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January 9th, 2003

My dentist’s sole patient

Going to the dentist is a weird experience. Trying to brush away six months of plaque in the three minutes before your appointment… trying to figure out where to focus your eyes when he’s six inches from your face, prodding your mouth with sharp instruments of death… attempting to hold a conversation while drooling all over yourself. But the experience is made strange when you notice that on your third visit to the dentist, you’ve never seen another patient there.

My dentist advertises in the local coupon books and has a “We are now accepting new customers” sign outside his door. He’s friendly enough, telling corny jokes as he drills. But there’s something disconcerting when I’ve never seen another patient coming or going. I’m beginning to think that the pictures of the white-toothed, smiling kids on his wall might not be patients, but victims.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday January 9, 2003 -- 9:48:21 am
I purposely avoid medical / dental practices that are actively advertising for patients. Anybody that has been in town for more than a few years, and is good, should be swamped, in my opinion. The exception would be if somebody splits off from a group to start their own practice.

By the way, get one of those Braun power toothbrushes. They do a far better job that you ever can with an old school brush, which minimizes the time they spend scraping your teeth with sharp metal instruments.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday January 9, 2003 -- 3:06:11 pm
I second Chris' suggestion for the Electric toothbrush. The best part of them are that they are set for 2 minutes, which is a dentists recommended brushing time.

FROM: Monika
DATE: Thursday January 9, 2003 -- 6:27:26 pm
Just got a Sonic Care toothbrush for Christmas... used to think having an electric toothbrush was stupid. Like lazy westerners are tired of flapping their arms moving their own toothbrushes and need something else to spend their rediculous amounts of disposable income on. But now the hard-to-reach spots behind my teeth are cleanest they have ever been in my life. And my toothbrush beeps to tell me when to switch from my top teeth to the bottom teeth and shuts off automatically when I'm done. I must go now. I'm physically exhausted from all of this manual typing. Obviously I need one of those voice recognition-typing things.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Thursday January 9, 2003 -- 11:35:18 pm
I'm wondering if that last comment was by a friend of mine, who likes to troll, and likes to spell my name with a k. Mr. Massel at it again?

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday January 12, 2003 -- 10:46:13 am
Here's a little article in today's Washington Post about a study done on electric toothbrushes.

FROM: Big Fat Lizard
DATE: Tuesday January 28, 2003 -- 3:53:30 pm
I haven't been to the dentist for over 15 years... My teeth don't ever hurt, I had braces growing up, but I don't seem to have any tooth pain - so why do to the dentist? - Hopefully there's nothing wrong with my teeth, and hopefully there never will be I brush twice a day and ALWAYS use the best brand of toothpaste, CREST!

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Thursday April 24, 2003 -- 12:17:49 am
Ryan, I'd get a little worried if I was the only patient my dentist had.

If he starts sending you boxes of Oreo's just to give you cavities, you know things are bad. ;)

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday April 24, 2003 -- 9:48:54 am
If I was receiving Oreos from my dentist, I think it would be more frightening to realize he reads the Ping. :)

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