Monday, January 26, 2009

Good Cop/Bad Cop

I have to go to the dentist later this week for a six-month check-up and cleaning. Per usual, my teeth are already starting to ache.

You see, my dentist and her hygienists follow a "good cop/bad cop" routine, except it's more like, "good visit/bad visit". On one visit, all will go fine. No problems, no catastrophes, everything looks fine, see you in six months. And on the next visit, it's all, "Oh NOES, you have pockets! And that could lead to periodontal disease! And what the hell is this ......... SOUND THE ALARM!! Ah-OOO-ga!! Ah-OOO-ga!!"

My last visit was a "good" visit. Which means I have to steel myself for gloom and doom on this upcoming visit. But! I am learning. I'm wise to their tactics. When they start in with their "your-teeth-will-all-fall-out-if-you-don't-give-us-two-grand-RIGHT-NOW" routine, I just say, "you know what? I'm kind of short on disposable income just now. Let's wait for the NEXT visit and see how things look then."

And by the next visit? Surprise! All is well in tooth land. Sheesh.


Bridgett said...

Wasn't the last visit the time you got jabbed in the mouth and had a sore spot on your gum for two weeks? Or was that the time before?

My dentist has a similar m.o. Two years ago, I was told that I had to (this minute, no delays) schedule a tooth extraction because there was no possible way that my tooth could be filled and it was going to split my head open with agonizing pain any second. I thought that it didn't hurt and I asked why it couldn't simply be filled if it was a, no, no. The damage was far too severe, yadda yadda. Still, when the hygienist wasn't clearly showing me the problem on the xray and I knew it hadn't even so much as twinged, I decided that I would play it cool. Two years and counting, I have had no problems from my teeth and they have never mentioned it again. Makes me wonder what the hell they were over-reacting to (probably a beach vacation needed paid for or something...)

rockygrace said...

Last time was when they had my chart confused with another patient's. I think it was the time before that when they jabbed me in the bottom of the mouth with the drill. And I got a free cleaning out of THAT little fiasco, so it's kind of a wash.

And yeah, the whole "you've got to spend a bunch of money RIGHT NOW" bugs the crap out of me.

Danger said...

My dental hygienist tries to talk me into making babies (with MacGyver, not her) when I'm there.

Dentists need to give us nitrous oxide as soon as we step in the door, every single visit.

How's the house search?

kitkat said...

My dentist always does the good cop routine, and it has me a little suspicious. I mean, I went FOUR years without going to the dentist, and he claims I'm fine. Meanwhile, I'm having some bad sensitivity issues, and he can't see anything wrong with me.

I'm considering only going once a year now. If you did that, maybe you could just circumvent the bad visit by not going :)

rockygrace said...

Danger, it's kind of funny - my dentist is actually out on maternity leave more than she's in the office. And yeah, I would be very happy if they'd just knock me out cold before they started.

House search? Well, I've pretty much exhausted the available listings in my price range right now, so now I'm just waiting for new stuff to come on the market. *sigh*

Oh, and Kitkat, I hear you on the sensitivity. I can't even drink cold WATER half the time. On the other hand, ice cream doesn't bother me. Hmmm....