Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Writing at the Dentist

Saturday 2pm

I just got to the dentist office with 고. I’m going to stay in the waiting room and kind of just write about nothing. It’ll be a fun free flowing exercise.

There’s something very unnerving about sitting in a dentist’s office waiting room. Everything is designed to calm me down. The soothing music; mellow lighting and earth tone furniture all are supposed to make me feel relaxed, but it just doesn’t work. I feel so exposed and vulnerable and that at any moment, I could be forced to the back and strapped into a chair for hours of pain. I just don't trust them.

I’ve had a difficult relationship with dentists. Aside from my cavity-addled, baseball season penchant for suicides, Big League Chew and Airheads as a kid, I always seem to be in need of some sort of dental work. For starters, I was born with a small mouth. You can’t tell by looking at me, but I actually only have 24 teeth.

I have had eight permanent teeth removed since I was nine. I remember the cracking sound when they were pulling them out. I was young, but that sound is still with me. I had a root canal when I was 15 and another when I was 21. I am in need of caps and fillings I’m sure, but just being in the office was a big step for me. I will get my teeth taken care of before moving back to the US though.


I’ve been here for an hour now. I’m not sure how long it takes to get wisdom teeth removed, but I think it’s a fairly simple procedure. Maybe they threw in a root canal on top of it. In fact, the root canal I had when I was 21 was just that. I went in for a filling, but after a few minutes into the procedure, I realized that something was different. By the time I managed to inquire, the root canal was over. It didn’t hurt really, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was the $250 difference. I went in there the day before for a checkup and he told me I needed a filling, so I went back in for that and ended up with a root canal. When I finally did ask why he switched it, he replied, “When I saw the entire tooth, I realized it needed a root canal.”That, by the way, is totally illegal.

Which leaves three possibilities: 1) He’s an awful dentist who can’t properly diagnose his patients, 2) He was being honest and that can happen or 3) He’s incredibly crafty and deceptive. And if he is the latter, then what’s his M.O.? Does he intentionally misdiagnose in order to lure people back in for cheaper procedures or does he just add stuff on to inflate the bill? This, of course, makes dentists no different than mechanics, lawyers and everyone else that can screw you over because their trade is so “specialized”.


Alright, it’s been an hour and a half now. There seems to be a lot of action in and around 고운’s room. I’m getting really bored and a little hungry, but I’ve waited this long so I don’t want to leave. I get good husband points by waiting here this whole time. If I leave, then it’ll all be in vain. They do have a coffee maker. Maybe I’ll get some... I did and I made a huge mistake. I got an Expresso with crème. I didn’t even know that existed. There has been a constant cycle of Kim Yu-na featured commercials on the television which only contributes to my frustrations. (The Party Pooper did a nice little write up on that here.)

We went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button this morning. We usually go and see movies in the morning. It’s less crowded, quieter and, maybe the biggest reason, much cheaper. It’s like five bucks for two tickets. That’s a deal and since one of us always seems to finish work late, it’s the only time we can go.


She's done. She looks a little sore, but it was an easy procedure I think.


Kristin said...

Thanks for reminding me of your dental history- I had forgotten all the details. Bless your heart....2 root canals by age 21. You just have such little mouth....physically, at least. ;) I loved the reminder of all those baseball season goodies- airheads- I had forgotten ablout those. Speaking of treats we used to enjoy- Trey found Fruit Juicies for me at the store the other day. Remember those frozen Minute Maid push up things? Awesome. Doesn't get much better than that. Maybe Fun Fruit (chewy fruit snack....talking tree in the commercial...). Mmmm. That sounds good. I'm going to look those up on the internet and see if they even still exist. If so, Trey's out the door to the store to pick up some Fun Fruit. Pregnancy does such odd things to you!