April 29th, 2010

I spent…

…a few hours today in a dentist’s chair, not my favorite place to be. Bet it’s not yours, either.

25 Responses to “I spent…”

  1. F Says:

    I don’t think I know anyone who has spend “a few hours” in a dentist’s chair, “few” implying more than 2. That strikes me as a LONG time to have someone asking you questions about your holiday plans as they put both hands and half a dozen metal objects inside your mouth. Was it really “a few hours?” If so, you have all my sympathy. F

  2. Bob from Virginia Says:

    [ORIN]
    When I was younger, just a bad little kid,
    My mama noticed funny things I did,
    Like shootin’ puppies with a B B gun
    I’d poison guppies, and when I was done
    I’d find a pussycat and bash in its head
    That’s when my mama said

    [CRYSTAL, RONETTE, CHIFFON]
    What did she say?

    [ORIN]
    She said, “My boy, I think someday
    You’ll find a way
    To make your natural tendencies pay
    You’ll be a dentist
    You have a talent for causin’ things pain
    Son, be a dentist
    People will pay you to be inhumane
    Your temperament’s wrong for the priesthood
    And teaching would suit you still less
    Son, be a dentist
    You’ll be a success

    [CRYSTAL, RONETTE, CHIFFON]
    Here he is, folks the leader of the plaque!
    Watch him suck up that gas!
    Oh, my god!
    He’s a dentist and he’ll never ever be any good
    Who wants their teeth done by the Marquis de Sade?

    [PATIENT]
    Oh that hurts! I’m not numb!

    [ORIN]
    Oh, shut up. Open wide. here I come!
    I am your dentist

    [PATIENT]
    Goodness gracious!

    [ORIN]
    And I enjoy the career that I picked

    [CRYSTAL, RONETTE, CHIFFON]
    Really love it

    [ORIN]
    I am your dentist

    [PATIENT]
    Fitting braces

    [ORIN]
    And I get off on the pain I inflict

    [CRYSTAL, RONETTE, CHIFFON]
    Really love it

    [ORIN]
    I thrill when I drill a bicuspid

    [CRYSTAL, RONETTE, CHIFFON]
    Bicuspid

    [ORIN]
    It’s swell though they tell me I’m maladjusted
    And though it may cause my patients distress,
    Somewhere, somewhere in heaven above me
    I know, I know, that my mama’s proud of me
    Oh, mama
    ‘Cause I’m a dentist and a success
    Say ah!

    [PATIENT]
    Ah!

    [ORIN]
    Say ah!

    [PATIENT]
    Ah!

    [ORIN]
    Say ah!

    [PATIENT]
    Ah!

    [ORIN]
    Now spit!

  3. Charles Reardon Says:

    I got you beat Neo. I spent six hours getting scraped the last few weeks. But my dentist did have a remote tv perched over my head to help pass the time :)

  4. neo-neocon Says:

    F: It was close to two hours. It just seemed longer. And one of the crowns they cemented in came out as soon as I ate something—and the “something” was nothing especially hard or sticky: a red bell pepper. What’s more, that happened after the dentist’s office had closed for the evening, and he doesn’t have office hours on Fridays.

  5. jon baker Says:

    No Fun! Those crowns are expensive. Spent almost $2000 last fall at the dentist. Did meet a cute dental assistant though!

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    jon baker: well, my dentist is cute, but he’s married.

    And I had to spend much much more than that for this little gig. It all started with a 20-year old root canal that finally bit the dust, and then there was a cascade of events…

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    i am so sorry you had to spend your day like that!!!!!

    Petrified till i went to the doctor i have now off park ave. she is great… and zero pain.

    earliest memories are going to a wackaloon doctor that didn’t use Novocaine, and refused to give me gas for fear it would make me a stoner hippy (and also strapped children down so they wouldn’t move and hurt themselves)….

    not once did the man ask me “is it safe”, and he did 3 teeth on two sides that day…
    [have problems watching that movie still]

    dentistry back in the middle of last century wasnt exactly like today… and i guess i am lucky as prior to that, and going back, it was a lot more brutal. (and why barber shop poles are red and white)

    at least i never had to go back to him…

    later dentist did a root canal and never filled it packing it with amalgam.

    current dentist is incredibly good…
    I am so lucky!!!!! (for now)
    she is my friend now, came to my wedding…
    can dance too!

