I had a two hour dentist appointment yesterday. I got there at 10 and told my supervisor I’d be in no later than 11. I couldn’t imagine it would take longer than that, I’ve never had a regular dental appointment take longer than thirty minutes. This was no ordinary dental appointment, though. This was the dental appointment from hell.

The first 45 minutes were spent trying to take my full mouth xrays. They take digital xrays and if you’ve never had these things then allow me to explain how it goes. There is a sensor that must go in your mouth. This is sensor is two inches tall and about and inch wide. Also about a centimeter thick. It has a cable coming from one end that transmits the information and also a rod attached perpendicularly to one end. On this rod there is attached, about six inches away from the sensor, a halo. This halo is about three inches in diameter.

The sensor is placed in your mouth and you are required to bite down on it.

Bite down on a two inch piece of unmoving plastic and cables in your mouth. Yea right. I did my best, though I did mention that I have a small mouth and it might behoov us to use a child sized apparatus. I just worried that my inability to actually complete the bite might cause the sensor to move and be blurry or something. What happened was we took three xrays in 45 minutes and then carried on. Full mouth xrays require about 19 xrays.

30 minutes for the cleaning. Down with that. The doctor then took his time getting over there and said “I don’t have good enough xrays to diagnose you. You can come back later or we can wait for the kid’s chair to open now.”

It took four months to get this appointment. I’m getting it done today, thank you.

30 more minutes for xrays using the child sized sensors – hm. Interesting, it’s like someone had already suggested that. This involved some gagging, though, since I have the magic gag reflex. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing to my mouth, I gag. I gagged when he did the cancer screening and also when they put the sucking spit tube thing in there. Nothing to be done, sorry.

We just aimed away from the people.

15 minutes for the exam and then the dentist said “You seem like a learner, let me show you your xrays.” He did, too. Showed me how to read a tooth; dentin, enamel, roots, nerves, shadows and lights.

“Do you have a sealant on 15?” he asked, when we got to that slide.
“You know…” I replied, staring at the screen, “I sort of feel that I’m not qualified to answer that question.”
“Fair enough,” he said, standing. “Well it was a pleasure to finally meet you. You’re just as charming as they all say!”

“Who is this ‘all’ person?” I asked, smiling.
“See? Just as charming!”

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