Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dr. Abigail

" you are beginning to develop a cavity in one of your wisdom teeth, but the tooth is still partially covered by your gums, so we can either remove your wisdom teeth or cut off part of your gums and fill the cavity" Dr. Abigail told me after my dental check up a couple weeks ago.

Neither of those options sounded particularly appealing. I had been hanging onto my wisdom teeth for quite a while despite the fact that Dr. Abigail had informed me on my first visit with her three years earlier that she was putting my wisdom teeth "on watch".

I never really knew what "on watch" was supposed to mean until now... Dr. Abigail is a sweet lady, she's always really nice and gentle, but clearly she was racist against wisdom teeth or something. She had been scrutinizing those teeth every time I cam in just waiting for an excuse to refer me to someone to yank those suckers out... and now APPARENTLY she finally had one... although I don't know... to me it seems like if I am "beginning to develop" a cavity rather than actually "having a cavity" it's not too late to do something else... but I guess she was probably just being her usual kind gentle self by breaking the news to me that way.

She's mainly a children's dentist- a fact which was suddenly brought to my attention when I arrived for my first visit. I had found her on the Blue Cross Website listed as Dr. Abigail Lingad, whose office was less than a mile from my apartment at the time, so that was good enough for me... but when I arrived and the big sign out front said "GIGGLES AND GRINS" and the waiting area of her office was a little too well stocked with Highlights magazine I began to feel a little out of place. But they never said anything to me so I just pretended like I didn't notice.

Anyway, the fact that she works with children a lot has endowed her with the uncanny ability to make dental procedures that would normally sound daunting and painful sound like slight inconveniences. "little pinch" she'll say before she sticks you with a 6" needle full of Novocaine. "breath through your nose there's gonna be lots of water" she'll chirp as Niagara falls suddenly seems to spurt out of her little water sprayer and down your throat... and the amazing thing is when she says its just a "little pinch" or braces you for the water that's coming, it really isn't so bad.

And she's so encouraging. She tells me I do a good job of brushing and I have strong teeth and when I had to go in to get a filling replaced the other day she kept saying that I was "so brave" for not flinching or anything when she gave me the Novocaine injection... and I know it could sound like she was talking down to me... but really I WAS BRAVE and it was very nice of her to notice and say so. Too many people take it for granted what a brave soldier I am, but not doctor Abigail.

So when measured against her usual sugar coated diagnosis, her statement about cutting away gums to fill the cavity on my wisdom tooth sounded like an uncharacteristically scary or painful thing for Dr. Abigail to suggest, but she clearly cannot hide her disdain of wisdom teeth... we've all got our things that bug us and I can see how my wisdom teeth make her job harder. She's got to practicly jam her whole hand in my mouth to clean those teeth, so I can see how it certainly would make her time with me easier if those pesky wisdome teeth were out... and I think Dr. Abigail deserves to have it easy... so I had a decision to make...

I tried to be fair about my choice. "my gums haven't done anything to me. Its the teeth with the problem so why should I punish them?" I thought to myself, but on the other hand, its my gums job to protect my teeth and obviously my gums had failed in that case, so maybe I should just get rid of the gums and save the poor neglected tooth... It is after all the coolest named tooth in my mouth... K-9, incisor, molar... what the fuck kind of boring tooth names are those, sounds like I could ditch those guys any day and never notice, but "wisdom tooth" hey that sounds like something I'd like to hold onto... I should bear those puppies like a badge of honor... after all they didn't show up until I was old enough to be "wise" right ? Isn't that how they got their name... so if I rip them out my next dentist may think that I'm just too stupid to have wisdom teeth... it's such a dilemma... but at the end of the day I could tell that Dr. Abigail was trying to steer me towards removal... because who would ever choose "cut out part of your gums". Holy Crap that sounds scary... and if Dr. Abigail made something sound scary. It must be awful.

So now I am going to have to go see an oral surgeon who won't have to warn me about " the little pinch" I'm going to feel or the water that's coming 'cause he'll just knock me out and rip a few teeth out of my head. NICE ! I can't wait ! I hope its really super expensive too !

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