Dentist Notes

I had a basic cleaning at my dentist yesterday.  That is a common thing for many people, myself included.  Yesterday’s visit had several things of note, however.  I had to reschedule my original appointment from early May to a different day so I wasn’t even in the same room.  The usual pattern wasn’t happening.

I planned ahead this time.  I don’t usually have to wait all that long at my dentist’s office but occasionally it happens.  To keep myself free of things I might forget I usually plan to read whatever magazines happen to be there.  I can typically find your standard news magazines–Newsweek, Time and the like–and there is always something different to check out, but this time I brought some to share.  I am an Orion reader and it is simply one of the best magazines I have ever read.  It is interesting and engaging and just plain interesting.  I remembered to bring the last couple of issues to leave behind for others to read.  I also brought the latest issue of Mother Jones.

So I was ahead before I headed to the chair with the headrest.  I was ushered to a room that is not my usual room, the room where they usually perform the big jobs–fillings and drilling and shots to numb things up.  I was afraid they had made some kind of mistake.  But phew, it was just because of the appointment rescheduling and associated space issues.  Then the hygienist who usually gets things started was not there.  I’ll have to wait a while six months to find out how her children finished up the school year.  Too long, I tell you, too long.

My dentist did the whole dang thing for me.  He checked and cleaned and wrapped things up and off I went.  He didn’t offer a rinse and spit, although it wasn’t necessary, and he didn’t floss my teeth.  I kind of look forward to the flossing.  It is a unique experience, having someone else floss one’s teeth.  He did, at least, remember to give me a toothbrush.

It isn’t always easy, but my dentist and I usually have some curious conversations.  Here is a partial list of what we discussed:

  • The costs and benefits of solar panels
  • The depth of our home wells
  • When to get seeds started outside in the garden
  • How often people really do floss versus how often they say they floss
  • Taking evening classes at the local high school to learn something new and interesting, such as cooking
  • How much electricity we use at home, in kilowatt hours
  • How to build a rain barrel
  • Varieties of cherry tomatoes
  • The gender ratio of the members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Voting rights
  • Our shared love of blueberries

I had to confess to my dentist that I had come there directly from my son’s end of year school celebration.  They served cupcakes.  It seemed incongruous to be getting my teeth cleaned right after eating cupcakes.  He was concerned less with my eating sugary snacks before an appointment than with my neglect to bring any of those treats to his office to share.  Lesson learned:  Next time, bring cupcakes to the dentist.

I made another appointment before I left.  I recently gave my dentist a D on Angie’s List for availability.  Unless you have an appointment set up well in advance, forget it.  I can’t even set up an appointment for six months out.  I have to schedule it eight months out.  I had done that last time, so I’ll be back in November (six months from my original appointment).  I scheduled another one for May.   What day works best for you?  That was hard to answer.  I’m not sure what day will work best for me a year from now.  So I picked a week day for mid-morning.  Hopefully I can schedule around that.

I have extra clean teeth today.  As long as I stay on top of it I should make it to November.  Then I will get to find out how the new blueberry bushes fared, and if my dentist ended up taking that cooking class.  Plus, I will finally get to find out how the hygienist’s kids are doing, one grade later.  In the meantime I need to get through summer.  I’ll have to make sure I watch it with the creemees.