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My First Dentist

October 11, 2015

When I lived with my parents, I went to their dentist.  After each appointment, I just walked out.  They sent the bill to my parents.  I never had to pay it.  I thought that worked out very nicely.

However, when I got a job in a larger city, I also had to find my own dentist.  I neglected my teeth for some time.  After all, they were not a problem for me.  Eventually, though, I need to find a dentist.  I asked around at work for a recommendation.  I found one that seemed fine to me.  Little did I know what was in store for me.

This dentist had an office in a large downtown building.  My first surprise was that he was all by himself.  He had no receptionist and no assistant.  One room was the waiting room.  I still recall gazing out the window and seeing ponds of water on roofs below.  No doubt I read old magazines too.

The other room contained the dental chair and all the other dental equipment.  The first thing the dentist told me was that he didn’t use anesthetic.  I knew that this should be possible with the new high-speed drills, but my old dentist never did that.  Maybe it was something new.  I was willing to try it.  Most people would run right out the door at that point, but I was willing to try it.  I soon found out that he drilled very carefully, monitoring my reactions intently as he did it.  He stopped drilling the instant that I felt any pain.  It was actually okay.  I liked the idea of walking out of there without a frozen jaw and lip.

I also soon found out that he made only 15 minute appointments.  The problem with this was that I had to go downtown frequently, but only had a small amount of dental work done.  I suppose I had too many cavities for the treatment he provided.  He only had time for one filling at each appointment.  These were all temporary fillings.  There were so many that one had always fallen out by the time of the next appointment.  He never got to permanent fillings.  I could see that this procedure was never going to end.

After each appointment, I walked out of the office, just as I had done before.  He never said a word to me.  I was expecting a bill in the mail, but it never came.  Finally, I noticed that other patients were paying him right after each appointment.  At that point, I offered to pay him and asked him how much I owed him.  He said he’d figure it out, but he never did.  I kept asking him.  Finally he gave me a figure.

I paid it right there and started looking for a new dentist.  He was a very nice fellow and likely also a good dentist.  However, he was not the kind of kind of dentist I needed.  My next one was what I needed.  I stayed with him ever since.

 

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