The dentist is one of the most reviled people in the world – 80% of that revulsion is irrational. The other 20% is fully deserved because, as much as you may hate the dentist, he seems to hate you back. He hides it, behind his little mask and big light and pointy tools but man, that dude is just disgusted with you. Just take a look at all the subtle ways he tries to make your day worse.
The selection of magazines at your dentist’s office sucks. That episode of Seinfeld, about a dentist getting Hustler in the office, was born from this universal truth. Your dentist could subscribe to any magazine he wanted to but instead you’ll sit down and see reader’s Digest and Better Homes and Gardens. If you had a better home or garden you’d be there enjoying it right now and not trying to force yourself to appreciate an article about homemade wall sconces. And there’s no evidence that anyone except medical offices subscribes to Reader’s Digest, the most innocuous and boring magazine in the history of ever that, and you may be surprised to learn this, has not been published since 1976.
Your dentist is a liar and this is when he lies right to your face, right into your open, defenseless mouth behind his spit-deflecting goggles. When he pulls out that syringe of anesthetic and gets you to open nice and wide like a chump and says “just a little mosquito bite” and then the needle extends to its full 13 feet o cold, raging steel as he inserts it into your gums whilst injecting liquid fire into your blood stream. Mosquito bite, you deceptive prick? What sinister third world jungle did you get your degree in where the mosquitoes savage your insides like the icy fingers of death tickling your soft palette?
I’m an adult, I am capable of accepting pain in a situation that makes it inescapable. I don’t need to be patronized with faulty insectoid metaphors that serve to do nothing but enrage me when you scrape steel across my nerves in a effort to make me feel better. Prick.
“You haven’t been brushing regularly, have you?” No question that crosses your dentists lips is more infuriating or obnoxious. First, even if I haven’t been brushing, which I have, up yours. You wouldn’t have a job if my teeth were pristine and perfect, so don’t talk to me like I’m a doucher. And suppose I wasn’t brushing, suppose I was some kind of bacteria-loving hippie who was trying to nurture the face goblins on my teeth, I came to you to fix my stupidity, not point it out. I know my teeth are preposterous that’s why I came here. Doctors don’t ask if you’ve been drinking milk when you come in with a broken leg, that’s a dick move. Don’t ask me if I brushed my teeth, just fix the crap hole I call my face.
The most bizarre thing about any given dentist is how little they know about their business and how little you care. Say you need an emergency appointment due to your massive tooth pain and you get in and then…what’s this going to cost? You don’t know. And the worst part is the dentist doesn’t know either. Go on, ask the actual dentist sometime, he’ll have no clue what he charges.
When it’s done you’ll get a receipt from the receptionist that details the cost of the dentist just allowing you in the building, maybe an x-ray, and the procedure itself. It’s probably a few hundred dollars. Hope you have that on hand.
The receipt will sort of break down what your paying, but it still won’t make sense. I had a tooth removed recently and it cost $202 just for the removal. What the hell kind of number is $202? The exam was $125, which took about 10 minutes. The x-ray was $25, which seems decent for a dose of radiation. But $202 to take out a tooth? Why? Why??
Ahh, reception. This is the person who actually does know how the business runs and how much you’re going to pay. Only she can’t tell you what you’re going to pay until after the dentist knows what needs to be done, so no one knows what you’re going to pay until it’s done, you simply can’t plan ahead. But she will remind you you need to come back in 6 months as you pay out of your savings to cover the mysterious procedures.
The receptionist will also remind you that you need to come back in 6 months. Why? I dunno, they need more money from you in 6 months, probably. In 6 months that $202 will have been spent on exotic cheeses, argyle socks and shitty magazine subscriptions and they’ll need another hit, so you come back. Do you have a dental emergency? Probably not, but just in case, come back. Come back and pay again, you sorry sap. Come back and experience the wrath of the dentist who despises your very existence.