I’m a dental hypochondriac, evidently…

It started last week, on my way back from the airport. I opened my mouth in the rear view window and I noticed something that just didn’t look right on my back, left, upper molar. It looked dark, unhealthy, and not something you would want in your mouth. It started feeling different. Pulsating.

It’s weighed on my mind ever since.

I’ll admit, I haven’t been a regular dental office visitor in years. I brush, but don’t floss. (Why bother when you can Listerine?) I drink bottled water (when I drink water), so I’m not getting my fluoride like I should. I probably haven’t darkened the door of an office since I had my wisdom teeth out; I know I haven’t been since I’ve lived in Nashville. As Warren Zevon said about his cancer, “I may have made a tactical error in not consulting a physician for 20 years. That was one phobia that didn’t pay off.” I feared the worst.

This morning, not being able to stand it anymore, I asked around if anyone knew a good dentist. A quick google search revealed a phone number, I called about 9 and had an appointment for 10:20. I got there, filled out their forms. I don’t have dental insurance, which is fine because this particular dentist has a drive-up ATM in his parking lot.

They saw me almost immediately. I laid down in the chair, the hygenist person quickly grabbed her tools and went to work. I looked in her eyes trying to get a sense of the horrors that she was seeing. She was good, I got no tells. She’s played this game before.

Turns out it was a just a filling, one that I forgot I had. She said my teeth were fine. In fact, she said they were in great shape. I was embarassed. The pain was evidently all in my head. (Yes, I know even if was a toothache, the pain would be in my head, but still.)

I made an appointment for a cleaning, but I still couldn’t help but feel like Quiz Kid Donnie Smith from the movie Magnolia, heart full of love and mouth full of unnecessary dental treatments.

One thing that I did notice on the form was the field for “Emergency Contact.” It listed a place to put the contact name, telephone number, cell number, standard stuff…and email address. For the record, if you need me, you might try call my cell phone first.

5 thoughts on “I’m a dental hypochondriac, evidently…”

  1. One time I told the whole internet on my blog that my tooth broke when really it was just some gross tartar buildup that broke off in my hand.

    Sexy, ain’t it?

  2. You might want a second opinion. I would be skeptical of any dentist that can see you within an 1 1/2 hour of calling. I have a regular dentist, and I would never be able to see him the same day. My thought is that he doesn’t have many clients.

    Did you get x-rays? Without them, they cannot give you a clean bill of health. I’m not an expert, just someone who has faithfully went to the dentist all my life.

  3. As my grandfather always said, “Never take dental advice from people who won’t identify themselves.” Or something like that.

  4. The more I think about it the more I think the anonymous commenter is correct.

    I should have known something was up when the hygenist asked me to get in the back of her van. Like I said, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been to the dentist.

    Good thing it only set be back $400.

    (Who knew exclusivity = quality dentistry. I guess it’s better if they make you wait on it.)

  5. (SECOND NOTICE)

    Mr. Morgan, on the night of October 23, 1982 you received payment from my office in the amount of a shiny Kennedy Half Dollar for the tooth you lost that afternoon while you were eating that pudding pop. Upon review of our records, we have realized that this represented an overpayment of $.25. Kindly remit payment or surrender another molar.

    Regards,
    The Tooth Fairy

    TTF/tfa

    (dictated but not read)

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