Most people have their teeth cleaned and examined twice a year. That was pretty much my routine, but then my dentist started scheduling me for quarterly appointments. I asked him why, and he said patients with deep pockets need to come in four times a year. I thought he was talking about my gums.
Before my last appointment, I was asked to fill out a form so they could update my information. There were 50 statements and I was asked to indicate those that addressed a dental concern I had. I checked off all of them because I have found that with my regular physician, the more things he thinks I suffer from, the easier it is to get an appointment when I’m sick.
In addition, I always put in snide comments next to the questions. That’s why the staff doesn’t keep me in the waiting room too long. They’re afraid I might talk about my visit in my newspaper column. These are actual statements from the dental questionnaire:
_X___I have cavities and broken fillings
I have no idea if I do. Isn’t it your job to know this? Hey, I don’t have a shiny metal instrument with a tiny mirror on the end of it.
__X__ My teeth are moving
And I’m going with them. Do you know a good dentist in Boca I can recommend to them?
_X___ I snore when I sleep at night
Oh, yes. A dozen people told me that last week.
__X__I need help flossing
I could use some assistance. But be sure that Cyndi the hygienist is over no later than midnight. I fall asleep after Letterman’s monologue.
__X__I don’t like the shape of my teeth
What are my options here? Is octagon available? I’m very New Age.
__X__I need information on how to prevent cavities
Yes, I’m a total moron. Is daily exercise the key? How about cutting back on fuel consumption? Give me a hint, please.
__X___ My teeth seem short
They reach my food. The bottoms and the tops can touch. I don’t think it’s fair to expect much more than that from my teeth when it comes to length.
__X___I have one of the following: Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Heart Disease, Erectile Dysfunction
Okay, if I have to pick just one, I’ll say hypertension. But I have to ask, what do teeth have to do with…never mind.
__X__ My teeth are sensitive to stress
That’s why this is the last question I’m answering.