Well, yesterday was my tri-annual trip to the dentist. I go three times a year because I tend to be more susceptible to plaque than most people.

Too much info, I know.

Anyway, yesterday’s visit was with a new dental hygienist. I will call her Olga. No, I’ll call her Brunhilde. Anyway, I was to be tended to by Brunhilde, who was fresh from dental school. Now, I don’t mind being anyone’s “first” guinea pig. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? Brunhilde was a nice gal. She was very talkative, and by “very” I mean she asked a lot of questions. That’s not very conducive to a successful dental cleaning. But she took everything in stride, and was very funny.

I needed the sense of humor, trust me.

She began by asking me if I would like a deadening gel. I have never needed one before, and told her so. She shrugged and said ok, and began what I like to refer to as “The Reckoning”. I call it that because I reckon she got to scrape under my guns at least 75% of the time. By mistake, not design. By about the tenth time of that, I put up my hand, and when she sat back, I asked her for the deadening gel. And by “asked” I mean begged. I was trying very hard not to cry, but she had a gift for unerringly finding my nerves. She got a swab, and proceeded to spread the gel all along the gumlines. Unfortunately, my tongue was also along the gumlines. I began to feel the familiar swelling that come with Novocaine™. Pretty soon this should no longer bother me, right? WRONG!! My tongue was numb, but the inside of the gums was still having a party. And the worst part? I couldn’t talk well enough to let her know. I laid there, praying she would ask me if I was feeling ok so I could shake my head “no”. Finally she stops and says, “Ok, time to floss and then polish!” I smiled weakly and mumbled that I was sore.

She asks, “Did you just call me a wh*r*??”

I shook my head frantically, trying once again to be understood. Thankfully, she got it, and laughed at what happened. I was still mortified when the dentist came in to do his check-up. When I left, she thanked me for letting her do the cleaning, and asked what she could do differently to make it more comfortable. Of course, I had to tell her!

  1. Don’t ask the patient questions during the cleaning. Just keep the conversation as general and monosyllabic as possible, and not too many funny jokes, or the patient will choke!
  2. When using the gel, make sure to swab each gumline thoroughly, and reapply gel to swab before continuing. Also, move the tongue out of the way first!
  3. Watch for body language. Gripping the chair with white knuckles is a clue.

She was very glad to get my input, and I already made my next appointment with her for next time. After all, I did break her in 🙂

About LC Aggie Sith

Machete-wielding zombie killer when not shopping for shoes. View all posts by LC Aggie Sith

11 responses to “Nitpicking

  • John D

    I’m having flashbacks to that movie MARATHON MAN, with Dustin Hoffman. “Is it safe?”

  • The Curtal Friar

    Damn, but I hate going to the dentist. I’d bet money every one of those bastiches graduated from the De Sade School Of Dental Medicine.

  • LC LtC

    I go quarterly, too. Wheee! There is hardly a soul in that office I don’t think a lot of and a few I wish I could hit on. But, I have to go to The Pit so see ’em. Sweet as they are, I’d ditch all of ’em in a heartbeat.

    I used to try to endure as I imagined I’d have to if being ‘interrogated.’ Sorta like Wesley in the dungeon (Princess Bride again – the book, not the movie). Practice bleeding, it is.

  • Azygos

    I’m very sensitive to lidocaine. Everytime I go I tell the dentist use about half a normal dose and everytime they overdose me. Last time he hit the facial nerve and half my face and scalp were numb for over 12 hours. I have not been back since..

  • xbradtc

    I had all my teeth pulled out just so I wouldn’t have to endure the cleanings anymore.


  • Mrs. Who

    You are braver than I…I’m not going. The last time I had dental work done the damn dentist (who claims to be ‘excellent!’) gave me a shot that went into a nerve right below my eye. I actually did come off the chair. And then I had the joy for the next few days of having a wavy line (floater like) slowly move up across my vision.

  • BrandyG

    It seems to me, the more kind and gentle they look, the more pain they cause… Look for the old haggard looking ones, the ones that learned to clean back when there were only spit bowls and flouride trays…

  • Jay in Ames

    Anyone who wears that mask is not working on me. I’d be laughing the entire time.

  • singlewhitealcoholicseekssame

    When I had my wisdom teeth pulled in high school they didn’t put me under, just gave me a local. Now, I thought I was a bad ass, high school middle linebacker and all, so when they got to the fourth and final tooth and asked me if I wanted more painkillers I shrugged them off. Two minutes later I was in tears as it felt like a crowbar in my mouth prying out that last tooth.

    The moral of the story is: If they ever ask you if you want painkillers the answer is always YES!!!

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