I don't go to the dentist frequently. Why? Our family went to a dentist named Dr. Howard Stein when I was young. The place was a chop shop for molars. "If you've got 'em, we'll pull 'em" should of been their motto. It was sort of like the Kaiser Permanente of dentistry, absent the skilled health care workers. I never understood why they were so rough with me. I never understood why they pulled so many of my teeth. On the bright side, I made a killing from the tooth fairy.
Well, Dr. Stein, my family dentist, ended up on 60 Minutes. I kid you not. He was exposed for performing unnecessary procedures on his patients and bilking insurance companies for heaps of money.
Since then, I've stayed far far away from dentists. Yesterday was my triumphant return to the world of pain and misery that is dentistry. When I first sat down in the chair, I was surprised how comfortable it was. I actually thought, "hey, this is going to be great." The assistant came by to take x-rays. I remembered how much I hated biting down on those film cartridges. "Keep smiling while I take the x-ray, honey, they'll come out better that way." As she stepped back to take the x-ray she said, "Hey, come to think of it, I know your wife -- She's Mrs. Vavoom, right?" "Uhh huh," I muttered through the pocket of film. "She's gorgeous," she replied. Another dental assistant overheard this and said, "Mrs. Vavoom, she's your wife? That can't be possible... what a mismatch. You know, Dr. A is single and he really likes your wife." They both started laughing hysterically. "Keep smiling honey, don't stop smiling... that'll mess up the x-ray." Great.
The dentist, Dr. A, and another assistant came by to check out my pearly whites. This assistant was that prototypical overly nice person. You know, the kind that says "goodness gracious me" in under a second. She kept saying, "oh gosh" and shook her head while they checked out my teeth. The dentist, kept shushing her and giving her dirty looks everytime she pulled that crap. "You know, your wife, she's fantastic," the overly kind woman said, "she gives us all free financial advice and, oh gosh look at that gum pocket Dr. A." "Shush!" While hunched over my teeth, the doctor eventually said, in a lascivious tone, "Your wife, Vavoom, is quite the looker. I'm always glad when she comes through here. It's always fun to have her in the chair." I wanted to stand up and say, "What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Shut your mouth and work on mine!" Instead I simply muttered, "Uhh huh."
When all was said and done, I was diagnosed with eight, count 'em, ocho cavities. I'm going back today to get drilled. I'm not sure what's worse -- going to a dentist that'll pull my teeth unnecessarily, or going to one that's got the hots for my wife.