Thursday, April 29, 2010

in reference to the mouth

i wouldn't say i am scared of the dentist but i certainly am not excited and don't lose sleep like i would if it were, say christmas eve. i really don't have any horror stories about the dentist. i remember having to have 7 teeth pulled one time when i was in jr. high. this was to prepare for braces. i remember friends who would always talk about how the dentist/orthodontist screwed them up and how their teeth are messed up forever now. i hear the stories of the dentist like a car mechanic who seems to make things up in order for you to buy something that seems reasonable for you mouth. i have never had those problems. i go to a place in las colinas, his name is dr. henegar. i rarely see him personally, actually. i think there are some small things that might change the feel of going to the dentist, as i am sure many fear the dentist, if there were ethics that could be broached.

1. the breath situation
i am always self-conscious about the odor projecting from the orifice that is being examined (in reference to the mouth). i can't help but feel that the protective mask so many hygienists use is not for any other reason but to protect their noses upon the first whiff. this is because i see some hygienists wear one and some don't. i too feel some what protected from them in the event of their morning latte and bagel desiring to make another appearance. i don't know if anyone worries as much as i do about this. are there any solutions to comfort the fear? i think one great solution is to have a good laugh about it. maybe talk about what the other person might be smelling if in fact odor seems to make the eye twitch a little, which is all to noticeable. i tend to reassure my hygienists that i did in fact brush profusely in order to eradicate any odor. this makes me feel better. it helps that my hygienist seems to have been doing this line of work for years so i am sure out of all those people she has seen in her history my breath is most likely not in the top 10 of the smelliest.

2. the waiting situation
seriously, magazines and t.v.'s are ok but lets make sure that just because the office is full of women that an option might be given to a man to not have to sit thru 1 hour of regis and kelly. i don't really care about your cd with your wife, nor do i imagine that it is good anyway. i don't care about which celebrity that has recently been voted off dancing with the stars can be on your show and dance with hot guys or girls, so please, please can we change the channel.

3. the chairs
i haven't done a whole lot of research but i would think that with all this advancement in technology there would be in some catalogue somewhere an enhanced chair for the comfort of the patient. i am not very comfortable in the chair which combined with the overhead light makes me feel like i am in some alien ship on a table being probed for understanding of my body. i could not be anymore uncomfortable even if i was completely naked. the arm rests are a step in the right direction but still yet the support for the back and arse is lacking.

4. mirrors
maybe the majority of individuals would rather not see the monstrosity that is happening within the framework of their mouth but i for one want to know what is going on. i think of the dentist as a cop. the cop as we all know is the instrument of the law that is actively showing people what they are doing wrong. the dentist is in my mouth scraping, drilling, flossing, cleaning, washing, poking, and i have no clue as to what is taking place. so if he is consistent with my perception, and policing my mouth, i think i have somewhat of a need to know what i am doing wrong. notice i said "need" and not "right." we won't get into why if feel right should not take precedent over need. bottom line...i wanna know whats goin on buddy!

5. informed consent
i think it should be part of the duty of any hygienist to inform said patient of particles that might be societal disgusts. in other words, if i got a booger hanging from my left nostril swinging from hair to hair like tarzan on his way to rescue jane, i want to know so i don't go further humiliating myself in society. at the moment the chair begins to fall back, so that ALL is in view, the hygienist should thereby be deputized as a "good friend," who looks with compassion upon her/his patients flaws that are very capable of being remedied. so just break the ice and let them know, as in observation 1 with the breath, that they are actually encouraged to not just pull out unwanted particles on the teeth but anything else that might be within the reach of that little poker thinga-ma-jig.

i have made my dentist aware of all these, or at least the hygienist. things are a lot smoother upon each visit. and i know she is not freaked out because i see the same one over and over and have never been suspicious of her trying to dump me onto the recently graduated intern who is looking for anyone to prove she has what it takes to last years in this business.

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