Thursday, May 07, 2009

Public Service Announcement: Don’t Be Like Me. Go to the Dentist

I went to the dentist this past Saturday – for my first checkup in nearly 2.5 years. It had been almost 4 years since the one before that.

I know, I know. There must have been more tartar than the Red Lobster, more plaque than Cooperstown, and more scraping and picking than an archaeological dig.

But whatever pathetic metaphors I use, the dentist is the dentist. And if you haven’t been in a while, it’s going to be a generally unpleasant experience. Whether they discover 5 new cavities that need to be drilled and filled, or torture your tender gums into a bloody, pulpy mass, it’s not going to be fun. Who knows? They might find several cavities AND scrape the holy hell out of your gums – so bad that you need a pint of blood afterwards.

You know what? It’s your own damn fault. You learned from a very young age that you need to see the dentist every 6 months, or risk a horrific case of periodontitis, gingivitis, and have to keep your teeth in a glass on the night table. They may have exaggerated a bit, but the truth is you really need to get a professional cleaning done every year at the very least.

Anyway, the results of my checkup were actually not bad at all. No new cavities. Gum hemorrhaging subsided after an hour or two. And they didn’t find any alien life forms living between my teeth.

But what they did find is a way to come up with a plan to perform $14,000 worth of dental work on me – replace a few cavities, re-do a crown, and move a few teeth around. That’s right. Not only did I suffer for an hour under the sharp implements of an aggressive, O.C.D. hygienist, but I got the hard sell from the dentist himself. Maybe I should ask for a recession-buster discount.

Don’t worry. There’s no way I can afford anything like that right now, even with a discount. And besides, I’d rather use that money to put a down payment on a condo, or buy a new car. Or help pay for my wedding.

I personally don’t think I need to spend $7k on adult braces.

I have to go back this weekend so that they can finish up the cleaning – let my mouth heal before they dive back in, I guess. And it will interesting to see what other expensive procedures they may suggest.

Install titanium teeth, like that James Bond bad guy? Install motors in my jaw so I don’t have to exert myself while eating beef jerky or clam strips? That would be cool.

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prodds said...

I have the tendency to postpone going to the dentist as well. Even though some checking is never bad, I tend to wait until it's really necessary, which makes my situation worse than it should of been.

sleepdentist said...

Being afraid of the dentist is not an excuse for not going. Especially now, when the so-called "sleep dentists" can help you have a pain-free experience, with medicine.

SleepDentist said...

Moreover, sleep dentists are the solution for people who have a very busy schedule, or suffer from sleep disorders. This is the revolutionary medicine-sleep dentistry!