If somebody asked you, “Can I look inside your mouth, maybe have a feel around?” you’d yell and tell them to go back to CRAZYTOWN, population them. But that’s exactly what dentists do. And they get paid for it! It’s absurd. Whenever I think of dentists, that song from Little Shop of Horrors comes to mind.
“You’ll be a dentist. You have a talent for causing things pain. Son be a dentist. People will pay you to be inhumane,” the dentist sings. That’s right. Dentistry is for psychopaths, according to his mother.
My dentist doesn’t actually like to cause me pain. Case in point, when I told her my tongue and lips hadn’t numbed, she gave me another dose of anaesthesia. I was too afraid to tell her they still hadn’t numbed, lest my cheek get number and I never recover.
(Side note: why didn’t my tongue and lip become numb? Are they immune to numbing? Is this some sort of superpower? And, more importantly, how can I exploit it? Hmmm).
I’ve had a long and harried history with dentists. That’s actually not true. I just wanted to sound dramatic. In all honesty, since before just a few weeks ago, I hadn’t actually been back to the dentist for about nine years.
*shock horror gasp* I know right? Don’t worry, I still have all my teeth. When I was a kid, I went to a dental hospital, which is a place where you don’t have to sell all your belongings to be able to afford it. And the last time I went there was when I was 17, the age where childhood ends. And it was not a fun time.
Here’s what happened.
I just went in for a routine check-up. Nothing was in pain. I didn’t have teeth falling out. Just a check-up. I checked in, and took my seat in the waiting room. This was nine years ago, before the age of smartphones, when I was in my first year of uni, and just too busy to read. So, I had no book to fall into, and nothing to do on my Nokia E3 phone – not even Snake! There was a TV up in the corner, but I could barely hear it. But it was all good. I’d be leaving soon, right? Right?
I waited. And I waited. And I waited.
An hour went by. There was nobody else in the waiting room, or maybe there were but my memory forgot them to make it all more dramatic. In any case, it wasn’t full. A nurse came out, called a name that was decidedly NOT my name. Let’s say my name is Slim Shady, and she called out ‘Tim Brandy.’ Nobody answered her call. I slumped in my chair. Another hour went by.
You’re probably thinking, “Why didn’t you just go up and ask at reception what was taking so long?” Well, I was only 17, and I didn’t like to ruffle feathers, or cause disturbances. How was I to know if there was somebody getting emergency tooth surgery in there? I didn’t want to cause a scene, and be told to just be patient. That would be more annoying than the wait. So, I waited. And again, that lady came out, calling Tim Brandy, who apparently wasn’t there. For a moment, I thought about just going up and saying that I was that person. But that would be stupid. Because it was not my name. Ok, it kind of sounded like my name. The first name was almost exactly the same, except for a few letters. But the second name was completely different, right? Right. So, I didn’t do it. I just waited.
But after another hour, I got up. Not-wanting-to-ruffle-feathers be damned! The sun was about to set, I bet – I couldn’t actually see outside. There were no windows. (What kind of hospital doesn’t have windows?!) I went over to reception, said I’d been waiting near on three hours and could she tell me if the wait would be much longer. I’m so very polite. She said to give her a second. Well, I’d already almost given three hours, what’s one more second? I sat down, closer to reception so she wouldn’t forget I was there.
After a few minutes longer than the one second she asked for, the lady called me up again. And it turns out… that I was Trim Brandy! That name that was being called that nobody was claiming was theirs – that was my name! I could’ve been seen two hours earlier, if only they’d known what my name was. They’d literally changed my name, given me a new identity. Which was really annoying, because it wasn’t like I’d been going there for my whole life. Jeez.
Well, I went in, after they apologised – not profusely, which I think was warranted – and I sat in the chair, and three minutes later… they were done.
Yep. That’s right. I waited three hours, for a three-minute check-up. Could my life get any worse?
Thankfully nothing was wrong with my teeth, and I left not feeling numb or in pain. The only thing that was really hurt was my backside because of all the sitting. Never have I sat down for so long.
And so, after that, since I couldn’t go back to the dental hospital, now that I was an adult, and I had to find my own dentist, I just decided to never go back instead. My teeth were fine. Felt ok. My crossbite wasn’t detrimental, and I could still eat food. Also, I think I got a bit traumatised because of all the waiting. Luckily, these days, waiting rooms are places where you can get so much done – read, answer emails, call people, play games. All in the palm of your hand.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had to wait longer than a few minutes at my new dentist’s waiting room, so all my work goes undone. But at least this dentist knows my name. Can’t have everything, amirite?
Anyway, the anaesthetic from today’s appointment is starting to go away, which is wonderful. I have another appointment next week. At my first appointment, my dentist said, “Wow, your teeth are so clean, they’re so strong, you floss and brush so well, great job!” and at the end of the appointment, she said, “You need six fillings. That’ll be everything you own, plus interest. See you next week!” Damn dentists. Getting your hopes up, then pulling the rug right out from under you.
Maybe they are psychopaths.
Tell me about your dentist experiences, and we can decide if they’re psychopaths together.
Anyway, I guess the moral of the story is: if a dentist makes you wait more than an hour, you are Tim Brandy.
Ciao for now!