Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Alright, let me make something perfectly clear... Student Health dentists will ruin your day, possibly your week, and MY summer. I've had this terrible pain in my upper left wisdom tooth for the past week or so, and so I finally bit the bullet (or the x-ray film) and went to the dentist today. Apparently they want to pull out a metric shit ton of my teeth (I realize that we haven't moved to the metric excrement system in this country, so I mean 6 teeth). This really blows. My wisdom teeth all have to go, and they have done such significant damage to my two back upper molars that they may also need to go.
I am absolutely TERRIFIED of the dentist, and I have been a wreck all day. Once I got there, I went straight into panic attack mode, and at one point I had to just excuse myself to a corner where I could try to breathe at normal intervals. Lucky for me, I had an audience! The office is just one big room with chairs lined up next to each other, that way you can feel worse about yourself and the competence of the dentist when you sit next to a line of sorority girls having their unnaturally pearly whites cleaned and whitened some more. I feel like the dentist wasn't really thinking about the big picture of my life, my fears, and my mouth when he came up with a treatment plan. I tried to get some more detailed information about why he thought this was the best treatment, and the subject was changed. I know that health professionals can tell that I am a biology major that is considering a career in medicine, because I am the worst patient ever. Well I might be the best patient because I can describe what's going on and why I think it is, but apparently they don't like to hypothesize with patients. They have golf to play and skank teeth to clean. After all... I suspect most dentists are frat boys who failed to get into med school. I definitely need to see a real dentist as soon as possible, and the fake dentist said I could wait for as long as I could endure the misery. Thanks for boosting my confidence and assuaging my fears dude.
Perhaps my favorite part of this visit was the x-ray machine. I have never seen such an old piece of medical equipment. The buttons on the front bore an uncanny resemblance to Darth Vader's chest, an observation that definitely dated the machine. I think geeky cultural references are as accurate as carbon dating in this case, judging by the ability of the machine to function. I really didn't feel so hot about having this ancient hunk of garbage spew radioactive beams into my fucking face. Expect a brain tumor post in 6 months.
In any case, I am definitely going to spend most of my summer in a dentist's chair. I expect to develop a drinking problem to get through this, otherwise I will probably rip all of my hair out and lose half my weight due to stress and terror. Oddly enough, my cat will be in the same position. She was recently diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disorder that causes her body to attack her gums, making her mouth incredibly painful and swollen. The only effective treatment for this condition is a removal of all of her teeth :(
My boyfriend suggested that we go in to the same dentist and hold paw in hand through the procedure. I think this may be possible in the same clinic south of the border, and I'll bet the service is cheaper and better than Student Dental.