I Enter the Relm of the Periodontist!

17 June 2009.

I have a 1:30 PM appointment with my periodontist. I don’t know this guy and we’ve never been to his office so this is going to be an experience. I figure that I’m in no danger during this first visit since he’ll just be checking me out.

As usual, we plan on being at a new doctors office a little early since there’s always paperwork to fill out. So we show up at this new office complex not far from our house. The place looks expensive!

I try the door to go in and it’s locked! That’s strange. It’s 1:15 PM and his office is locked. I bang on the door and I hear nothing in return. A glimmer of hope starts rising. Maybe I’ll be saved from this, I just know, terrible experience.

It’s now 1:25 and there are five other patients standing outside the periodontist’s door waiting for their 1:30 PM appointment. Now, either this guy is pretty darn fast working or he’s got a bunch of other periodontists in there somewhere waiting for us. I just don’t understand scheduling 5 patients for the same 1:30 PM appointment.

I’m standing by the door cause I figure whoever gets in first ought to have the first 1:30 PM appointment, right!

Finally, the door opens and in zip my lovely Wife and I! We’re first! Oh, my! What nice air conditioning this place has. Sure beats standing outside in the 150 degree heat! I’m just a little ticked that the office wasn’t open earlier.

Toothbrush cupWhen the receptionist finally shows up I ask her about it and she says, “We all go to lunch at 12:00 to 1:30 PM”

Like I’m supposed to know this some how? It didn’t say that on my appointment card. Doesn’t say that on the outside door! Haven’t they ever heard of having coverage during the lunch hour (in their case it’s an hour and a half!). Not a good way to break in new patients.

So, I’m already not a “happy camper” with this office and guess what this nice receptionist does next. Yeap! She hands me a clipboard with a bunch of forms on it to fill out! Hey! What about me being the first in the door!

Ok, so I’m busily filling in all these little boxes when the nurse or whatever starts calling the 1:30 appointments back to be treated. After the fourth 1:30 appointment goes in, and while I’m still filling out paperwork, I notice the waiting room starts filling up with 2:00, and 2:30 appointments. Of course these people came early so they get to sit in the air conditioning and wait. Ba!

Finally I finish all the paperwork and my name is called! I pretend I don’t hear it. But, my beautiful Wife has this remarkable sense of hearing and she doesn’t hesitate to tell me they called my name! Thank youuuuuuuu!

So I’m slowly led back to the periodontist rooms! They all have those black dentist chairs! Why are all the chairs black? Anyway, I’m led into my periodontist examining room and my black chair.

I sit down and the dental tech starts adjusting it. I ask him what he’s doing and he says he’s trying to make me comfortable. I tell him that’s not possible, just don’t move the chair, any part of it without telling me first.

He says, “Ok!” I think this is when he figured I was going to be a “problem patient.”

While I’m lying there on this black chair in pain, and not dental pain, he tells me that the periodontist will be in in just a moment. He then puts a bib around my neck. I’m thinking, uh, oh!

Finally, after what seemed like 10 hours, but might have been 10 minutes, THE PERIODONTIST arrives! He pops the back of the chair down and I let out a little scream! The dental tech tells the Periodontist that I’m sensitive to the chair moving. Hey! A little late on telling him something important!

Anyway, I’m breathing again, and the periodontist says he needs to check the insides of my mouth. Up until this time, I was going to try and keep my mouth shut. That didn’t work for long. So, I opened my mouth wide. The dental tech swings this gigantic light over my head and, yeah he turns it on with me looking straight at it! Well, I’ve been blind before and maybe it’s best that I can’t see what they have to do!

I suppose the Periodontist has had a good look at the insides of my mouth. He says, “Wow! You have a lot of tartar!”

Sounds like I’ve heard that before. He says it’s going to have to come out and it’ll take some serious work but he and his dental tech can do it!

He’s also poking around with his two foot steel pick and taking measurements, just like the dental assistant at my dentist office. He gets back to my back tooth and he says, “Wow! A 20! Now that’s something.”

He says that tooth, even though it’s all gold and pretty, it will have to come out!

I say, “Oh, joy!” And I just came in here to get my teeth cleaned!

Now, the Periodontist and the dental tech are mumbling to each other about readings and blasting and stuff. I didn’t catch much of it. But the Periodontist leaves and the dental tech says they’ll let me get up and go into a consultation room where they can discuss what this will all cost.

I ask for my Wife!

We’re in the consultation room and the Periodontist comes in and explains everything he has to do to me and why to my Wife. I think this is a pretty good move on his part cause I’m sure he knows that I didn’t listen to much of anything he said before. It’s not that I don’t listen, I just don’t hear things well, especially when the stuff they’re saying might hurt!

After he’s finished, his receptionist comes in with the really bad news. She needs to discuss costs. We’ve got dental insurance, such as it is, so we shouldn’t have to pay for all of it. Bottom line, it’s going to cost us about $500 to get my tooth pulled and my teeth completely clean.

And I bet I don’t even get to keep the tooth or the gold that’s on it! I could’ve sold that gold to pay for some of this!!!

Next up, 14 July 2009, the day the blood begins to flow!

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