    :)

    [she did a crown on me. microwave scanned the old tooth, 3D cad work next to the seat, 1/2 hour wait as the machine carves it out of color matched material, and all done in short order. classical music in the back ground, good art (including mine, which is not included in the good art opinion), dedicated doctor. who cant afford to keep running as she is getting older and cant keep up the pace. oh.. and her new dental seats are shiatsu massage equipped to! so cool, eh? so luck will end of course. meanwhile i have no gp and cant find one i like (one i went to did one blood pressure reading and wanted me on a lifetime meds. say what?)]

  8. grackle Says:

    Aside from the expense and the time lost I don’t mind. I just get the shot of painkiller, have them put a bite block in to keep my mouth open and I usually go to sleep. Those dental chairs are seductive.

  9. pst314 Says:

    “just get the shot of painkiller”

    Remember Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors?

    But seriously, my sympathies Neo.

  10. rickl Says:

    I’m very happy with my current dentist, who I’ve been seeing for about 2-3 years. In the past year I’ve had a bridge and a crown installed, and they’re both doing fine so far.

    I have to wonder about the TV, as well as the small talk between the dentist and assistant while they’re working. I keep wanting to say, “Focus! Concentrate on what you’re doing!”

  11. Chris Ballance Says:

    Teeth are good things have when your old, it’s generally worth the price you pay in the denist chair.

  12. Mel Williams Says:

    I hadn’t had any major work done for a few years until I went to get a new crown. I was amazed at the advances in technology.

    They removed the old crown, ground the tooth down to accept the new crown, took a series of 3-d pictures of the new nub (that were displayed on the video screen), then I got to watch the high speed milling machine grind my new crown in about 10 minutes time (computer driven from the save 3-d image), then the dentist fitted it on. All about 1.5 hours.

    I asked him about the milling machine and he said he gets much more consistent results from it than from the lab he used to mail the mold to. And, of course, you can’t beat the convenience of having it all done in one visit.

  13. rickl Says:

    Mel Williams:
    That is amazing. My dentist still sends the mold out to be processed. So it took two visits, but all of the major excavation work was done in the first one.

    But that office is still pretty high-tech for the most part. I was impressed by the miniature TV camera they put in my mouth so they could show me the problem areas on the screen. My previous dentist didn’t have that.

  14. rickl Says:

    It just goes to show that free-market capitalism spurs innovation, which enhances everybody’s life in the long run.

    I don’t have the link, but I vividly remember reading a news story about British subjects pulling their own rotting teeth out with pliers, because they couldn’t get a timely appointment with a NHS dentist and the pain was driving them crazy. That will be our future if present trends continue.

  15. Tatyana Says:

    I’d rather be in my dentist’s chair.

  16. M J R Says:

    A contrarian, but genuine, “take” here . . .

    My dentist is a super guy, as is his wife (a very intelligent, personable woman). Not long after my wife died a cuppla years back, he and his wife took my little daughter to the ballet.

    Also, his dental assistant is an incredibly sweet young lady in whose own career I have taken interest.

    Without a doubt, root canal is no fun, but I actually look forward to seeing them all. They’re great folks.

    .

  17. br549 Says:

    I could say I like the dentist, but then i’d be accused of lying through my tooth.

  18. Mike Mc. Says:

    I hate the dentist. It’s the worst.

    But….

    1. People don’t normally pass away there.

    2. You don’t get admitted to the dentist office.

    3. They don’t give you IV’s, or hook you up to monitors there.

    4. They don’t have a morgue.

  19. betsybounds Says:

    Gas. Give me gas!!!

  20. Perfected democrat Says:

    Perhaps the only thing worse than going to the dentist is a sigmoidoscopy… Sorry, the devil made me….

