With all the other appointments and stuff I’ve had to schedule since moving to Ottawa, I hadn’t gotten around to arranging for a visit to the dentist until today.
I don’t like dentists. Most people don’t. For some people it’s the pain that scares them, but for me it’s the fact that I don’t have a clue what they’re doing or what they’re talking about. And I always wonder what sort of person chooses to do something like this for a living.
If you have a medical problem you can do some research, find out all the implications of your problem, join an online forum, look at alterative options for treatment and so on and so forth. And most of the time your doctor only recommends invasive measures if there’s really something wrong with you. Dentists, not so much.
You go to a dentist and they tell you all the stuff is wrong and you have no way of knowing if they’re telling you the truth or if this is just an opinion or on what this opinion is based. Oh, they’ll “explain” things to you in their own special patronizing way, knowing full well that you’ll never understand them or be able to make an informed, intelligent decision based on anything they say anyway.
Today, I met my new “dental team”. The team consisted of a bevy of young ladies all named something that ended with an “i”, it seemed. First there were Kelli, the receptionist and Ami – the hostess who proudly introduced me to the rest of the staff and to the high-tech space capsule they call a dental complex/office.
Mandi was “my billing clerk”. She actually said, “Hi, my name is Mandi and I’ll be your billing clerk today.” She took me to a dark office with leather chairs and gave me an enormously long breakdown of all the costs I’d be incurring today, since this was my first visit to their office.
I almost left at this point, but Mandi had a little chit-chat with my insurance company and they both agreed that there would be no undue hardship for me. She was very soothing and her dulcet, hypnotic tones convinced me to agree to everything she suggested. So off we went.
Toni, the x-ray technician took me into the Panorama Room where she had this crazy new-fangled gadget that took panoramic x-rays of the whole bottom of my head. Then I had a few regular x-rays, in a regular x-ray room too, for good measure.
Then I went to another room with Kalli and someone who may or may not have been named Barbi. One of them spent the next 45 minutes probing, poking and prodding parts of my mouth whilst mumbling stuff about linguals and labials. This ordinarily might have turned me on a little, but she was very unloving about it and totally ignored all my frantic quips and questions. I’d say, “So, 1.5 labial…that’s pretty good, right?” and she’d just go have a little huddled conference with Barbi.
Eventually, someone came in to start cleaning my teeth – Cori, maybe…I don’t know. She’d barely started when the star of the whole show strolled in – the dentist. He seemed not to have a name because everyone just called him The Doctor and introduced him as The Doctor.
The Doctor was very jovial and casual and relaxed with smiles and kind words for everyone. All the young ladies burst into sunbeam smiles of their own for The Doctor and giggled girlishly when he spoke to them directly. He was tall and swarthy with dazzlingly white teeth and a full head of jet-black hair. He spent 38 seconds glancing at the lovely panoramic x-rays of my lower head, asked me if I had any problems. I said no and he left with a little wave for the assembled company.
Then – ooops, wouldn’t you know it, time was up and I was hustled off to meet Danni, the appointment girl who kindly scheduled a follow-up appointment with me so someone could actually clean my teeth. – which is what I went in there for in the first place.
By now the morning was shot and my VISA card had had quite a workout. One of Rockettes told me there would be further revelations during the next episode/visit, but that The Doctor was quite happy so there shouldn’t be any problems.
I left feeling totally perplexed, befuddled and confounded.