Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Story of X-rays in a Small Town

Welcome back, Kotter (I hear you sing). Time to hit that "refresh" button weekly if not daily...the Suz is back with a story that's been stored in my Blackberry for weeks! The "essence" of the story is true, although the names and dates have been changed to protect the identities of the dental professionals involved.

"The other day" (remember?) I went to a brand new dentist in Astoria, OR (for you 80s film aficionados, this is where much of the popular 80s motion picture The Goonies was filmed). Since I am moving again soon, this was to be a one-time visit. I just needed a wee check-up and cleaning...and, at worst, a new filling. You see, I was chewing on some tofurkey (I don't even think I'm making that part up), and I bit down on a crunchy little bugger that had the odd familiar zing of a piece of chipped filling betwixt and between my teeth. It didn't hurt, but to be on the safe side, I decided to seek out a dental professional...STAT!!! So I went a month later.

Although I hoped to avoid the whole X-ray ordeal, the chance at insurance reimbursement got the better of "Acme Dental". For those of you who haven't been to the dentist since the days of that disgusting blue gel fluoride treatment, it seems they now take over 155 million shots of incisors, bicuspids, and those big fellas who grind the tofurkey. It's like the teeth paparazzi have descended upon Dentalville.

Understand, I am not a total wimp when it comes to pain. I'm not a "Fan of Pain" on Facebook or anything, but I try to deal with it. In the dental X-ray world, this translates into holding still, using my ujayi breathing technique, and imagining the dental hygienist in her underwear (wait, that doesn't really work here, does it?).

Actually, if you'll allow for a quick tangent, I'd like to share one of my more undesirable personal qualities. At times, I am what you could call a "brown-noser" or "sycophant"...but only around people who will never, ever be able to give me a job, help me earn fame/money, or be able to return any variety of favor in life...ever. Over the years I have developed a special ability to charm Librarians, DMV employees, and Dental Hygienists, all of whom are manish-looking middle-aged women. This is not something you can fake, by the way. There are no missteps allowed whilst charming said individuals. My last trip to the dental hygienist was at Exchange Dental near the Stock Exchange. My skills were honed there. I shamelessly announced "I floss twice a day!" to the woman, and at the conclusion of my cleaning she offered the proclamation: "I have no complaints." I mean, how often does that happen?


After I patiently endured the X-rays, some chump who introduced himself as "Doctor X" showed up for approximately 3 seconds. He looked at the area of complaint and declared, "Uh...well, I guess a piece of porcelain could have chipped off, but it's not a structual problem". And so, with insurance dollar signs in his eyes, he departed. And I was left to make another appointment to get my teeth cleaned. Did my brown-nosing ways pay off? Let's just say they gave me a free toothbrush and samples of floss, so, you be the judge.


  1. I'm waiting to get my teeth cleaned until I go to Nothern Ireland in May. How sad is that? - Tara

  2. My favorite part that literally made me "lol": "I'm not a 'Fan of Pain' on Facebook or anything." Oh, Susan, you crack me up! Use your free loot wisely.