Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dentally unstable

So I'm rushing around at the office at about a quarter past two yesterday afternoon.

I have a 3 p.m. dentist appointment and I know it will take at least 30 minutes to drive, find a parking place and run up a long flight of stairs to the office. On top of that, I have a conference call that I can't miss from 2-3 p.m. I know I'm cutting the timing close on this.

I print out the spreadsheet for the meeting, dial in to the conference on my cell phone and begin shutting down my computer. I have to be in my car in 15 minutes if I'm going to make my appointment.

Twenty minutes later I'm on the road, hands-free phone on mute, spreadsheet in one hand and steering wheel in the other. Yes, I've become that guy. On a meeting, driving down the highway, referring to a lines on a spreadsheet that are too small to read and speeding to try to get to my appointment.

Luckily, I don't kill my self or anyone else in an auto accident. I find a parking place right in front of the door to the dentist's office and run up the stairs with enough time to grab a quick sip from the drinking fountain and still arrive three minutes early.

So I had a frantic trip to the office. Keep that in mind for a minute or two.

I sit down in the exam chair and the dental hygienist pulls out a blood pressure cuff. Evidently in the six months since my last cleaning, this office has decided that blood pressure checks are a vital part of dental hygiene. Is this new? Does your dentist do this? I can't decide if my dentist is on the cutting edge of dental care, or just pretending to be a real doctor.

Anyway, the blood pressure reading comes in slightly elevated. I chalk it up to the craziness of the last hour or so, not to mention a bit of anxiety about being at the dentist in the first place. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have any kind of pathological fear of the dentist. But come on, does anybody really look forward to having their gums probed with sharpened steel implements? Really?

As a quick aside here, let me just pause to reiterate my incredulity that here we are, living in the future, where modern medicine is performing miracles like giving site to the blind and allowing men to have babies, yet dentists are using technology that is little changed since medieval times. Come on dentists! Where are the fricken' lasers to clean my teeth!

Anywho, Jabby McStabyourgums commences the teeth cleaning, noting she'll just take another blood pressure reading after the cleaning, when I've had a chance to relax. As if 10 minutes of having stainless steel hooks scraped across my teeth and under my gums is the equivalent of smoking a joint while getting deep tissue massage.

The exam/cleaning is finished. I have no cavities (of course) and I get a nice little parting gift of a new toothbrush, floss and toothpaste (travel size, the cheapskates) as I get up. McStabyourgums forgets to recheck my blood pressure, and I don't remind her.

I think it' s a pretty safe bet that it was higher.

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  1. A great post. I hate going to the dentist. Why do they insist on trying to talk to you when they know full well their fists are tickling your epiglottis?

  2. No BP checks at my dentist.

    Although, should I be worried about the chloroform, dim lights, red wine and Barry Manilow music?


  3. If they check your prostate , get a new dentist.

  4. Hahahaha at MM!

    My dentist doesn't do this, either. Maybe your dentist is part of a study on blood-pressure rates in relation to the torture they put their patients through? Or maybe you looked like a cranked up druggie, after all the rushing around/dangerous behavior you'd taken part in within the last 30 minutes you spent prior to the appointment? And it's standard practice for them to check blood pressure on people who look like they might've just OD'd on meth before they came in for their cleaning?

    I dunno...

  5. I took a picture of blood pressure reading from someone using Omron Digital Device model. It shows here the Systolic & Diastolic reading. Is yours reading like this?


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