Thursday, April 30, 2015


Once upon a time when I moved back from South America I went to the dentist. I had been living abroad for a year and a half without dental care, but wasn't concerned - I made sure to get an exam and cleaning before I left the country, and took extra good care of my teeth while I was away. While I was gone my parents had switched dentists.

I got a cleaning and an exam done, pretty typical. Until this new dentist pulled out some machine I had never seen before. He used this hand held tool to "scan" my teeth, and every time it beeped he explained, it indicated I had a cavity. It was beeping. A lot. Like, 12 times. He didn't confirm these cavities by comparing the spots that beeped to the x-rays, either. I was wary. He knew I was heading back to school out of state soon, otherwise he was going to try and book me for multiple appointments to drill the heck out of my mouth. I was grateful for the excuse not to.

Fast forward a few years... I never went back to that dentist. I offered myself as a candidate for a dental student's final exam at UCLA thinking that maybe I could get one of those supposed 12 cavities taken care of for free. The dental student did a preliminary exam, took x-rays, and only found one cavity. That's right - ONE. And it was too small to qualify for his final exam. I was immediately grateful I hadn't returned to my parent's dentist.

That first exam back in the states however had left a bad taste in my mouth - so to speak; and I slacked on visiting any dentist regularly afterward. I just couldn't trust them! Trying to conquer my fears (and realizing I had a very likely cavity), I finally caved this year and went to a dentist I had met through a friend. Turns out that cavity (and one other) were bad enough that I've been to the dentist 4 times in the last month to do 2 crowns, and I still have one more cavity to fill in about a week. I do trust this dentist, but I am looking forward to not seeing her again for six months!