laser-assisted periodontitis therapy.

i was pretty skeptical from the start. i was in their office downtown, and i was watching their screen. they were advertising all kinds of crazy shit. stuff about permanent makeup and longer eyelashes, and other cosmetic things i wasn't interested in. things a normal dentist shouldn't be interested in. and then there was a picture of an asian woman wearing a crown, and a congratulatory statement to this asian woman for winning the miss vietnamese beauty pageant. she was the dental assistant.

i didn't like it. it was too weird. miss vietnam was nice and everything, but i refused to believe that a beauty pageant winner should be working on my teeth. she asked me how i found out about them. the truth was, i had actually googled "non-judgmental dentist" and theirs was one of the first hits. i didn't tell her that, though. i said that my last dentist got some awful reviews on the internet, and that they had great reviews. she smiled at this.

she took x-rays of my teeth, the bitewings, and she told me that my insurance might not cover more x-rays, since i just had x-rays taken in november with my last dentist. i told her that was fine. she put this warm thing around me, something like a travel pillow. it smelled like a thai restaurant. i kept thinking about curry. and then i thought about asian hookers. she had me put on shades, and then she started poking around in my mouth, measuring my gums, while her assistant took notes.

she'd poke around in there and say things like, "3, 2, 3" and "2, 3, 3" and "no bleeding." at the end of the session, she concluded that i had periodontitis, and she recommended that i come back for a total of five sessions for laser-assisted periodontitis therapy, also known as root scaling. she also recommended that i have my wisdom teeth extracted. then, she told me that the dentist would be with me shortly.

the dentist wasn't with me shortly. i sat in the chair for fifteen, twenty minutes, and then miss vietnam came back. she apologized and said that she should've done my cleaning first, and then had gone to lunch. i said it was fine. she had me lie back down, and she started scraping around in my mouth, brushing and then flossing. the flossing part was nice. finally, the dentist came in.

the dentist was this hot russian woman with an accent. she looked at my teeth, and she took some pictures with a mini, toothbrush-sized camera. she showed me the pictures. "you have a cavity," she said. i was devastated. it was my first cavity in twenty-six years. "see that dark spot?" she asked, "that's a cavity." i nodded. she also told me that i've probably been grinding or clenching my teeth at night because my bottom teeth were very smooth, and my top two front teeth were cracked in the back. "are you grinding at night?" she asked me. "not that i know of," i said, though i thinking something a lot more inappropriate.

when it was all over, two and a half hours later, the receptionist/assistant showed me the estimated tab for all the recommended procedures. the total came to over $2,000, and she estimated that my insurance would cover a little less than half. i left the office and decided that i was going to splurge on lunch because my teeth were supposedly rotten, and they would all fall out anyway. i went to the baguette box and ordered a sandwich with truffle fries.

just my luck, the fries were terrible.

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