January 17, 2006

Grin & Bear It

I'm looking for a new dentist. When we moved here we had some random kind of Dental insurance and I just signed us up for the only dentist that practiced in our small town. But I forget this is LA and dentist around here do way more than you ask them to.

I set up an appointment just to have a general cleaning. I arrived at the office and the receptionist gave me the usual health background form to fill out. She also gave me a form asking me about my satisfaction with my smile, satisfaction with the color of my teeth, and asked my to rate how my smile affected my self esteem. I hesitantly filled it out and returned both forms to the receptionist. When I met the dentist, he started telling me all the things that were wrong with my smile:
*Did I know that I had a big gap between my two front teeth? It would be really easy to fix and would make my smile much prettier.
*How about the color of my teeth? So yellow! It would only cost me one session for $500 to get them Jennifer Aniston white.
*Of course I would want to have all my unsightly chips evened out. That wasn't even a question, right?
*He fervently recommended a $450 nightguard to wear because I mentioned that I sometimes got tension headaches. He said grinding teeth could be a cause (even though there was no evidence of grinding when I asked him. Of course, he didn't think that mattered)
*By the way, my smile was crooked. There might be something he could do to fix that.
*Had I considered Invisaline braces?

And as far as paying for all this, he explained in a hush-hush tone that if I just got some headshots, I could write off the cosmetic expenses on my tax return as a business expense for a want-to-be-actress. He had it all figured out for me. I was so lucky to have him watching my back.

It took me most of my appointment to get him off my case about the various aspects of my smile that repulsed him. He seemed shocked that I was nostalgically attached my crooked, yellow, bucky smile. As we were now out of time to do the cleaning that I had made the appointment for, I had to schedule another visit. Unbelievable.

I actually doing my research this time on a good dentist and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they won't attack my apparently not-so-good looks as well. Oh, and the final insult, my old dentist is going to charge me $50 to get our x-rays from him to give to the new doctor. Although if he was smart, he'd charge twice that for the ransom. I'm sure the "fleeing patient fee" is how he makes most of his money. But he sure does have nice teeth! Maybe he's not so bad after all.


Ben Everton said...

Doesn't sound like the kind of guy you want putting you under anesthesia. Were any of the dental assistants cute, because I really need a wife.


Jared said...

It may be cheaper to just let all of your teeth fall out and get dentures.

sarah livesay said...

HA! I just got the green light to get my teeth fixed in Hungary at my sisters univeristy... Norsk dentists are so expensive that I have put off a rootcanal for three years... Mom was just there over christmas and got ten fillings redone and whitening for the same price as one filling here! My sisters in med. school there and has an apt with a spare room, I am sure she would book you in! She would love the company ;) luv, kibler

Stephanie said...

Jared's right. Makes me think of that commercial where the two old people trade dentures and watch each other eat a Butterfinger. You'd just be getting a head start on it. Teeth are so overrated anyhow.

kelsey said...

Funny. One time I went to a dentist who asked me if I wanted to file away my "fang" teeth. I chose to keep them. They might come in handy someday, but for awhile I was self-conscious about looking like a vampire. That teeth whitening, though, I still want to do that sometime. I used to try the home remedies, but it's too much work. I'd rather pay someone hundreds of dollars to do it for me.