Shortly, I was called into the exam room. Once I settled into the chair, I was faced with a flat screen monitor showing the KBCO livestream (my favorite station). They scored a point for nixing the Easy Listening/Soft Rock. Once the hygienist began taking x-rays, I realized this was a very high tech system; the screen alternated between the KBCO logo and images of my teeth. I was very impressed with the level of technology. Until I saw an ugly bug-looking thing on my right front tooth. With horror I stared and said nothing, for there were bite wings stuffed in my mouth. I realized it was just the cursor and relaxed a little. I then noticed the bite-wing things were not the stiff paper-like things I was used to. Indeed they were high-tech too. They looked like two oversized memory cards that you would stick in your camera, welded together at a perpedicular angle. I’m not sure if that description lends itself to an accurate visual picture but all you really need to know is THEY HURT. They hurt a lot! What happened to the low tech device of yesteryear? I wanted it back. My mouth was not meant to be filled with sharp plastic corners. Moreover this digital bullshit was getting on my last nerve. Every time the beautiful young hygienist found she didn’t get just the right shot, she had to do it over, which meant more sharp things in my mouth. Back in the old days, didn’t you just hope they came out right? This instant gratification thing seemed to me to be highly overrated.
Finally the main show started. Enter Dentist stage right. Make that Triathlete, Road bike racing, Professional triathlete dating Dentist. Anywhere else on earth this would have been perceived as some weird wild wacky coincidence, but not in Boulder. Actually this dentist offers everyone in the Boulder Triathlon Club a 20% discount, which is how I found him. This is why I prioritized my dental health over the rest of my body. I still haven’t gotten around to finding a primary care physician or an opthamologist. Or even a hairdresser. But I digress.
From our introduction on, everything was pretty normal. Until Triathlete Dentist started scraping my teeth. Again I longed for the old-fashioned torture device of my past. You know, that scraper? The one dentists operate by hand? It scrapes your teeth and makes your gums bleed but you know its good for you? That thing is awesome. Triathlete Dentist favored some newfangled ultrasonic (I did not make that up) scraper. It was connected to a huge apparatus and it operated via mechanically generated vibrations as it scraped my teeth ultrasonically (or maybe it was supersonically. I cannot remember). It felt like alternately biting into an ice cream bar and sipping hot tea and it sounded like nails on a chalkboard. I was in hell. Leave it to a triathlete to require all the latest and greatest gear. I can only imagine how tricked out his bike is.
Finally I was liberated. I’ve never been one of those dentist-fearing people. Truth be told, I actually enjoy dentist appointments. I rarely have cavities and I like when the dentist says I have a great smile. This time was different though. For one thing, it hurt. For another thing, Triathlete Dentist said my dental health was good but I don’t remember him complimenting my smile. When you don’t have dental insurance, a cleaning and an exam cost upward of $200. Is a compliment really so much to ask?
I was not totally sure whether I would schedule a 6 month follow-up with the receptionist or “call when I have my calendar handy.” Until I was about to exit the exam room and Triathlete Dentist called from across the hallway, “Do you want water bottles?”
Did someone say free stuff? Specifically, free brand new bike bottles that are totally mold and bacteria free??? Yes Yes Yes! The hygienist handed me two bike bottles with Triathlete Dentist’s logo on them as I headed straight to reception to schedule my next round of high tech torture, I mean cleaning.