Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cavities. I hate them. But there is one thing I hate more than them. Going to the dentist. In my experience I always seem to eat pork chops, or asparagus before venturing to the tooth fairy doctor, making his job more like a treasure hunt than dentistry. In this experience the other day I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had never in my right mind imagined I would be visiting a dentist in Germany but that is what makes it a bit more exciting.

Since my last checkup in march I was diagnosed with a pat on my back for brushing, a scolding for a lack of flossing(which I think is what 99.9% of people hear from their dentist), a compliment for my white teeth, and a "you better get that cavity fixed before too long).

Yes I had a bit fat cavity. I believe there are two things I have experience in life that bring me straight back to childhood. Those things are getting a speeding ticket, nothing like the feeling of getting a spanking in front of the whole town from the policeman. The other is getting told you have a cavity. They always seem to make you hold a up a little hand mirror so you can see just what the damage is. I think it's included in their training. To make you feel like a child. "You see that there, that is a cavity...(poke, poke poke, ouch)" Then they poke your gums around it to make it bleed. "You see that, that is because you aren't flossing."
Oh I'm sorry, I thought that was because you just stuck your pointy hand tool into my gums to make it bleed.
Not all dentists do this. I have had one dental hygienist who was a friend check my teeth, and all of this excludes her. She is a wonderful tooth fairy.

So here I was, on my way to the dentist in Germany trying to figure out in my head what this was going to be like. My mother-in-law was taking me and she agreed with me on the horror of a dentist visit. That didn't make me feel better. I thought maybe the German dentists had some new technology that enabled them to look into your mouth without even having to open it.

We entered the very impressively designed lobby, exclusively created by my beloveds interior architecture company "Gruener."
The dentist seemed nice enough. They all seemed to know that the American was coming, and maybe brushed up on there English the night before just so they could practice it on me. It was delightful. It would seem that I knew more about dentist talk that I thought. She wanted to know the different words for the different parts of the teeth. Little did I know upon going to the dentist I would also be giving an English lesson, but I was happy to oblige. I wonder how many Germans feel that way with me.

After a poke here, an x-ray there, I was informed that not only did I have a beautiful set of VERY white teeth (must be an American thing), I had no cavity! What! But I did of coarse need to floss....everyday or else my teeth will "eventually fall out."
She then asked me if I have ever gotten my teeth sanded down. This was a new one. She held up a very thin silver file looking device telling me it would shave down the corners of your teeth keeping food from getting stuck. The results sounded great, but I think I would rather die than getting my teeth filed. I can barely stand filing my own toe nails.

With a good report and some new dentist friends I was ready to go now. But there was just one problem. American dentist, "You have a cavity that really needs looking after."
German dentist, "You are cavity free!"
Did it possibly disappear? Does that happen?
Well, until my mouth is screaming to me in pain that I have a cavity I think I would like to believe the Germans. They are very smart people. Not saying that Americans are not. I think I really just want to believe I am cavity free and I have the dentists order that I can believe that. SO I will.

I feel accomplished in the health department here. After all I have now been to the dentist and the emergency room in Germany.
Speaking of emergency room, that was not a pleasant experience. I was scolded there for even coming to the emergency room for such a thing as a "wax clogged ear canal." He told me next time I shouldn't keep the whole emergency room waiting just because of ear wax and should have just make a doctors appointment. He then made the extraction process extremely uncomfortable for me on purpose. In my defense I couldn't even hear out of it. It seemed as though I had a water bubble around my head at all times. So, I think it was worth Tiny Tim waiting in the lobby a bit longer.

My next visit. The psychologist.




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