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Dentista

DentistaI am ashamed to admit that it has been over six years since my last visit to a dentist (as anyone who has come in contact with my glowing yellow fangs will tell you). I have a real phobia about dentists. All that prodding and scraping, the bright lights, the bad smells, the people in masks hovering over you and wiping whatever they have scraped from the bowels of your mouth onto your paper apron. I have always just found the entire experience to be incredibly distasteful. Actually, no…a VIOLATION.

It doesn’t help that I seem to have inherited my father’s teeth. My dad is a root canal soldier, unlike my mom, who is that irritating sort of “never had a cavity” person that makes the rest of us crazy. Jillian, for that matter, is one of these people as well. Just as my mom cheerfully refuses Novocaine for any work she needs to have done, Jillian smiles, lets strangers explore the inner workings of her face, and doesn’t seem at all troubled by the experience.

The last time I was at the dentist, the bad news was that I had four cavities. Four. At 22 years old. So, after getting them filled, the answer seemed simple. Look, if going to the dentist brings nothing but bad news, why not just, erm, stop going? Unfortunately, I have run into far too many expatriates over the course of my life with just such a philosophy, and it is clear that the end result is an unholy mishmash of gum and bone. I have seen people who look like they just had a friend of theirs throw a fistful of teeth at their face, leaving them with a set of gums that look like they get used for nothing more noble than rubbing cocaine on.

Well, after a few panicked, late-night looks in the mirror with a flashlight, I became determined to visit the dentist here in Mexico. I knew that I had some cavities, and goodness knew what else, that had to get dealt with before I started looking like someone out of the middle ages. So, knowing that the medicine in Merida is world renowned for prices less than a tenth of what they are in the States, combined with state-of-the-art techniques (making Mexico one of the medical tourism capitals of the world), I finally broke down and made an appointment. Er, had Jillian make an appointment, with “Rehabilitacion Estetica Odontologica.”

I, of course, worried all day, anticipating the crimes against my mouth that were about to happen. And in a foreign land, no less. Check this out: I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. Not only was Jesus Sanchez Ruz (my new, sweet, babyfaced dentist) perfectly kind and gentle…his office was state of the art, too. Now, maybe it’s just because I haven’t BEEN to the dentist in so long, but boy, things sure have improved. Gone are the mouths full of cotton while x-rays are taken. Dr. Jesus quietly prowled each of my teeth with a tiny fiber-optic camera, revealing all of the flaws of each on a giant, ceiling-mounted television. Each tooth became the size of a basketball, and each bit of decay screeched down from the monitors like an angry goblin. While he inspected each tooth, explaining each problem in a mix of Spanish and English (for my benefit) to his nearby hygienists, I got more and more worked up.

Not to worry. Now, my mouth is not without its problems, Turns out my gums are inflamed and swollen to the point that I have to use a prescription mouthwash before they can even do a proper cleaning, which will help them determine not just the effect my loose, 20 year old fillings that are LEAKING into my GUMS have had on the rest of my mouth. Nope. They’ll also learn just which fillings they have to replace (likely all of them), and also how much new tooth decay there is, after which they are going to “show me how to take care of my mouth” and start trying to sweet-talk me into some whitening, I’m sure.

But you know what? I feel a lot better. I have a prescription for mouthwash, which we will go get filled at the farmacia tomorrow. It is a relief to be on some sort of PLAN, and not just be regarding my mouth as some kind of gaping wet black hole of mystery. Who knows, maybe some of this stuff is even preventable (who knew?). Sure, I have some issues, but nothing that can’t be resolved…and I have absolutely zero doubt that Dr. Jesus and his team of professional, inexpensive, bilingual hygienists are the people to do it.

There Are 9 Responses So Far. »

  1. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

  2. Yay you! Now, GO! The mouthwash alone will not do it. Keep flashing on that picture of snaggle teeth. And what gave you the phobia was that nightmare orthodontist in St. Thomas…
    Love you.

  3. it’s the smoking, yo, not your dad’s tooth genes.

  4. Oh, I know that’s why they are yellow…it does not, however, explain their determination to fall out of my head.

  5. Its not my tooth genes, its my lazyness genes. And for the rest of you phobic folks I just had to have them cut strips off the roof of my mouth and sew them too my gums, oh Boy worse than lung cancedr for pain. Y’all buy a power toothbrush (even a cheapo) They Work!!!
    Good Luck y’all
    More Bedells
    Mac Daddy

  6. Malcolm,
    I literally feel your pain, man! Just went to the dentist after 15 (yeah 15) years, and found out I have to have 7 (yep 7) teeth worked on. My parents are like yours, only my dad has the tough teeth and mom, wellll…let’s just say there’s a LOT of silver in there! I thought I had my dad’s teeth until now. Oh, and my mom is the NO novacaine queen! AAAAGH!! So, I guess we’ll be doing the dental thing “together!” Oh, and listen to your family! 🙂
    P.S. Hope you’ve been keeping up with how well Millie’s doing and how she’s grown! Hope you get your other cat shipped to you soon! Happy Holidays!!
    (And best of luck!!!)

  7. smoking can mess up your gums, big time, don’t kid yourself.

    I had the same torture procedure as Mac Daddy, where they cut a strip of tissue off the roof of your mouth, sew up the gaping maw and stitch the strip to your (receding) gum. But that was due to inheriting our mom’s thin gums (I’ll take the rest of the thinness, just not the gums or the hair!) I’d rather be poisoned by a Russian than have that operation again.

  8. smoking can mess up your gums, big time, don’t kid yourself.

    I had the same torture procedure as Mac Daddy, where they cut a strip of tissue off the roof of your mouth, sew up the gaping maw and stitch the strip to your (receding) gum. But that was due to inheriting our mom’s thin gums (I’ll take the rest of the thinness, just not the gums or the hair!) I’d rather be poisoned by a Russian than have that operation again.

  9. Eight comments seven from malcy,s family. What the hell???

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