City Dentist, Country Dentist

October 27, 2009

I went to my dentist a few weeks ago, reminding myself I have been meaning to write a few blog posts about dentists I have known.

At one time, my wife and I used a dentist named “Dr. Nixon.” Actually, President Richard Nixon had a brother who was a dentist, but I am pretty sure our dentist was not that Nixon. After we moved to Oregon for a while, we ended up with a dentist in Beaverton, Oregon who told us that Dr. Nixon did terrible work.

When we moved to the Hawthorne Blvd area of Portland, east of the Willamette River (which divides the city in two), our Beaverton dentist referred me to a female dentist a few blocks from our new home. It was the first female dentist I ever had, and I loved the experience. I don’t like going to the dentist any more than anyone else, but having a woman as my dentist gave me a comforting feeling of Mother, take care of me as I leaned back in the chair and submitted to the drill.

When we moved back to Washington, my daughter recommended a dentist she and Mommy (her partner) used in downtown Seattle. “Oh, I should mention, he’s gay,” she mentioned, though that was not a concern to me one way or another. Our Seattle dentist operated a large busy office with another [gay] dentist high up in a medical office building.

These dentists were very high-tech and attentive to detail in regard to patient comfort and safety. I was given my own personal mask to bring in for nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) so my mask would never be contaminated by contact with another face. In the waiting area, a rack held several hundred music CDs. Patients chose a disk to provide music piped into earphones while the dentist worked.

I am fairly certain that every hygienist , assistant, and receptionist was also gay. I will indulge in the stereotype of saying this office has a certain atmosphere and elegance one is unlikely to find in the average dental office.

That was my “city” dentist. In my next post, I will describe the “country” dentist I now have on the island.

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9 Responses to “City Dentist, Country Dentist”


  1. I’ve actually never had a female dentist, though I’ve always been scraped by female mouth-scrapers. I’ve often thought there was some air of mildly vindictive sadism in the unapologetic way they stick things in my mouth that don’t fit even after I warn them that my mouth is unusually small for an adult, and I gag if you look at me the wrong way. I believe I am paying some emotional price for the importunities of their past asshole boyfriends.

  2. teaspoon Says:

    Tablespoon and I have both inadvertently missed our dentist appointments in the past two months. Now, whenever one of us does go in for an appointment, we will have to pay for two missed appointments. This has nothing whatsoever to do with your post, other than it being about visits to the dentists.

    • modestypress Says:

      Flossing is important. If you bite down and make it a habit to floss your teeth every night, I will see what I can do so you don’t have to pay for the two missed appointments. (Which is nothing.) In regard to my country dentist, his receptionist never calls me to remind me; the first dental office that doesn’t do this nagging. Naturally, I missed an appointment. They just chuckled and shrugged about it in a good-natured way.

      The theory is that flossing helps stave off heart disease. As my father died of an early heart attack and my brother was struck by one, I irrationally credit my diligent flossing as the reason I am alive at 65.

      • teaspoon Says:

        Although I know that flossing is important, and that it helps to stave off heart disease, I only do it on a daily basis for the week or two preceding a dentist appointment (unless I don’t know that I have an appointment because the dentist’s receptionist calls the wrong phone number).


  3. I like the idea of choosing your own music. My brother watched “The Magic Flute” over and over when he had work done on his teeth.

  4. Pete Says:

    They took away my laughing gas because they said I was breathing it wrong. I just wan’t laughing yet so I was taking it in the best I could. I’ve changed, really I have…


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