Open Wide and Say 'AHHHH'

I haven’t been to the dentist in years. I tell people this and they look at me like I have grown a third head (the second perceived head sprouted after I tell them I didn’t know how to ride a bike until a month ago). Hurt-filled and damning words such as ‘why don’t you go to the dentist’ or ‘you should go to the dentist’ or ‘the dentist would be a good place for you to go’ come at me en masse like a swarm of judgmental bees. Why do you care so much? Why are you playing the moral high ground? Does this make me a bad person?

Apparently it does, so I went to the dentist a few weeks ago.

I was expecting the worst. I mean other than the fact that many years between teeth cleaning can yield such issues as cavities and tartar build-up, dentists can be the most holier-than-though collection of prigs ever to wear a white smock. They always ask you things like ‘how often do you brush’ or ‘do you floss’, and we all lie to save face. ‘Oh, I brush at least 3 times a day’ or ‘yeah, I floss as much as I can’ when in reality we all brush once…twice at most…and no one in the world flosses, it hurts!

Anyway, I went to these teeth people in downtown Seattle for my first check-up in a long time, a bill of health that rivals Dick Cheney’s heart exams, and a huge dose of guilt served up dentist-style.

None of this was the case.

  • First off, they got me in on time.

  • Secondly, when I admitted my dental sins to them, there was no judgement, only comfort and acceptance.

  • Thirdly, all three people that were poking around my mouth were as friendly and engaging as can be. I had zero stress throughout the entire examination.

  • Lastly, and most importantly, I only had one small cavity that was scheduled to be filled in within the week.

In other words, it was a fanatic experience. There was no need to worry or fret. The people were great, they were professional and friendly, the work was quality, and were punctual. In fact I go back there to this day just to hang out.

OK, that’s not true. But I will definitely go back in 6 months for another check-up.

This also speaks to something else. Yes, it is a statement of how great dental care products are and how effective electric toothbrushes are. But it also speaks to how far being nice and understanding will get you. If their chair-side manner was as rotten as the teeth of an Englishman, well I would not be returning in 6 months. I would probably avoid the entire thing for another couple years. But the fact they were so amiable motivates me to be more responsible when it comes to the old chompers.

So kudos Downtown Seattle Dentistry on the 11th floor (not to be confused with Seattle Downtown Dentistry on the 6th floor, a mistake I and sure dozens other have made), you are a class-act.