The PSE:
it had been about fourteen months since the PSE got her teeth cleaned.
the last time the PSE had an exam and cleaning we were in the Philippines.
you are supposed to have an exam and cleaning every six months to maintain good dental hygiene but we live in a country that is lukewarm at best on acknowledging healthcare as a human right and it sure as shit doesn't recognize dental care, so, fuck us, we're on our own.
if the PSE wanted to get her teeth cleaned here in America, she would have to pay out of pocket.
fortunately, Fort Worth is a town overrun with dentists and a fair amount of them seem to be offering promotions on the Groupon.
it sucks to have to pay any money at all for something that ought to be a human right, but, it always feels good to pay less for something then other people.
that is how they get ya.

the PSE found a Groupon for a dental cleaning and exam for $39 but, on top of that she had coupons for Groupon for some reason so she ended up paying $9.
for an $85 dollar listed price that's a pretty good deal, but, of course, in the medical field, prices of things are never real.
the PSE went down to her dentist appointment sometime around the end of May.
she did not enjoy her dental experience.
the Dentist was kind of a dick and she thought he didn't give it his best on the cleaning.
like he was just half-assing it because she was a Groupon customer.
the Dentist gave the PSE an examination and reported that he found no cavities.
great news, PSE!
but, the guy did present the PSE with a list of all kinds of other things that he would like to do to her including replacing a crown and extracting wisdom teeth.
to do everything the Dentist recommended would have been $2,844.00.
the PSE told him 'no thank you,' figuring 'if it ain't broke, why bother with it?
which may be why the money-hungry shite half-assed the cleaning.

i did not want to be left out of dental hygiene fun.
i visited a Groupon Dentist when the PSE and i first moved to Fort Worth about a year ago but i was due for another exam and cleaning.
i did not want to go back to the Groupon Dentist i used last time [i think Groupons are for first-time patients, anyway] and the PSE advised me not to go to the jerk she used, so we had to find another dentist for me to visit this time.
which is fine, because Fort Worth is lousy with dentists.
the PSE was unable to get as great of a deal for my Groupon dentist. she had used up all of her Groupon coupons on herself, so, when it came time to buy my Groupon, the best deal the PSE could find was a Groupon for $50 that she could then take an additional $10 off.
so, $40 for a dental cleaning and exam worth $80.
which isn't bad, but it isn't nearly as the deal the PSE got for herself.
happily, my dentist was a much better human being and i had what might have been the most enjoyable dental experience of my life.

i rode the TITScycle to the Dentist's office ten minutes away.
i had a little trouble finding the place because it was in an office suite full of dentists, literally every office in the building was a different dentist and i had no idea what the name of the place was.
i found it eventually and the lady at reception had me sign in and asked me for my Groupon.
i didn't bring it because i didn't think to, and i had no idea how to look it up because i've never actually used Groupon myself. this is the PSE's field.
i had to call the PSE and annoy her to look the thing up for me and the whole thing was obnoxious and i thought it might set me off on the wrong foot with the lady in Reception but i resisted my instincts to be a dick to her about it and i'm glad for it.
after a while a chunky dental hygienist came around and took me back to have X-Rays taken.
rather then having me bite down on different uncomfortable rectangle plates while they point the X-Ray zapper at different parts of my mouth like most dentists use, this place had a newer X-Ray machine that just whirls around your head while you stand up, which was much quicker and easier and less uncomfortable.
then the Chunky Hygienist lead me to a different room where she presented me with a menu of options.
would i prefer a cleaning with the traditional pick tools or a sonic vibration machine? - sonic vibration machine, i guess.
would i prefer to have a polishing after the cleaning? - i sure would!
would i like to watch Netflix on a virtual reality headset while they work in my mouth? - is that an option!?! really!?! is this the future!?! fuck yes, let's do that!

the Chunky Hygienist went and got a virtual reality contraption, fitted it around my head and showed me how to use it.
the device entirely eclipsed my field of vision and really did create the feeling that i was in a different world.
the Hygienist showed me how to navigate by pointing my head at different things and then tapping the side of the contraption to select options.
she walked me through going to Netflix and how to select something to watch.
i opted for a random episode from Breaking Bad's fourth season.
i didn't want to start a new season of Orange Is The New Black or House Of Cards and then have to worry about what happens next after my cleaning was through.
i doubt the Dentist would let me hang around the office for another nine hours.

as i started to get into an episode where Walt buys a revolver to try to shoot Gustavo, the Dentist came around.
she was a Chinese national with a distinct accent but she wasn't too hard to understand.
when i took off my headset to be polite i saw that she was maybe twenty-seven, twenty-nine and pretty-ish.
certainly the prettiest dentist i've ever had in my mouth.
i put my headset back on but i was much more interested in talking to the Chinese Lady-Dentist.
normally that's a pain in the ass, on account of them working in your talker and i try to resist my natural impulse to be chatty, but this lady really seemed to want to talk about me and my life so that's what we did in between her cleaning my teeth with the sonic vibration contraption.
we talked about school, apparently she is an Aggie, too, Texas A&M School of Dentistry.
we talked about China and the fucking good dumplings i enjoyed in Beijing.
she gave me shit about not trying Peking Duck and she couldn't seem to understand why i didn't want to eat a new animal, why i draw the line at cows and pigs and chickens.
Chinese will eat whatever they can get their hands on.
the Chinese Lady-Dentist was great company.

after about thirty-five minutes the Chinese Lady-Dentist was done and the Hygienist came in to polish my teeth and give me a quick flossing.
when that was through i took off my headset and the Chinese Lady-Dentist came back around to give me my report.
she had found no cavities, which was a bit of a surprise to me.
i didn't have any cavities the last time i was at the dentist and i figured i was due.
but the Chinese Lady-Dentist kept going on and on about how good my teeth look and how she couldn't believe that it had been a year since my last cleaning.
it was the kind of flattery verging on flirtation that i have always wanted to hear from a dentist but never received.
lady, you're making me blush!
the only problem the Chinese Lady-Dentist had to report was that it seems that i grind my teeth.
i have heard this from Dentists before, starting maybe four, five years ago.
i don't notice that i grind my teeth, i don't do it while i'm awake, but i guess it happens in my dreams?
i don't wake up with a sore jaw, though.
apparently i have worn down the peaks and ridges of my teeth into a flat plateau.
the Chinese Lady-Dentist advised me to get a mouth guard to wear to sleep at night.
i probably won't do that, though.

The Monster:
the Monster is also due for a dental examination and cleaning but, that is way more of a difficulty to arrange, on account of her being a dog.
the Vet down the street is charging nearly $500 to clean her teeth because she will need to be sedated, plus anywhere from $15 to $125 per any tooth that needs to be extracted.
that's a fucklot of money and there don't seem to be any Groupons that cover it.
the PSE did some calling around and found a low-cost animal clinic that will do dental cleanings for $120 if you fill out a form swearing that you are poor but predictably, there is a lengthy waiting list so the Monster will have to wait to go to the dentist sometime in late July.

//[ab irato ad astra]

September 2017

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