27 March 2013

Spring Break 2013!

I'm on Spring Break this week, Holla Atchya! style. If there's one word that's synonymous with spring break in my life, it would have to be... dentist. Give me two words and I'll give you 'The dentist.'
One tradition I have each year during my week off is to attend the dentist. It's a wonderful tradition. One year I cancelled a nonrefundable trip to Turks and Caicos the day before because in my hectic life I had forgotten that I had previously scheduled a teeth cleaning and there was no way in heck I was going to let my dentist down. Sure I may have been out $3,500 that year due to the cancellation, but you just can't put a price tag on a good smile and clean teeth.
This year I had my appointment on Monday so I would have plenty of time the rest of the week to do what I do best- practice the Electric Slide. I have now been to this dentist three times (roughly) and the only thing that's been consistent are the receptionistas. Receptionista. I like that word. Pretty sure I made it up, but also pretty sure you know exactly the type of person it describes. Between the first and second time I went to Mira Dental they switched locations. Between the second and third visits they switched dentists. I have yet to recognize a hygienist from my three visits there. I'm really not even sure if I'm still going to the same dentist that I started with two years ago, but I keep getting reminder postcards every six months and since it's the only mail I get I feel a real obligation to respond.
This time my visit was peculiar. My new hygienist-who thought she spoke English but was actually speaking Arabic I'm pretty sure- told me I was due for some x-rays. She then asked me to undress and put on the hospital gown she left behind. I wasn't quite sure why this was necessary, but given my affinity for robes I decided to just follow along. When she returned she apologized to me and and in broken English told me she forgot which job she was at, and mistook her hygienist job for her nursing job. It wasn't required for me to put on the hospital gown after all, but given it's comfort she obliged when I requested I just stay in it.
After five attempts (honestly) she still couldn't get a 'good' x-ray, and scapegoated my pointy nose as the problem. She seriously told me I had a pointy nose that was getting in the way of the equipment. She offered to give me a nose job (her third job, she claimed) but I declined. I'm just glad she scapegoated instead of scalped it. Eventually we had to move to another room and another machine to get the x-rays past my witch nose. My hygienist then said something to me in Arabic and left. I think she got fired. She never came back. I waited there in my gown and chair, and waited some more. Keep in mind there had been zero cleaning done up to this point. Just a lot of biting metal objects and nose discussions. After fifteen minutes I took my slobber gobbler off (Slobber Gobbler: That bib they put around you neck. Another phrase I made up in this post) and went to the rest room. X-rays just make me have to use the rest room, and I didn't know how long it was going to be before the dentist came to see me. I felt like I was in one of those movies where the criminal is on the surgery table, and the doctor turns her back and BAM- the patient is gone. When I returned everything was just as it was before. After roughly 25 minutes the dentist came in. At least she said she was the dentist and she had a white coat on. She was definitely not there on my previous visits to Mira Dental because I would have remembered. Anyway, after the usual pleasantries about my Spring Break, why I was wearing a hospital gown, and the firing of my hygienist 25 minutes previous, she went to work... on my neck. I had never received a neck massage from a dentist, until now. She had me stretch out my neck and felt along the tendons. I guess they connect to my jaw or something; it seemed like a very holistic approach to dental care. She then looked at my teeth and told me they looked wonderful. She informed me there were no problems, but then left with an eerie warning: 'Your fillings are all great. But don't be surprised if one day soon they fall out.' It was reminiscent of a previous appointment I had at the same office where the dentist told me 'You're in great shape. Nothing wrong. But don't be surprised if you get a cavity soon.' I felt like saying to her 'Thanks for the great cleaning. I have zero complaints. But don't be surprised if I come back and burn your practice to the ground with a single match.'
When the dentist left a different hygienist came in, one I had also never seen before, and of an ethnicity I had never encountered before. I swear it's like the UN over there at Mira. She gave me a very quick cleaning, like under ten minutes. I've never had a cleaning that fast (I think she skipped half of the cleaning procedure- whatever that entails).
When I finally left I was very confused. Why did I put the gown on? Why did I have to be in two different rooms? Why did I have two different hygienist? Why couldn't I get the same dentist I had the last time? How did I get there? Where do seeds come from? How long does it take to digest a piece of gun? Luckily I have all Spring Break to ponder these important issues.

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