I suffer from a life-long fear and anxiety of all things dentistry. It began when I was a child. Our dentist did not particularly like working on children, and back then the attitude toward having dental work was very much a suck-it-up-buttercup mentality.
At my childhood dentist’s office, there was no room for sissies in the chair. Just a hygienist who was willing to hold you down while some sadistic fuck of a man who called himself a doctor would drill into your teeth without novocaine, or gag you until you threw up all over yourself, and then ridicule you for being upset about it. I could go into more detail, but I’m sure you get my point.
So I developed a deep and lasting fear of all things dentistry. So much so that in my early twenties, I just said to hell with it. Why pay someone to torture me with small instruments of pain? No, thank you. So I just stopped going to the dentist….for fifteen years.
Now let me say this…I have been blessed genetically with good teeth. And thank God for that, because I don’t think I would have survived if I’d ever needed braces. And I’m vain enough that if my teeth were jacked up or in pain, I would want to have them fixed. But thankfully I have nice, straight, even teeth.
Last year my wisdom teeth (which no one ever bothered to tell me should come out when I was a teenager) began to ram their way through my gum line. My top ones came in ten years ago, but I had room for them so figured I was fine just leaving them in. If I survived the pain of cutting teeth at 30, I was keeping them! But last year when one of the bottom molars started to present itself, it was impacted and there was just no way to put it off any longer. I was devastated and terrified, to say the least.
After a weekend spent laying on the couch in severe mouth pain, my husband dragged me to his dentist. He had been trying to get me to go for years, and finally, my pain and suffering was the last straw. Dan even scheduled the appointment, took time off of work and went with me. He’s awesome like that.
What shocked me is how much dentistry, and the image of dentistry has changed over the years. My husband’s dental office (and now mine as well) is lovely. Remember how dentists offices always had a certain smell to them? I hate that smell. This office doesn’t smell. The staff and hygienists are kind and considerate. Oh, and all the dentists who work there are hot as hell.
Yes, seriously. Like, doctor McDreamy hot.
When you look at the office’s website which has a page dedicated to each of the dentists in the practice, they read like celebrity bios from Men’s Magazine. They are all highly educated, certified and accredited from the best schools, and they are all easy on the eyes. Their photos are glossy, professional and highlight the athleticism of the doctor featured. Their bios read like, “aside from the charity work doctor so and so does for homeless children’s dentistry, in his free time he enjoys surfing, beach volleyball and working out.”
Is this a California thing? When did dentistry become the cool, hot guy profession?
And what’s even crazier is that my dentist is the most considerate, compassionate, do-anything-to-ease-your-fears-and-make-you-comfortable kind of doctor. He is amazing, and he won me over with his easy-going demeanor, sense of humor and understanding of my fears. He is patient and gentle, always.
And the truth is that I could give two-shits about how adorable he is. Good for him. What I truly care about is what a great dentist he is, and how he’s working successfully to change a stereotype simply by being the awesome doctor he is.
Now, despite doctor Dreamy’s awesome demeanor and my profoundly improved experiences with dental care, that didn’t stop me from wanting to cancel my appointment to avoid having my teeth cleaned today. I almost did. Last night, as I lay in bed dreading the next morning and having nightmares about needles and dental drills, I really wanted to fake-sick so I could cancel my appointment. My husband talked me out of it, and I didn’t want to disappoint him by acting like a candy-ass.
I did find it funny though that the dentists office called me, emailed me and texted me like, ten different times to confirm my appointment. When I mentioned the excessive confirmation process to my girlfriend, who also goes to the same dentist, she said, “Well it makes sense. They know you’re a runner.”
LOL! That I am!