I hate dentists. Yes I
know, most people either hate or fear dentists but I mean, I REALLY hate them.
When I was a kid, I grew up in an area where our water wasn't so great and
apparently it had the effect of making it really easy for us to get cavities. I
took good care of my teeth but no amount of brushing and flossing seemed to
prevent them. On top of that, for some weirdly genetically freakish reason I
had two sets of baby teeth before my adult teeth came in. Not at the same time,
that would be beyond creepy. I'm not a shark. They came in, one set after
another. I'm just saying; I've had more teeth than your average human and that
meant more trips to the dentist.
So, back to my
original premise; I hate dentists. I went into a dentist's office here in Santa
Barbara a few days ago to finally have some work done that I've been putting
off for a while. After years of great dental hygiene and a generous helping of
First World fluoride in the water, my teeth are actually pretty great now. I'm
lucky that they've always been straight and I've never needed braces or anything.
It's just those darn cavities from childhood that are an issue. All of those
old fillings are getting on a bit in years and need to be replaced.
Anyhow, I go in and
meet this new dentist and he tells me that on top of fixing an old crown, I
need a lot more work done. A LOT. We're talking 6 figures worth of work. Errr,
what? I'm wondering if he's assumed that I have some kind of incredibly
lucrative dental insurance policy (I don't) or if I've accidentally ticked the
'wealthy heiress' box on my intake forms.
Many thoughts passed
through my mind at that time - All of the dental work I've had in my entire
life put together doesn't add up to that amount! I'm not looking to have
diamonds implanted into my teeth, you asshole! How on earth do people afford
dental care in this country? Are you really playing Guns N Roses instead of
mood music in the dental surgery?!
Thankfully (for him)
his nurse had already spotted the signs of panic on me (wide-open staring eyes,
white knuckles gripping the arm of the chair) and gave me some sort of sedative to calm me down. Between whatever was in that little pill and the pain
medication he prescribed after my surprise root canal (weeeeeeeee! Fun!) I
spent the next few days in a haze of pharmaceutical bliss.
Sadly, I've come out
of my warm, fuzzy vicodin cocoon and all I'm left with is a sore jaw and the lingering
feeling that I've been had (insert roofie joke here.)
So now the question is, do
I actually NEED all the work that the dentist recommended? After all, my long
term dentist in England never said a word about any of it. I'm inclined to
think that this dentist is exaggerating GREATLY. I had some advice from Doyle
Brunson on the matter via twitter - he says that he's spent over $70k in dental
care and that I should just get things taken care of so that I don't end up in
more pain (and debt) later. Ugh. I am not a happy camper. I hate dentists.