While reading Peripatetic Polar Bear's recent dental woe, I was reminded of a story about my Dental Nightmare a few years ago that I just had to relate.
Most of you know the pitfalls of the HMO and "Preferred Provider" plans. I shouldn't have to say any more, right? :) Well, of course, the only dentist within a decent-sized radius of our home was Dr. A. Dr, A, being first on the list, naturally was the one that our insurance plan would prefer we go to. And by "prefer", we mean that you have to mortgage your home and give up your firstborn child in order to see anyone else.
Of course, this meant that Dr. A was a colossal jerk. I, however, didn't find out this nugget of gold information until midway through my first exam. Great time, right? Well, being a serious weenie about dental pain, I sit there as Dr. de Sade drills my teeth. Yes, I've had novocaine, and yes, I'm numb, but he must be hitting nerve anyway, because I. Feel. It. I'm clawing half-moon shapes into the leatherette of the dental chair. Dr. A sees this, and has the utter gall to say to me...
"Oh, come now! You're not afraid of a little pain, are you?"
Now, remember that I'm mostly immobilized in the Leatherette Iron Maiden, *and* with a spinning drill still in my mouth. I nod, almost imperceptibly, and grunt in the affirmative. As in, "Yes, I am a total weenus about pain, and this bothers me immensely."
The esteemed doctor says, "Well....I can see by the size of your hips that you've had at least ONE child. Surely, this isn't any worse than childbirth."
You have never seen a fat woman move so fast. I ripped all of the dental accoutrement off of me, and spat out -- "There's this new thing, doctor! It's called "bedside manner." You might want to try it sometime!" I stalked out of his office. When I got the bill for his services, I went to pay it in person so I could let them know that, if I had my way, no one would ever patronize this man again. When the receptionist asked why we wouldn't be returning, I told her "I've seen baboons in the zoo display more tact than that man."
My husband had had to see the same dentist, and was actually referred to a maxillofacial dentist by Dr. A, and even the maxillofacial dentist thought he was a putz. You've got to be a humongous idjit if people *to whom you send business* don't want to deal with you.
Thankfully, the dentist we see now is a great guy, and really makes you feel at ease. I related the Dental Drama to him, and he did his very best to make sure that I was comfortable at all times.
So, to all the other dental weenies out there -- you are not alone. My hips and I are with you.