Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Dentist

I recently got a cute little postcard from my dentist’s office stating that it is time to go back for my cleaning. Dun dun dunnnnnnn.

I see it and immediately my heart sinks, noooooooo it can’t be time already. I am already stressed and it isn’t even here yet. Nor have I even scheduled it but the postcard that is under that magnet on my fridge just means impending doom is near.

When I was little, I had a beast dentist. His name was Dr. Becker and he was in some office building far away from here that had a huge glass cage as big as the wall with birds in it and a Pac Man machine which made him instantly awesome. He was so cool, he could even understand me when I talked with his cold, metallic tasting tools in my mouth. I let him pull so many teeth because my mouth was so crowded with no complaints. But ya know what happened to my favorite dentist? He got flippin’ carpal tunnel and was forced to retire. And you know who I got instead? Some very angry, stern, old, white chick that had bad breath and was always getting on me for not flossing or wearing my retainer 24/7. She would also always make my gums bleed and didn’t always let me get a sticker, which made me think I was not worthy of a sticker, and to me getting a sticker was a big deal. Dr. Becker wouldn’t have done that.

This is when the Klonopin usage started specifically for the dentist.

We then moved to Columbia and I went to Eugene Sambataro. He looked like a robot, yes a robot, with the most perfect white robot teeth. They didn’t even look real. I hate dentists with perfect teeth. It just angers me. But if they didn’t at least somewhat perfect teeth then I probably would think twice about going to them. Dr. Sam, as I referred to him, was okay. But I never left his office without crying. I was one of those miserable middle/high school students who were constantly getting picked on for having braces and acne and just being pretty unattractive (one day, one of the stupid cool kids Mike Delarusso, he plays MLA soccer now, boo him if you ever see him, tried to run me over with his car! My mom called his dad though and he never made fun of my again or try to kill me, I like to think he got beat badly…haha just kidding……kinda, he did try to kill me). I was so glad I didn’t wear glasses then or I would have had the tri-fecta and probably would have committed suicide.

Dr. Sam tried to make me feel better though. He would send me cards in the mail after my appointments telling me how beautiful my smile is going to be when this is all over and blah blah blah. That was so not encouraging to a 15 year old girl who is getting passed notes at lunch on napkins saying You’re Ugly. (And seriously: thanks seniors that year who made it miserable for me. I love that I believe in Karma.)

The worst was after I got my braces off. Now, I am fine with retainers, give me a retainer, top and bottom and night gear, I’m totally down and will wear it too, I have only had to wear one just about my whole life. But nooooooo, you know what this bastardo did? He gave me a mouth guard to wear. Not just a mouth guard, this thing stuck out, I couldn’t even get my gums around it. It was miserable. Yes, Dr. Sam, please make my life even more of a living hell. I would have to wear this thing 24 hours a day but remove it when I needed to speak in class or sing in choir. Great. Seriously, no, that is just wonderful. I’m so excited about looking like even more of a loser. I went back to him a month later and told him how impossible this stupid thing is, how I am tired of slurping my spit out of it before I remove it from my mouth to speak in class and how he should try wearing a mouth guard to school every single day. Especially a high school in Howard County. He admitted he never had to wear one so he does not know what I am going through. Good. At least you can admit it.

Dr. Sam was nice enough to make me a retainer instead. I loved that retainer and I wore it until I accidently threw it away one day at lunch my freshman year of college, my second semester. It was the first time I was ever homesick in college. I bawled my eyes out and begged him to make me another one and he did but it wasn’t the same, it was thicker because I had been grinding my teeth and he wanted to stop that behavior before I had no teeth left so I wasn’t able to close my mouth all the way with this new one. Ugh.

I stopped wearing it and yes, my bottom teeth are crooked but my top teeth are fine. I didn’t go to a dentist for 4 years after that. Amazingly enough, still no cavities. About 2 years ago I found a great dentist named Barry Dahls in Columbia, MD who I love. He doesn’t use any computers and everything he sends you is either handwritten or done on a typewriter. He talks the whole time you are in his big orange chair and he never says anything about how badly crooked your teeth are, and he never makes your gums bleed, doesn’t make you feel bad about anything and he doesn’t even bill you until more than a month later. Frank even started going to him, and my brother supposedly too.

Anyways, even though my current dentist is awesome seeing that postcard on my fridge brings back some terrifying memories. And reminds me how much I miss that Klonopin.

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