Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Trip to the Dentist

I was at the dentist today. I didn't really know why I was at the dentist until they shot me up with novacaine and pulled out the drill. I knew they had to do something besides a cleaning (I had that done the week before) I just wasn't sure what.

My dentist was very reassuring. "This is the easiest thing I do all day, " he said.
A little bit later, when my mouth was numb he said, "I just had to give a new patient bad news - he needs a root canal."

Lying there with two heads peering into my mouth, the dentist's and his assistant's, I felt a little odd. When he pulled out the drill, I wondered if my eyes looked a little panicked. I didn't feel panicky at all, but I wondered what I looked like to my dentist. "It shouldn't hurt at all," he said.

They say that dentist have the highest suicide rate of any occupation. I don't know if that is true. In some ways it makes sense to me. They spend all day in these one-sided conversations. Pulling their hands out of people's mouths only briefly to allow them to respond. No one really likes being there. Do they see a lot of panicky eyes? I doubt they get much positive feedback from their patients "Great job with that filling Dr. - that was your best one yet!" - most people are probably just glad to be leaving. I think it must take a special person to be a dentist.

All in all - it wasn't too bad of a trip. He did his work fast and before I knew it he was sending me out the door with a loopy, novacaine induced half-smile on my face. "Just don't chew any food on the left side of your mouth until at least 5:00, we wouldn't want you biting your lip on accident."


Rebekah said...

Megan, I loved your post! I had never thought of how depressing a dentist's life really could be!

Just hearing about the dentist's drill made my teeth tingle! I'm afraid that if I went to the doctor they would need to do major work!

Thanks for the good post! I had a good laugh!

Taylor said...

What an interesting perspective on a dentist - you are a great writer and should write a book! I don't know what about, but I would read it! I certainly wouldn't want to be a dentist, but I think working at a morg (don't know the spelling on that) would be even worse! I wonder what their suicide rate is???