Stop Poking My Gums, Lady

Going to the dentist sucks. There are few experiences that rank beside it as far as a lack of pleasure is concerned. Sure, it’s important but so is eating your vegetables. Putting your seatbelt on is important but it doesn’t involve your gums getting thoroughly abused.

I take care of my teeth and gums. I floss frequently and brush the teeth. So when the wife and I joined a lovely new dentist up the street from our house in November, things seems to be pointing towards the bright side. I walked in and warm smiles that didn’t show a hint of fakeness greeted me as well as a fine Keurig machine that had fresh coffee waiting at my command. I was nearly in love when I sat down to be examined by the sweet dental hygienist. She asked me questions about my life and actually seemed to be downloading my answers.  She readied her weapons. Imagine if Dexter were a dentist and you have a clear picture. She told me open wide and I obliged. She poked around a tad and looked up a lot. You can never read these people. They could be expert poker players. They could be serious looking because they don’t want to jab a hole in your mouth or screw up your teeth. If they are too smiley, that could be due to a lack of conviction or they may be hiding something. I was patient. She called in the head dentist and he did nothing but smile. What the fuck? Stop this. Someone shoot me straight and turn off the laughing gas.

After they stepped away and did a quick chat, I got fantastic news. I had plague built up on my gums. Down between the teeth. They used a few words I couldn’t understand and I sort of zoned out for a minute. I came back and they weren’t smiling. They looked like concerned parents. WHAT? It turns out I needed deep gum cleaning. Four quadrants. Upper right and left followed by the lower right and left. Afterwards, if I survived and I had any wit about my soul, they would polish the teeth. The horror film had started production and I only got a teaser.

In my eyes, all the dentists before had disregarded this condition. That shithole out in Florissant. The place a few blocks away. They had screwed me over and told me I was good to go for a long time. Thanks a lot. They should be lucky I don’t know any arms dealers so I could buy a grenade launcher and send a fucking bomb through their window.

The fun would begin in February. Four sessions. An hour apiece. Every time a dentist or their assistants say it’s not that bad, that means its very bad. They are as trustworthy as lawyers in the ghetto. Believe the first word and the last. I prepared for an event that may as well been the end of my existence. I kissed my wife goodbye and gave my son a good hug. I got in my car and drove for approximately 3 minutes up the street. It was time.

I didn’t want their coffee. I wanted to get this finished. I almost wore Rambo style face paint. I sat down in their chair and got ready for D-Day.

 

Here is the thing about going to the dentist. They want to talk to you the entire fucking time even though you always have shit in your mouth. Why don’t you let me write you a transcript lady while you plunge deep sharp hooks into my gums. Yeah, the electric gum pokers is what I call them. They bust out four to five packages of these things, each with different colors and death grips. Then there are the regular hooks they close out the job with. They still want to talk even though blood is literally gathering around your teeth.

That taste. Crimson bitter liquid that only signifies one thing. I have been punched in the mouth by a drunk Irish boxer or I am getting my gums prodded. There is no remorse. No safe button. They numb your gums with a thick paste and long ass needle shot, but YOU STILL FEEL IT no matter what. The sanding of the lower teeth. The deep penetration of your gums. Just in case you have lived under a rock with pirate teeth for decades, your gums don’t like getting poked and prodded. No way. Healthy or not, this operation sucks in every way.

They also want to ask you constantly if you are okay and this is always my proposed answer.

“Sure, now that you have sank a hook into my gums nearly 60 times in 85 different spots and my mouth is a river of flowing sticky crimson, yeah I’m great. Just fucking great. In fact, let’s do this all day. Give me a 15 minute break to wash out the blood that will become stained on my teeth and we can just keep this party rolling until I look forward to this shit like I do six hard shots to my liver.” I’d rather get shot in the chest with a bean bag fired out of a shotgun. Write that down.

Today, I finished my fourth session. I had a different lady than the first three times. The other lady was cool because she didn’t talk as much as they have in the past. It was nice. We’d make occasional eye contact and I’d weep for a few minutes as she held me with her sterilized gloves. This new girl talked A LOT. She definitely doesn’t get a chance to speak at home. I find out her situation, learn about her family and it becomes sad for the both of us. She needs a quart of ice cream and a marathon of The Sexy Carpenter Squad reality show and I need a gauze pad.

She may read this somehow and think I am being mean spirited. No, I just don’t care for anybody when I go to the dentist. It’s nothing personal.

She also didn’t rinse the blood from my mouth after we were through with the 1 hour and 10 minute plunging of the hooks. Usually, they grab a tiny spray gun and clean the gum off your lips so you don’t go home looking like a prize fighter who had been robbed. She did not. I rinsed three times and finally got the blood out. Man, what an experience after working overnight. I only wish I could fall asleep.

In a month, I go back and get the teeth polished. Hopefully there are no cavities. We will see. With my luck at this fine establishment, they will think my dental records match one of the Three Stooges.

Once again, going to to the dentist sucks. If you like it, you are seriously one fucked up human being.

For all the church going people and kind people of the midwest, I am sorry I said FUCK so much.

Goodnight,

DLB

 

 

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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