Let me just start off by saying I have ALWAYS loved going to the denist. But it’s been a long while since my last visit to the dentist. Not only because I didn’t have insurance, but because my last dentist (whom I loved and admired) died a few years back and I wasn’t willing to try out anyone new. But my recently acquired insurance led me to take the leap and make an appointment. I went in last week and, to my surprise, found that I was actually part of a dental group, which means I probably won’t ever see the same dentist twice. The weirdest thing was that they only took my x-rays for that first appointment and then set me a second appointment for my cleaning. Every other dentist I’ve ever been to has just done them both at the same time. I also needed a cavity filled.

Today I made the second trek to the dentist, which is in Sacramento by the way, and had my teeth cleaned and cavity filled within a 45 minute span. That’s right. I arrived at the dentist’s office at 8 a.m. and was out the door by 8:45.

It was really strange because they didn’t use the old metal tools to scrape my teeth with. Instead they used one of those water pik things, spraying water all over my face at the same time (so unhygenic). They didn’t numb my tooth to fill the cavity for two reasons: I told them I’d never had problems with pain and they said it was small so it shouldn’t hurt – it didn’t. So they just started drilling and filled it in. It literally took seconds. Then they cleaned my teeth and sent me packing. Oh, well they did leave time for the woman to tell me she could fix my two front teeth for the small, uninsured price of $1900.

The experience got me thinking: Has the way of the dentist fallen to corporate America? It’s all about efficiency with no personal touches – not even a free toothbrush to take home with me. People never know who to expect when they come back unless they specifically request a dentist and they try to upsell you on stuff – do they get paid on comission?

So, does anyone out there have a real family dentist still that you could recommend? Keep in mind: I want, no, I expect, a free toothbrush at the end of my cleaning. Am I wrong to expect this? Are kids the only ones who get the free toothbrush anymore? Maybe I’m out of the loop, but seriously. Adults are the ones who appreciate the fact that getting a free toothbrush just saved them $4. Not me though, I’m gonna have to go buy one today…

PS My dentist said my teeth look great. See, that’s what regular flossing does for you.

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