Sunday, September 26, 2010


I'm a dentaphobiac. And who can blame me? My dentophobia has deep roots (sorry... couldn't resist).

It started with my childhood dentist, Dr. Pozener, a masochist posing as a dentist. "Oh, little Mary Lou doesn't need Novocain today," he'd tell my Mom. "The cavity is just below the surface." Then he'd get out his 6 mm hammer drill and go to work. "Ah, quit you're sniveling," he'd say. "Is it safe?"

Fast forward to my Woody Allen dentist in Milwaukee. He was referred to me by my friend Tom (well, at least I thought he was a friend). Woody's office was in a sketchy part of town and his office was always empty. I may not have been his only patient, but I suspect I was his only patient with dental insurance.

Now I have nothing against the real Woody Allen. He is an excellent comedian and director, but would you want Woody Allen as a dentist?  

"Oops...wrong tooth" 
"Sorry about that... it's not bleeding much"
"Do you have any other friends with dental insurance you can refer to me?"

And Woody was crown happy. He replaced much of Dr. Pozener's old artwork with crowns. 

I parted ways with Woody when he wanted to put a gold crown on my front tooth.

My next dentist, Dr. Tusk had to replace the crowns Woody put on. "Did he even measure those crowns before putting them on?  Hand me the jack-hammer, Wilma" Dr. Tusk ordered. "That quack must have used Krazy glue on this thing."

Dentists have come a long way. In fact spa dentistry has become a growing trend. Dentists offer amenities like aromatherapy, heated pillows and facials. You can even have a hand massage while having a root canal.

My current dentist has taken one step in that direction. Before the hygienist sand-blasted my teeth last week she spread Vaseline on my lips with a q-tip. But something was not right with that Vaseline. It was flavored, but not the normal fruity lip gloss flavor you would expect. I couldn't immediately ask the hygienist about the flavor, being as my mouth was otherwise occupied. Then it occurred to me. My lips smelled like baby powder.

At spitting time I asked her if it was my imagination or did my lips smell like baby powder. "Oh, yes. We're using Vaseline Baby for our patients' lips now."

Involuntary gag.

Baby powdered flavored Vaseline is intended to prevent diaper rash. My lips are not at risk for diaper rash. And I don't want Baby Powdered flavored Vaseline anywhere near my mouth.

Thy hygienist made a note in my chart. 

I've requested Margarita flavored Vaseline for my next visit.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, you've had a long way with your dentists there. So how have you been doing with your current dentist? I can best say that patients like us have been more aware nowadays, choosing the dentists we can really trust and give us what we really need.

    Next week, I'll visit my dentist in Colorado Springs. Invisalign is what I'll be getting there, and I must say I should credit him for making my dental phobia disappear.