Wednesday, May 31, 2006

If it ain't broke ...

Today was my last dentist visit for this season. I had never visited a dentist in my whole life, until a friend conned me six months ago. He had just returned from a dentist, sore, numb, and unable to speak. Paralyzed head to toe, he smiled feebly like a sorry little pimp and pimped his way into my brain. He lectured me about dental hygiene and orthodontics and reminded me how lousy my teeth were. Most importantly, he made me feel stupid about wasting hundreds of insurance dollars every year. He said “Arey yaar, you are paying for dental insurance any way, so why waste it? At least have your teeth cleaned. You are entitled to it.”

I bit his bait and made an appointment with a dentist, a buxom delightful flirtatious Indian woman who appeared to be permanently stuck at the tempting age of 40. After verifying my insurance records, she gleamed delightfully and invited me into her inner sanctum. There she introduced me to her slim and petite assistant who looked more like a Chinese masseuse than a dental intern. Oblivious of what was going to come, I took position at the reclining chair and followed their every order like a cobra captured by the swaying flute of a snake charmer. They beamed lights into my mouth, rammed needles into my gums, stuffed cotton into my throat, and took X-rays of my molars with the dexterity of fine professional photographers. She put scrap wood on my left cheek and vulcanized rubber on the other. I was twisted, tossed, rolled, sautéed, pan fried, bend over and more X rays were taken. Armed with enough X rays they huddled together and whispered. Little did they know that I was burning with unbearable anxiety. Do I have decaying teeth? Do I have gingivitis? Plaque, tartar, Oral cancer? Periodontal disease? Am I pregnant again?

After a long and agonizing wait they declared:
“You need deep cleaning, you have 3 cavities, you have impacted wisdom teeth, and after we finish cleaning, I will be able to look under the dirt and rubble and tell you if you need any extraction. Shall we start?”
Inexperienced, numb and semi unconscious from the anesthetic I nodded involuntarily. She sat next to me, spread her tool box across my body, turned on her machines and began the rituals. It was a long, arduous and painful process. At the draw of stumps, three cavities were found and filled, gum was cut for the impacted teeth to sprout, a mountain of plaque was dislodged, incisors on both sides were sharpened, and a suspected canine tooth was drilled and excavated. Under the dirt they found the remains of an ancient Egyptian city. I was told that my insurance did not cover geological surveys, so I had to pay $400. To cut the long story short, I was in pretty bad shape at the end – emotionally, dentally, and economically. The match continued the next day and the day following that. Final score: $900, one down teeth, and 4 stitches.

That was six months ago. This season was no different. To save dragging you through the gory details, here is the final score card: two agonizing appointments, one gum procedure, two stitches and $600 in bill.

Dentists are con artists. They know how to lay traps and set you up. It took thirty years for me to build all those plaque, and dirt and connective tissue that held all my dentures together. Happy little bacteria lived there that protected me. That depraved dentist woman spoiled all that in one day, just like that. So before you accept a dentist’s invitation for a filling, remember the golden rule – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Blogger Injikadan Mathai said...

dude...tell me abt it...cheez man the very thought of being examined is scary...i have been asked to get my wisdown's removed...have been procrastinating...dunno how long though...hmm well get well soon

10:32 PM  
Blogger Thanu said...

I hate dentists too.. tru to avoid them as much as i can...

8:31 PM  
Blogger FlipFlop said...


9:15 PM  
Anonymous Nishant Ramachandran said...

Man you are scary....you just instilled a healthy dose of dentistophobia in me....thanks a lot.


2:14 PM  
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Blogger Chaos And Order - "Satheesh" said...

Aiyo monyae..!!

Njaan ini Dentistinae kaanaan pohaelaa...!! :-(

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