A revelatory “conversation” with the dentist about pole dancing

I don’t know what I expected from a dentist that offers Botox.

I am reclined in her chair preparing for my filling. The dentist is preparing for my filling and I am listening. She is cheerful as she chatters about my upper jaw (maxilla, I learned, like the little known uncle of the scary ape). “It is like swiss cheese” she tells me. “I don’t really need to aim this thing at all, wherever I put it the numbing agent will just spread everywhere.” Here she waves the syringe that is at least 3 feet long. I wonder what “everywhere” numb feels like and slightly more urgently I wish that she does aim this “at all.”

My mouth is open on some sort of silicone torture device. She tells me just to rest my muscles on it and let it do the work. Instead I am biting down. I am trying not to. I relax for a minute and it slides just slightly and I begin to gag. Her response to this is of course to stick additional items into my mouth. She waves Mr. suction with a flourish and jams him into my mouth.  I try to open my throat while also closing my lips around her hand, the plastic mouth prop, and Mr. Suction. “I see here” she says twirling on her seat to check my chart. “We have a note that you have a very small mouth.” I try to make a joke about how my husband would disagree but instead I say glglgghepghap-djwjwjhw. “What sweetie?” she asks catching my hair in the crook of her elbow. “Never mind” I tell her but she hears “uhuhuhhhGlu” so she removes Mr.Suction and begins the several step process of disengaging the plastic prop. About halfway through she can make out that I am saying “never mind” and she laughs. Ha. Ha. So funny that she can’t understand me.

Still chipper she sighs with pleasure over her view. All I can see through my scratched dentist provided sunglasses is a bright light which reflects my legs in its shiny casing. They are warped and look shorter and wider than reality. Not something I was going for. She is referring to the industrial park out her window behind which peek the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. I guess I should commend her for seeing the mountains rather than the squat buildings but I am distracted by the hygienist who has joined us. At first I think she is all business. She is unwrapping all of the instruments from their blue sanitary plastic. She is patting my shoulder and somehow managing to pull my hair for the second time. I reach back to try to smooth it and upset the paper bib and delicate balance of tools in my mouth and set my hand back on my large leg in failure. I try to lean my head further back to allow some slack in my hair and she adjusts her grip pinning me more firmly in place.

The two are talking to each other now.

“I never sent the letter to Delta Dental” the dentist tells her assistant.

“No?” asks the assistant, clearly not interested.

This doesn’t matter much though because the dentist has a captive audience. “I am preparing to go out of network with Delta Dental.” She tells me over the noise of the drill. Delta Dental is my insurance. I try to let her know by saying “akljneowown”  which she interprets as acknowledgement of her trials and tribulations. She goes on to explain in great detail her 14 year history with them which includes decreased payment for services. We all understand insurance misery…but her problem is about to become my problem and I don’t want to think about it right now. She continues to list each procedure and the amount the insurance gives her. “But you don’t need to worry sweet Anna”, here she swivels again leaving her arms and tools in my mouth resting a finger on my upper gum. I can feel her nail through her glove. The numbing agent has most distinctly NOT gone everywhere. My hair is once again caught in her elbow and I stifle a response because it will just slow everything down. “Oh,” she says in surprise “you ARE Delta Dental.” So I am.

She quickly changes the subject and looks over her magnifying glasses at her assistant. “Remember that spa our patient told us about?” How, I wonder, did a patient tell her anything with a mouth crammed full and the incessant chatter. She must not be talking to me. The hygienist is back with us now. “Sure. I want to check it out so I invited a friend for her birthday. She just cant seem to make the time. July she told me. July. Can you believe it?” “No!” My dentist is outraged “how ungrateful. You are trying to do something nice for her. Tell her your doctor wants you to check out the spa.” That’ll work. I think. The friend will certainly celebrate her birthday on doctor’s orders. A few minutes go by while they rev each other up with further protestations. By now it seems like the spa-less woman is heartless. And difficult. And unworthy of friendship. Terrible. But not quite as terrible as the hair pulling, nail gumming, filling drilling that I am experiencing right now.

Luckily things get more interesting.

“I can’t wait until my sister moves here” the assistant tells the doctor. “She is the best masseuse in the world.” In my mind I correct her term to “massage therapist” as trained to by the body workers who have beaten the crap out of my shoulder for the last 10 years. This is the same shoulder that the dentist is resting her bony elbow on, once again pinning my hair in an uncomfortable position.

“She has the strongest hands” continues the hygienist. “We grew up on a goat farm and your hands get really really strong milking the goats.” At this moment the drill stops its whine so each of the neighboring dental patients can hear her say. “And then she was a stripper. That pole dancing makes you even stronger than milking goats.”

The dentist visit has been very valuable. Not only did I fill a hole in my tooth but several holes in my knowledge base.  I could pass a quiz on the proper name for apelike swiss cheese bones. More importantly I can educate people about the best pathway to become a masseuse. Goat milking and pole dancing.

To this I say “auhauahhaglge.”

Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

24 thoughts on “A revelatory “conversation” with the dentist about pole dancing”

  1. My first thought was that only you could go to a dentist and hear a story about about strippers. At least it’s distracting. The last time I went to the dentist, the office manager changed the music to a classical station that she thought should be soothing. Nope, the Ride of the Valkyries was playing just as my dentist started drilling.

  2. Oh my gawd. First hate the dentist as a general rule and why do they talk to you when you clearly can’t answer. Thats too funny on the pole dancing

  3. I got to a dentist that is also a naturopath, because Vermont. I chew these special pills that taste like mentos, he puts special sounds in my headphones and special goggles on me and then attaches electrodes that lightly massage my meridians. During the visit I’m completely self conscious about all this fuckery and I leave feeling just as stressed out as I would without all that garbage.

    I’d rather hear about strippers.

  4. Well, at least it was educational, right??
    But, I have to admit, this is why I got out of the profession—so little appreciation–ha ha!!

  5. I’m laughing and identifying with every description — including the hair pulling, excluding the stripper conversation. Have you ever listened to Bill Cosby’s The Dentist bit? It rivals this post with it’s accuracy and hilarity! Love this!

  6. i am howling! I have a chatty dentist too, but not as chatty as I am. She still marvels about the time I kept HER entertained through two root canals and a crown replacement, A steady stream of drool and unintelligible syllables should not keep one from delivering a good punchline! And, as you know, I have my own source if you want more pole dancing info! HA!

  7. Trust you to have an interesting dentist – I’m jealous – mine is friendly enough, male and alas, easy on the eye – nice to look at and survey when seated in the chair but highly embarrassing when you’re helplessly dribbling as he gets to work on that filling! My pet hate is my hygienist though – he just sits there and lectures me about bleeding gums – my gums only bleed when he spends 20 minutes or so prodding & scraping!

    1. I knew a girl once that claimed to be a pole dancer had the name for it and everything. I married that phony and waited 13 years for my pole dance! She know has two stubby oak tree legs on a sequioua torso so I guess her new hubby fell for that bullshit also!

  8. Has a freaking professional dental patient myself this would rank very high up in conversations over heard while someone is splitting my gum open and fixing a fucking root canal that they did in the first place!

  9. Haha! I can’t comment on goat milking, but I learnt pole dancing for quite a while years back, and I can confirm you do have be very strong! And also that hairspray stops your hands slipping – I don’t know if that is also applicable to goat milking!

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