A Watery and Extremely Digressive Peice On My Trip to the Dentist.

I went to the dentist today. Definitely not one of my favorite places to be.
It’s like time stands still in that office. It’s been a little over a year and a half since my last check-up but it feels a little like I just stepped out for a bit. Nothing’s changed over that course of time, not the paint color, the small talk, or the papers taped up all around the examination room informing patients of the dangers of gum disease and the superiority of Oral B. They’ve even still got those translucent pictures of blue skies over the fluorescents, the one’s they’ve had since I was seven.
Lisa the dental assistant sets me down in one of those adjustable dentist chairs. The kind with the uncomfortable, curved headrests that are supposed to eliminate excess neck strain or something. She’s trying to carry on some semblance of a pleasant conversation as she readies the equipment for the exam, poking around on her computer as I stare at the rather dismal view of law offices out the window.
Maybe I hate going to the dentist because I find the process wholly undignified. There’s really no way to keep hold of your decorum as someone probes your mouth with pointy objects and has you suck out the spit and fluoride with a spit sucker.
She gives me a pair of matrix sunglasses so my delicate eyes can stand to look up at the overhead light. It’s always looked a little human to me, that light. It’s always peering over the dental assistant’s shoulder, intently watching you, silently enforcing the ‘mouth wide, tongue down’ rule.
A rule I’ve never been able to keep well. I feel a little like the tongue is an extremity that has a mind of its own. On many occasions in that hour in the dentist’s chair did I find my tongue wandering mindlessly to awkward locations, following the dental tools in their routine track, floating upward in a slow, senseless fashion. It must have been hilarious to watch.
Through the continuous scraping and power-buffing of my molars, I found myself wondering about dentists. Why do people choose careers in this field? Is it mainly for the money, or is it possible that people can honestly have a passion for teeth? And then I thought, perhaps it’s for the feeling of control. There are very few times in life when I feel so vulnerable as when I’m in that dentists chair. These people see their patients at their most unattractive and susceptible, they have the upper hand, the higher ground, the power.

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~ by Jade Elizabeth on May 3, 2011.

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