I sink about five inches into the sofa and thumb through a tourist magazine for Washington State, as I am 15 minutes early. The waiting room is of a dark tone with low lighting to relax the mind as you wait for whatever has brought to the dentist office. Plowing through the magazine a patient enters and starts into conversation with the receptionist about dental work needed and it is at this point my mind wonders to the following parody from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke learns that Darth is his father. Luke is lying in serious pain as his loving father just severed his hand from the arm than Darth leans in and informs Luke that the Empire does not offer dental insurance in which Luke responds, “Nnnnnnnnooooooo!” Now decided Luke turns down his fathers’ offer to join the Darkside and I break a smile but betray not a thought on this. Moments later the dental hygienist comes out and escorts me to the room and the comfy chair for a routine cleaning, no Spanish Inquisition around to make this appointment rough.
Getting seated I take off my glasses and put on sunglasses the hygienist hands me, a bib is placed on my chest to catch any flying debris from the mouth, then we shoot the breeze about weather and gum chewing as the chair leans back and down into position. My gaze is straight at the ceiling protected from the bright operating light by the sunglasses and as she leans in with headlamp strapped to the forehead the hygienist begins her work and I am off to another world. I don’t know why some say they fear the dentist but myself it is the best hour or so spent for that time you have no care in the world, a time out and if serious work is ever needed you get well medicated, eh?. There is a Bob Hope movie, I think it is The Son of Paleface where Bob plays a dentist in the Wild West and one scene has him sitting on a patient to keep him in the chair as Bob yanks out a tooth all the while the patient’s legs are contorting every which way. Some people look at dental work in this way but for me this is true freedom, for at least an hour. As the hygienist scrapes and cleans, rinses the teeth South City Midnight Lady by The Dobbie Brothers plays on the radio and I am in a galaxy far away then Eric Clapton’s song Let it Grow comes on and I shift to a closer galaxy in St. Johns, Oregon and the help I promised a friend at his store because an employee called in sick. Another dentist I went to years ago put posters on the ceiling with relaxing, stress relieving expressions so thought of those hands yanking, tugging, and drilling is distracted. What a wonderful idea!
The cleaning of the teeth and just below the gum line took about 45 minutes then did some probing to check the pockets between the gum and tooth with positive results as the last time I was here they were deeper, hooray. Next the polish and finally fluoride paint applied which I am informed no waiting before eating is necessary. The next appointment is set as we discuss the different features of the vibrating toothbrush that is sold here which happens to be the brand I use so no strain of the wrist instead, the brush does most of the work for me. I am given a bag of goodies, toothbrush, flossing bristles, floss, and my appointment card then shown to the receptionist to pay for the work done and then off into the world felling healthier and refreshed, minty fresh.