I recently went to my annual dental check-up. Yes, annual and not 6 month since I rarely have a problem with my teeth. When I was young, I looked forward to the cherry flavored polish and a whiter smile. If you have been following my blog, you know that nothing in my life seems to follow the usual routine and this appointment was no exception.
After signing in with the receptionist, I met the doctor who would be inspecting my pearly whites. I had scrubbed them with baking soda back in the day and had abraded the top of a tooth where it attached to my gum. I would be getting the groove bonded and a cavity filled.
After settling into the comfy recliner, the dental hygienist came in and said, “We’ll need to match the bonding agent with your tooth.”
My blood ran cold. “I guess I should have bleached them before coming in.”
“Oh don’t worry about it. You teeth look whiter than most of our patients.” I thought of all those cigarette smokers and people with rotted teeth they probably see. I considered bolting out of there, but it was too late. The doctor came in.
After introducing herself she said, “Well, let’s see what you picked out for a match. Hmm… In the realm of all colors, this looks pretty good.”
“Pretty good or really good?” I asked.
“I think you’ll be happy with it. In the realm of all my dentistry…..” And she just faded off.
“Realm?” I thought, “What’s up with realm? Maybe she was trying to make a joke.”
“I’ve only had one other small filling in my life so I don’t remember the procedure.”
“Are you kidding? That is fantastic. In the realm of dentistry, that is almost unheard of. Good for you.”
“Three times! She has said the word “realm” three times in as many minutes!”
Once they got started, she got out the hypodermic needle to numb my gum. “In the realm of all pain, you will feel a prick, but do your best to stay still since it will have to stay in your gum for a while.”
“Was this a contest? That would be four freakin’ realms!”
I felt the needle go in and for the first time understood why some avoided dentists like the plague.
“This is going to work like a little jack hammer. It’s going to dig out the decayed tooth matter.” She said this behind a mask. As I inhaled the powder now clouding my vision once in the form of a tooth, I wondered how healthy this was for my realm.
“In the realm of all tooth decay, this is a really small one.”
Has she said the word realm 5 or 6 times? By then I had lost count.
After they were all done caulking and patching, I got up to leave.
I was dying to know if she was saying the word on a dare, if it was some kind of game, or if realm was her word for the day. I started to ask, but a strand of drool started to slop out of the corner of frozen mouth and I couldn’t put the words together.
“In the realm of all my clients, it was really great meeting you today,” she said with a gorgeous smile.
“Abwa , lawba wah,” was all I could get out.
I will try to remember to ask about her realm during next year’s appointment.
When it became apparent that you were in a situation that seemed out of the ordinary, did you ask about it?
Does the photo bring back any horrid dental memories?
Silly family photo by Susie Lindau