Friday, December 1, 2023

The Soapbox: Uptown Dentist

Today I thought I would try what I call the “uptown dentist.” The newly-constructed office suggested an appealing design that piqued my curiosity of the rapidly evolving nouvelle concept of modern dentistry.

If I had my way, I’d never schedule any appointments prior to 10 a.m., so I’d always have adequate time to calibrate my brain, heart, and tongue with the owner’s manual AKA the B-I-B-L-E. My friends and family are mistakenly under the impression that I am a morning person, since I keep early hours, but that does not mean I am ready for anyone to do any talking, most especially ask me any pre-coffee questions.

I suppose all the other people also had the same sense of excitement over the mystery of the uptown dentist; therefore, I found it nearly impossible to get an appointment. So, here go I at 8 a.m. into the posh, upscale dental center that had everything except conveyor belts to cart patients from one station to another. I wasn’t even sure if we were still to be called “patients.” It seemed like “clients” could have been more fitting in this setting.

Here comes the super sparkly dental hygientical toothy technician after strapping me in for a panoramic X-ray (because we are too advanced to just put our chin on the platform now, we have to be STRAPPED IN for 12 seconds).

Sparkly Tooth Tech: OK Ms. Brandi, how’d you get that bridge?

Me: Football. Accident. College.

Sparkly Tooth Tech: How old were you?

Me: 19

Sparkly Tooth Tech: That must have been traumatic.

Me: Not really. (Not as traumatic as this 8 a.m. perkiness).

Sparkly Tooth Tech: OK…well let’s see here. In what pattern would you say you brush? Clockwise? Counterclockwise? Is your toothpaste for sensitive people or just sensitive gums? Are you a soft bristle or hard bristle person? Now, are you a mouth breather? Side sleeper? Where do you chew your food? Left or right side? Have you done your reverse crunches today? When was your last wax? Do you regularly get pedicures? Your last menstrual period? How is the dating pool?

Me: <Tuning out>

Also Me: Your haircut is amazing. <Viewing Jane Jetson haircut with a few silver extensions>

Sparkly Tooth Tech: <Calls dentist on intercom>. We’ve got a Post-Adolescent Gingivitical Flux Capacitor Footballiniticus Cuspid Incisoriticum in Room B. <Speaks at a level so as to prevent me from hearing, although I could hear>.

Dentist: Copy that.

<Enter Dentist>

Dentist: Hi I’m Dr. Kimberly. <Viewing a 12 Year Old>

Them: <Talk about me in third person and call my teeth by scientific name>

Them: We think that if you continue living you will eventually need more dental work…such as a cavity could form. Your silver filling since childhood could become out of style. Your football injury could RE-injure itself retroactively and you may be on vacation when an abscess could develop, at which time we would both possibly be on maternity leave.

Sparkly Tooth Tech: It would be a travesty.

Dentist Named Kimberly: I’m going to recommend we complete this work immediately. I will have the receptionist leave your Guesstimate right next to the hot chocolate station where yoga will also begin at the top of the hour.

Me: <Longing for the good ole country dentist of my upbringing who also came and cleaned our dog’s teeth annually who never, not once, tried to educate me on the science behind salivary glands>

My brain: <Can I get a good ole fashioned cleaning without going to 8th grade health class?>

My tongue: <Just about to unleash>

My brain: <No you don’t…stop it>

Dentist Named Kimberly: If you ever need Botox, let me know. You look pretty good right now.

Sparkly Tooth Tech: Oh, did you want your teeth cleaned?

Me: <Expecting them to whip out stirrups and offer a Pap smear at any moment>

Also Me: <Gets out of there, smiling, as fast as possible> Bye! Thanks for the cancer-deterring coffee mug! See you in six months. <Lying>

Still Me: <Phones a friend, needs a low key semi-adequate dentist that is either two years from retirement or looking for a friend that needs dental benefits and will also barter for brown gravy>

I drove away, calling a prospective new gym. Asked them if they had any advanced step classes. The little child on the other end of the phone said, I will have to ask the manager, but I know we have Cross-Torture. “You’ll love it!”

Growing up, I never considered my childhood to be charmed or perfect, but I am convinced that this world is changing too fast for people to enjoy a quiet, simple life. Regardless, I am determined to sift through the complexities and noise if it means I might discover the life Christ has waiting until He calls me home.

Brandi Chambless
Brandi Chambless
Read Brandi's column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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