Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Trip To The Dentist

Today was the day for my bi-annual (semi-annual? ok - twice yearly) teeth cleaning and lecture at the Dentist's office. Our dentist is in the thriving metropolis of Morganton, the county seat, about 6 miles west of Valdese. Its a pretty little town, just big enough to support two or three street people, but not so big that it has anything really convenient that you'd want to go to. The area around the old court house is really pretty, and our dentist's office is basically a block or two from that square.

I grew up fearing and (hate's too strong a word) loathing dentists. Not as people, tho I really didnt know any personally, but just in general. And it was because of this. When I was very young, I dont think there were any dentists anywhere near where I lived. I lived in Knott County, Kentucky, a small county in the hills of the southeastern part of the state. Its as Appalachian as anywhere in Appalachia. I did not have my first visit to a dentist until I was 10 years old - and then it wasn't in Kentucky - it was in Altus, Oklahoma, after my Dad had joined the Air Force. It was a terrible experience. And it kept getting worse. Not only was it painful and scary, but I would get lectured, and threatened. And I would walk out of the Dentist's office with self-esteem so low, it would have to look up to see the bottom of a mud puddle. This continued pretty much thru the time I was in the Army. There were times when I thought that Army dentists must have taken extra Army Dentist course on how to be complete jerks - (and yes I'm thinking of you, San Angelo AFB, TX Dentist in the Summer of 1978). Well he was an Air Force Dentist now that I think about it, maybe me being in the Army made it worse, I dont know. But I digress. Anyway, my personal treatment at dentist offices had the opposite of the desired effect. It did not encourage to me to improve my oral hygiene, it encouraged me to avoid going to the dentists office at all costs. Cause I knew they would make me feel like crap.

Well, I'm all grown up now, and a civilian to boot, so I have choices, so I guess they don't play that game with me as much anymore. Cause I can go elsewhere if I want, and pay someone else if I so desire.

As a result it wasn't so bad this time, I only got dinged on one small issue. So I'll endeavor to do better, and I'll wait with dread for my next appointment.

No comments: