patient has a 358 with 287 on the 298 with an irregular 29837.” I’m supposed to head back to the Dentist sometime in April to get a cavity filled. They discovered a new one on my last visit. Fantastic news! They used this machine that beeps when it comes near cavities. It makes me feel like they found gold in my teeth. I wish that was possible…
I suppose some people would argue that the brief torture during each visit is worth it. The ones who have near perfect and healthy teeth, their ridiculously white molars intimidating me with every smile. I mean, it is one of the many benefits of not living during the Middle Ages. I can’t even fathom having to deal with wooden teeth, molars turning black and yellow, crooked and gaped filled teeth, or how excruciating the pain must’ve been when cavities went undetected; don’t even get me started with root canals or teeth falling out with malnutrition. I’ll never be able to come to terms with the torture or why they can’t treat their patients with a little more care. But in the end, I am a little thankful for the problems that I’ve avoided my whole life by going to the dentist; a torturous thirty-minute appointment seems bearable compared to endless untreated teeth problems that worsen with age.