(Sweezie, Queen of All She Surveys?) I made my (next to last) trip to the dentist to get, hopefully, the last in a long line of crowns done earlier this week. I am all about squeezing the last penny out of my dental insurance (and my wallet, apparently) before I venture into the unknown Medicare territory. As perverse as it sounds, I love my dentist. I don't particularly like any form of dentistry but, if dentistry needs to be administered, then I vote for Svetlana B. She is all of 4 feet 10 and is a human dynamo. Her dental assistant works with her so well, it's like a dance. Sometimes the dance of pain, but it is still fascinating. Other than the dreaded numbing shot, she is fast and exact and gets me in and out in sound-breaking time.
I remember my first dentist - he was a gentle, kindly fellow, who wore a white, short-sleeved medical jacket, tie, and smelled of Brylcreem and cigarettes. Since neither of my parents smoked (although dad did smoke a pipe from time to time), this seemed to me a very exotic thing. Also, there was the Treasure Chest. If you were good (translated as didn't scream or bite him), you got to choose a treasure on your way out. I always went for the gaudiest, largest ring I could find.
When I was in my mid-20s to mid-30s, I went to my dentist's nephew. I liked him because of his propensity to use nitrous oxide at the drop of a hat. A little nervous? Pop goes the gas, on go the headphones, up goes the volume and off you go to a nicer place than the dentist's chair. He had a fine selection of music - classical, pop, rock, jazz - there were times that I was actually disappointed when the procedure was over.
After that, I had a series of unhappy experiences with a number of bad dentists that ranged from just rude to barbaric. I had found a very nice one just down the street from the office, but he retired and sold his business to an Egyptian butcher who apparently got his dental degree through the mail, if he had one at all. The next one was a woman who seemed so ill at ease and unsure - case in point, I got no less than 7 novocaine shots in the roof of my mouth at every visit - that I couldn't face her. Then I found Svetlana and have been 'happy' ever since. I am very chummy with my hygienist, too - who will, sob, be retiring soon. We traded cell phone numbers so we can keep in touch.
As much as I like them, however, I do hope that this is the last procedure I will be having for at least ten years.