  21. csimon Says:

    I have you all beat! I’ve had (unfortunately) more dental work than all of you put together, I think. (And many sessions way more than 2 hrs!) I can thank my parents for some good genes, but I have to say I inherited the worst teeth and gums — from BOTH of them!

    Most of my baby teeth never fell out , so had to have some 16 of them pulled. (over 3 visits) (and that’s not including the pulling of wisdom teeth later on!

    Had first periodontal (gum surgery) when I was 13. And that was the start of a ridiculous history with dentists, periodontists, and endodonists. At one point I even went to a brother team: one was endodontist who did the root canals, and the other was a perio- who did the gum surgeries. I’ve had to have so much done, just about nothing fazes me. Dentists love me: I’m like grackle — completely relaxed; almost fall asleep… Just make sure they give plenty of novacaine (even those injections don’t bother me), if you feel the slightest touch, tell them! One time only did I not have enough and when the dentist touched the nerve, I actually saw stars — literally! Once was enough!

    Have had root canals in every tooth and all crowns (a fortune invested in my mouth). And that was then. Dread the bill when they wear out! Just a week ago my periodontist told me “what will save me” are implants. Great! Just what I want to look forward to! All that surgery in my future, and the cost will probably equal the cost of a small house!

    None of mine have the high tech stuff some of you mentioned. But I’m fine with that. Last thing I want to look at is myself with a mouth full of ground down stumps. I have no desire to look at one — not in a mirror, not on some screen! I don’t want to see problem areas — I just want them to fix them!

    The milling machine sounds interesting. Sounds very much like CAM CAD (Computer Aided Design) machines used in 3-D design such as jewelry making, where the machines, for example, can mill out hard wax models of designs for casting instead of having to hand carve. Much more accurate (the machines) as far as design and symmetry. But natural teeth are not perfect and symmetrical, and creating crowns is considered an art. Because I am an artist, years ago one dentist even sent me to a lab where they formulate the crowns so I could see how they meticulously paint on the thinnest coats of translucent porcelain to achieve the look of real teeth. The most amazing thing was the color palette of porcelain. You can’t imagine how many colors are layered and used to achieve realistic color: yellows (a lot of yellow — even for “white” teeth), blues, greens, browns, reds….Most astonishing. I’ve had a number of dentists who actually do artwork, sculpting as hobby.

    Neo, have had that problem with crown coming out. You’re lucky you didn’t swallow it! Every time one came off, it was when eating something soft like bread. Have no idea why. But a little trick is to get a little denture adhesive to hold crown on until you can get back into dentist. The idea of denture adhesive is a bit yucky, but it works. Much more comfortable than the exposed ground down stump

  22. mizpants Says:

    C Simon, you’ve got ME beat, and I thought I was the most venerable dental survivor on earth.
    I love my dentist. He showed up at a reading I did, after a long day hovering over the chair. But I’m not special — his assistant told me he also attended the school play of a young mentally disabled patient.
    Required reading for dental patients: If the Impressionists Had Been Dentists” by Woody Allen.

  23. Charles Says:

    rickl said:

    British subjects pulling their own rotting teeth out with pliers, because they couldn’t get a timely appointment with a NHS dentist and the pain was driving them crazy. That will be our future if present trends continue.

    Actually, it is here now for some folks. My neighbor has had a bad toothache for over a week. As she belongs to a union she can only go to their union-approved dentist. Twice she has gone to him only to have nothing done as he was too busy to she her. Despite the fact that she is clearly an “urgent” case it seems that scheduled appointments come first.

    A free-market healthcare provider wouldn’t do this to a patient who has the option to go elsewhere.

    So, yea, that could be our future if the present trend continues.

  24. NeoConScum Says:

    My beautiful Vietnamese dentist is an artist. Also, I recently discovered, a conservative. She asked me what I thought of the Obamacare shipwreck, so I told her. With that done, she opened up and was on the very same page.

    Her Tech is a non-stop talker and wears me out at cleanings, but, hell, Dr.Nguyen is worth the torrent of blather.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    I didnt know that there was a misery race which could declare the one with the most problems a winner…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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