Lebanon Reporter

Columns

June 27, 2012

Drilling for information

Most people have their teeth cleaned and examined twice a year. That was pretty much my routine, but then my dentist started scheduling me for quarterly appointments. I asked him why, and he said that patients withdeep pockets need to come in four times a year. What an idiot I am. I thought he was talking about my gums.

Before my last appointment, the receptionist asked me to fill out a new form so they could update my medical and personal information. There were 50 statements and I was asked to indicate those that addressed a dentalconcern I had. I checked off all of them because I have found that with my regular physician, the more things he thinks I suffer from, the easier it is to get an appointment when I’m really sick.

In addition, I always put in snide comments next to the questions. That’s why the staff doesn’t keep me in the waiting room too long with a writing instrument in my hand. They’re afraid I might talk about my visit in my newspaper column . . . which is exactly what I have done here. These are actual statements from the dental questionnaire:

__X__ I have cavities and broken fillings

I have no idea if I do. Isn’t it your job to know this? Hey, I don’t have a shiny metal instrument with a tiny mirror on the end of it.

__X__ I have missing teeth

I do. And my wallet has also disappeared. I’m calling my brother. I was athis house last weekend.

__X__ My teeth are moving

And I’m going with them. Do you know a good dentist in Boca I can recommend to them?

__X__ I trap food between my teeth

Yes, and I’m pretty good at it. I’m also a helluva fisherman.

__X__ I snore when I sleep at night

Oh, yes. A dozen people told me that last week.

__X__ I have bad breath

A dozen people have also told me that. Not the same people.

__X__ I need help flossing

I could use some assistance. But be sure that Cyndi the hygienist is over no later than midnight. I fall asleep after Letterman’s monologue.

__X__ My mouth is dry

I’ll have a Bud. I hate your coffee machine. Thanks for asking.

__X__ I don’t like the shape of my teeth

What are my options here? Is octagon available? I’m very New Age.

__X__ I am experiencing recession

Yes, but I don’t totally blame Obama for this. Some of mine started during the Bush years.

__X__ I need information on how to prevent cavities

Yes, I’m a total moron. Is daily exercise the key? How about cutting back on fuel consumption. Give me a hint, please.

__X__ I often wake up during the night

Yes, and two minutes later I’m back in bed. Mission accomplished. Trust me; this has nothing to do with my teeth.

__X__ My teeth seem short

They reach my food. The bottoms and the tops can touch. I don’t think it’s fair to expect much more than that from my teeth when it comes to length.

__X__ My teeth don’t fit together

Okay, it’s not a perfect fit. But besides the two wisdom teeth you yanked out, we’ve all been hanging out since the Eisenhower administration. 

__X__ I have one of the following: Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Heart Disease, Erectile Dysfunction

Okay, if I have to pick just one, I’ll say hypertension. But I have to ask, what do teeth have to do with . . . never mind.

__X__ I keep breaking my teeth

Yes, and it’s a terrible habit. Mary Ellen has to hide the hammer.

__X__ My teeth are sensitive to stress

That’s why this is the last question I’m answering.

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