Friday, June 01, 2007

I Went to the Dentist and Found Out That I'm Hideously Deformed and Possibly Dying

First of all, I'd just like to say that I'm sitting out in the sun, literally dripping with sweat, feeding my internet addiction via wireless and drastically increasing my risk of skin cancer. I love having Fridays off!

And speaking of Fridays off... I tend to pack my Fridays full of errands and meetings and lunches with friends and suchlike. And since this job thing that I'm doing came with this sweet, sweet benefits package, I've been frequenting the offices of medical professionals of late. First I found a family doctor, then there was the optometrist and today, a dental appointment. I haven't been to a dentist in forever because (a) the dental plan I had at as a UBC student sucked and (b) the last dentist I saw was a total shyster, turning me off of the dental profession. But I decided to go to a new dentist since the aforementioned sweet, sweet benefits plan covers all the basic dental stuff and a hefty chunk of the extended dental stuff. Since I hadn't been to the dentist in so long, I ended up there for almost 2 hours! They took a full set of X-rays, since I noticed recently that my top wisdom teeth are starting to come in... yes, I'm 30 years old and I'm teething! Two observations about the X-rays - (1) whenever I've had x-rays (which is not that often), I always feel like I can *feel* the radiation changing my DNA and I'm somewhat surprised that I don't have superpowers at the end of it, and (2) is it weird that while having my X-rays taken I was thinking, "well, if I ever get murdered, they'll be able to identify by my dental records! How could I have gone this long without such a record??"? The upshot of this is that I need to go see an oral surgeon who will tell me that I need to get my wisdom teeth pulled and why-didn't-you-do-this-when-you-were-younger-because-old-people-like-you-don't-heal-so-well*!

Also, the dentist did two things to freak me out. First of all, she looked at my teeth and said, "Are you happy with that smile?" with the strangest combination of contempt and pity in her voice. Now, I'm already very self conscious of my teeth. When I was a kid, I smashed my front teeth running into a jungle gym**, resulting in my formerly straight teeth becoming quite crooked, 3 root canals needed and a brief contemplation on becoming an endodontist***. I avoid smiling with my mouth open in photos**** because my teeth are awful and I think I look like quite a gap-toothed hick in the photos where someone does catch me in a toothy smile. So the last thing I needed was to be told that I have a hideously deformed smile that requires thousands of dollars of treatment before anyone can even look at me without turning to stone. No wait, the last thing I needed was being told, "We should take a biopsy of this abnormal white patch on your soft palate. Don't worry, though, it's probably not oral cancer.****" So, the upshot of these two things is that if I don't have oral cancer and die, I should probably get either braces (which I'd need for 1.5 years + 1 year of a full-time retainer + a nighttime retainer forever more) or veneers, which would not only fill out my f'd up teeth so that they lined up more nicely, but would cover up the hideous discolouration of my root-canaled teeth. What's that, you didn't notice the hideous discolouration? Here, let me shine a very bright light in your mouth and give you this magnifying mirror to look at so you can see how hideous you truly are. My dental plan covers about the same amount for either braces or veneer, so if I decide to do anything to fix my hideousness, I could go either way as far as cost is concerned. I think I'm leaning towards veneer, but need to look into it some more.

OK, I need to go grab something to eat before my softball game. Apparently the Friday night games are the ones where we are really supposed to do some drinking. The drinking at Wednesday night games is minor, really, compared to Friday games, or so I'm told.

*the answer, of course, being that it wasn't covered and I lived below the poverty line, so how the hell could I have afford it??
*long story, but it really isn't as stupid as it sounds
**primarily because I saw that the assistant did most of the work and the endodontist had a really big diamond ring and an expensive sports car.
***Seriously, check out my Flickr photos - you'd be hard pressed to find one of me smiling anything but a closed mouth grin.

7 comments:

Duane said...

I actually noticed a long time that you don't do a full smile in most of your photos.. I noticed that, because I rarely do either, after undergoing years of braces and have weird contraptions in my mouth (one of which is still cemented to the inside of my lower teeth).

I hate dentists.. Last time they tried to convince me to drop $500 to whiten my teeth. I was like "why?" and he said because they were stained. To which I replied "so are yours."

Dave said...

Oral cancer? What a crock of horseshit! In my experience, the dental industry as a whole got real bored with what they do somewhere around five years ago, and now it's not enough for them to just clean your teeth. Now they have to do oral cancer screening, and under-the-gumline cleaning, and goddamn uvula cleaning. Have you smoked at any time in the past, like, ten years? Why don't they check your fucking prostate while they're at it?

jody said...

I like you just the way you are.

Beth said...

Awww, thanks Jody!

Dave - agreed. Unless I find out that I do have cancer. And while I haven't smoked in the past ten years, remember how much second-hand smoke we inhaled in friggin' Calgary?

Jorge said...

Beth, you do have superpowers. You have the superpower of having more footnotes than encyclopaedias in just one blog entry.

Your secondary power is to not number them properly.

You could avoid the whole series of issues with your teeth entirely by running into a Jungle Gym again, knocking out all of your teeth. Pureed foods are the bomb, and I hear it would help drinking become even easier!

Dave - good that you can go off so casually on the dental profession like that. You might want to talk to Dan about your lack of trust in his line of work. If anything, knowing dentists gets you free gas.

Kelly said...

Heh, I thought Dave said "vulva" cleaning!

You're beee-ewe-tee-full. Don't let some money-grabbin' "professional" convince you otherwise.

Kristal Byrnes said...

Aww, I’m sure the dentist didn’t know that you were rather sensitive about your teeth, and didn’t mean to bring your insecurities to the forefront like that. I think he just really wanted to help you out. So which did you end up going with, braces or veneers? I would’ve gone with the braces, since they’re more of a corrective solution than the veneers. The veneers are more like cover-ups, and they don’t last as long as the correction via braces and retainers do. Braces take more maintenance, but then sacrifices must be made to achieve perfection!