Dentists change the way we communicate. They need to be commended. I don’t know for what, but for something. Perhaps just for having that suction tube that sucks everything out of your mouth when you purse your lips around it. That way, nothing dribbles out, but if it does, it hits that very classy blue bib they put around your neck.
It’s a very satisfying move. Cupping your mouth around that tube and not having to spit in a sink. Of course, that swirly water in the sink was fun, too. But the suction tube is the bomb.
My son and I went to our dentist the other day for a regular cleaning and check up. We got As on our report cards, so that’s a good thing. I asked for fewer X-rays, which seemed to set them back momentarily, but they made up for it by sending a spaceship X-ray thing clear around my son’s head. Why do they need images of the BACK of his head? It was like the Starship Enterprise on patrol around a hairy planet.
Before we ever got there I had to do some serious negotiating with the front office staff.
When I asked what they charged for a cleaning and check up, the most basic of procedures, the nice lady who answers the dentist’s phone told us we’d need to do a ‘deep cleaning’. This would cost $100 a ‘quadrant’.
My math skills are not all that sharp; never have been. But even I can figure out that that’s $400 a mouth, and times two it would cost me $800, plus the X-rays, for a visit to the dentist. Perhaps they should be commended for coming up with the concept of ‘quadrants’.
We’re talking almost $1000 for the two of us. For a dental check up and a basic cleaning. They did do a little flossing, but let’s face it, that isn’t worth a lot on the job market.
How did my negotiating skills put the bite on the industry?
I had to tell the nice lady that they could either make $200 (actually, $196) or they could make nothing. They sure as heck weren’t going to make $1000 off of us unless one of us needed a root canal. Our quadrants would have to go uncleaned.
They could also make a $1000 if they let us buy their suction tube contraption to help suck up sweat in the Nevada heat. How cool would that be, so to speak? Just pass it over your forehead and stay nice and dry. Stick it up your nose when you have a cold. So many possibilities for a suction tube thingy.
Here’s the kicker, though. They did an excellent job of cleaning my grille, as I like to call it, since I’m an American and we like cars. Especially the lower front quadrant, to use dental speak.
It is so clean on the inside windshield of my lower front teeth, that I can’t talk. That’s right. My tongue keeps hitting something unfamiliar, or misses what it used to hit, namely plaque, that now I lisp, spit, suck air, mispronounce words, spit some more, and I don’t know what all.
If I read something out loud, I sound like someone who might have had a small stroke.
Can you beat that? Get your teeth cleaned so well you develop a speech impediment? How much will a speech therapist charge per quadrant to fix this? That dentist is going to get his $1000 one way or another.
Probably in cahoots with the speech therapist.