The Dentist Makes Me Neurotic…How About You?

by Jenny Hansen

Photo by Lynn Kelley ~ WANA Commons

Photo by Lynn Kelley ~ WANA Commons

My biggest fear (after plummeting to my death from great heights) is going to the dentist.

After $50K in dental work, you’d think I would sail through my appointments like a pro. Not so much…

Instead, I am a pro at “dental avoidance behavior.”

I’m a sad, pitiful case and the dental staff knows it. I have no idea if they call everyone else TWICE to remind them of their appointments, but they do with me. And I’m pretty sure both my dentists (yes, I have two) and their staff hate to see my name on their roster because I’m a neurotic mess the whole time I’m in their chair.

To be fair, I’m better than I used to be. They used to have to give me the gas just for a routine cleaning. Now I just need my iPod and my knitting to keep me distracted.

Here’s a timeline of my last dental appointment:

Tuesday afternoon: I get a call from the periodontist’s office to confirm my appointment for Wednesday at 8 am.

Me: WTF?? I have a dentist appointment tomorrow?! And it’s with the gum people *blood pounds in head* – they’ll poke me with that metal death hook and check me for POCKETS.

To the dental lady: I’m having some babysitting issues right now. Let me check to be sure I have coverage tomorrow. I’ll call you back if I have to cancel.

Dental lady: But we called you last week to confirm…

Me: Don’t you know I banish you people from my memory? *sweating*I’ll call you back today if I can’t get it resolved.

I dialed my neighbor thinking, “Please don’t be free, please don’t be free…”

Of course she was free. And delighted to watch Baby Girl for an hour while I went to the Gum Sadists.

I was feeling kind of woozy by the time all the calls were over, so I ducked into Starbucks for some afternoon latte therapy. Then I called my husband.

Me: I have to go to the periodontist tomorrow!

Him: You go every three months. I don’t know why it’s always a surprise.

Me: Because I block it out! Why do I have to be such a plaque-y beast?? *dramatic sigh* Other people who LIKE the dentist don’t have to go that often.

Him: I thought you liked these guys.

Me: Get with the program, Honey! It doesn’t matter if they’re nice guys, they’re DENTISTS. They have scrape-y jobbers and sucky things. And DRILLS.

Him: *Laughing* Sucky things?


Him: You’re getting a cleaning. They’re not going to use a drill.

Me: But it will be IN THE ROOM…

Him: I’m going back to work now. I’ll put out the iPod charger when I get home.**

** Remember the iPod and the knitting? Hubby knows there is no way I can last through a dentist appointment without some really loud music to drown out the scraping. No iPod means I start crying like a baby for the gas.

I’ve gotten a lot better over the years…at least now I go. And both of my dentists are very nice men who speak to me like they would to a cornered animal. These smart guys know I’m like an elephant when it comes to oral health: my memory for dental torture is detailed and long.

Do you have any phobias that turn you into a white-knuckled mess? Do you adore going to the dentist (like my bizarre BFF)? Or, like me, do you despise all things dental? Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook.

~ Jenny


About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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