Monday morning I went in for an early morning dentist appointment before work. Unfortunately, my previous dentist had disappeared from the office where he worked*. That office had attempted to place me with some other dentist in their office, but I heard from a friend of mine that this guy apparently had the chairside manner of Vlad the Impaler. So I cancelled my appointment and asked around until my friend H.Co recommended this one.
As always, whenever I start up a relationship with any medical professional, my first goal is to get their assistant-level folks to fall completely in love with me. This is particularly important in the case of dentists, because hygenists can make or break your experience - and not only because they spend a significant proportion of their time wielding sharpened steel tools around very sensitive areas.
The way I see it, my relationship with my hygenist is more important than that with my actual dentist. This is because most of my time in the dentists office is spent with her**. I rarely spend any time with my dentist one-on-one because I have great teeth. I've been told this on multiple occasions and it's gotten to the point where I actually take pleasure in going to the dentist just for the positive affirmation and endless praise that is heaped upon me when I stop by. It's like the scene in "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie is imagining his teacher giving him an "A plus, plus, plus, plus, plus..." after being so deeply moved and inspired by his essay on why he wants the Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas - only without the harsh reality of "you'll shoot your eye out!".
Anyway, I think my new hygenist and I are going to get along famously. She laughed at all my jokes***, explained things very well and wielded her blades with the deft touch and skill of a sober Inigo Montoya.
Although, I think perhaps next time I'll ask her to change the TV to Sportscenter from Today. Al Roker is way too annoying that early in the morning.
* And yes, it was under mysterious circumstances
** Yes, I refer to all of them as "her". I know it's not gender neutral and therefore sexist, but honestly, I've never had (or even seen) a male dental hygenist. I assume it's because all hygenist schools are women-only institutions.
*** For example, when she handed me the piece of paper listing my HIPAA rights, she said "And here are your rights". I responded by asking if my right to party was included, "because sometimes I had to fight for those". Great stuff.