Drool Catchers

Last Thursday I went to the Dentist. 

Since I have the quintessential English teeth stuffed into a narrow Danish mouth, a dental visit in the past has always meant trauma . . . for both me and the dentist . . . and the dental assistant . . . and pretty much everyone in the room.  After I got married, it even included my husband who had to pay for it. 

I had been going to the dentist since I was 4.  At that time my dentist was a Weird Al look-alike whom we called Dr. Thompson.  We were scared of the dentist. I cannot remember a time when I went to the dentist and got a pleased thumbs-up on the state of my teeth. Something always had to be extracted, drilled, cleaned, or capped. Usually more than one something. Actually, our whole mouth was usually reconstructed in quadrants. I especially hated that stuff they swabbed on my gums to numb the shot.

It did not work. And it certainly did NOT taste like bananas.   

I can still remember my first visit to the dentist. Dr. Thompson had me close my eyes when I got the shot of anesthesia. This was so I wouldn’t see the needle coming at me, scream, then release my bladder all over his vinyl. He said if my eyes were open, it would scare away the tooth fairy coming to visit me. I did not believe in the tooth fairy. I thought he was crazy. I humored him anyway. I knew it was the shot.

Since Dr. Thompson, I have gone to several different dentists over the years. The one before last, my least favorite dentist in the whole cosmos, shall remain nameless. I do not want to be sued. I suspect that he uses the kind of drill bit that could rivet metal warships. After he had used it on me, I blew a chunk of tooth from my nose when I sneezed. I am not exaggerating.

Then came his sullen assistant. She had to take an impression of a single canine. So she overstuffed a full mouth tray of Impression Glop, shoved it down my throat before I was ready, then left the room. I immediately choked when a jawbreaker sized ball of Glop came loose and stuck somewhere in my trachea. I pulled the tray out, coughed my airway clear, then silently endured her foul aggression for removing it. The other assistant finally asked her to leave the room.

Then came the work up and projected billing. They estimated that I had $4,000 worth of cavities. I was suspicious since I don’t have many teeth. I really became suspicious when they showed me 3 “cavities” on my crowns.

So I went in search of another dentist. I found Dr. W D Harris on Quandt Avenue in Springdale.

This dentist does NOT overcharge, does NOT use a drill bit the size of a bolt, and does NOT hire assistants based on their ability to win gladiator battles armed only with a swab and an attitude. He is also considerate of the patient. He is aware that they must breath to stay alive. He knows that his patients are humans. He knows that they use facial orifices – and not a blowhole over their dorsal fin – to get the oxygen into their lungs.

His assistants are just as good as he is at what they do. Stephanie was the assistant on my last visit.  She is very skilled at using the new x-ray equipment. She can quickly take an x-ray without a) scaring the patient b) scarring the patient, and c) making the patient sterile.

Dr. Harris’ assistants also will NOT try to kill the patient with their own spit, tooth fragments, or glop impressions. They are efficient, pleasant, and patient.

I still hate going to the dentist, but not as much as I used to. I am very glad I found Dr. Harris’ clinic.

To leave a comment, just click on the numbered blue circle below.  Thanks and have fun!

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36 Responses to Drool Catchers

  1. Mallory says:

    Ha! Your dental experiences sound like mine.

    How many times has your dentist taken chunks of skin off the inside of your cheek or a chunk out of your tongue with the drill? I’ve even had a piece of the polishing tool fly off into my mouth! It’s something that that thing didn’t shoot straight into my throat and choke me!

    Hmmm maybe I should meet this Dr. Harris!

  2. Lisa Bauer says:

    I agree… maybe I should meet this DR. Harris I know my teeth need to!

  3. Lisa Bauer says:

    I agree… maybe I should meet this DR. Harris I know my teeth need to!

  4. Lisa Bauer says:

    I agree… maybe I should meet this DR. Harris I know my teeth need to!

  5. Lisa Bauer says:

    I agree… maybe I should meet this DR. Harris I know my teeth need to!

  6. thea says:

    He is great! He can tell by the naked fear in my eyes that I am choking. He doesn’t even need me to blink, try to speak, or pass out first to immediately remove the drill and ask if I’m okay. He also doesn’t penalize for swallowing by reaming a chunk of tongue off. :)

  7. Mal says:

    i have questions about this dentist office and dentist. i am tired of driving to springfield for my mouth!

  8. Kippy says:

    Do you have to have teeth to see Dr. Harris?

  9. Snuffygump says:

    Believe it or not, I have never had a traumatic dental experience…that is until I went to a place in Butte that was supposed to be reeeally cheap. Isn’t there an old chinese proverb that says, You get what you pay for”….add Dove comment at the end. Maybe I will even go visit this Dr. Harris next time that I am in Arkansas!

  10. Thea Phipps says:

    Well, Kippy, you can bring some of your Grandma Dora’s teeth in your pocket…

  11. Kippy says:

    Eeewwww! I think we might have some of those wind up ones, maybe in my toy box. That would work?

  12. Thea Phipps says:

    Those would work perfectly, Kippy!

  13. Mallory says:

    Hmmm I tried to write a response from my phone…I guess it didn’t work. It says “comment awaiting moderation”…or something like that. Oh well, it wasn’t that important.

  14. Thea Phipps says:

    Comment awaiting moderation only means that it will wait a little bit – waiting on me to OK it – and then publish anyway. It would have probably gotten on.

  15. JB says:

    What a beautiful smile – you could be a dental advertisement.
    I saw the needle coming once – very long. I refused Novocaine for years after, until I realized the pain was worse than the needle pain.

    Happy to see your post. XD

  16. Thea Phipps says:

    Thank you, JB!
    Yeah, the needle is not nearly so bad as the pain when they drill. I just shut my eyes so I don’t have to watch anything.

  17. Sarah aka Snuffygump says:

    Ok, I was going to ask, “How would you watch what’s going on, when it is physically impossible to see inside your mouth when you are in that position?” Then it dawned on me that it must be all of the incoming devices and anticipation of the event? Just trying to relate. As mentioned in previous insert, no bad experiences at the dentist office. I have never felt any pain. Am I special or what? We have a high of 32.4 and new snow and it’s May,now that’s painful. Still coming down off climate shock of being in Arkansas for the spring and then returning to Montana. When is hoped for release of third effort?

  18. thea says:

    You ARE special, Snuffygump! And in answer to your question, I could see half of the paraphanalia the worst dentist in the cosmos was using, then I could feel the chunks of tooth flying in all directions… It felt like fish tank gravel flying all around my mouth. One piece actually flew out and hit the dentist’s safety goggles… :) Oh, yeah… they were actually mirrored goggles. For the first time, I saw how much blood goes on in there… I had no idea. I can’t think what was bleeding.
    So…Snow! That means you should move back as soon as you can! I think Kippy agrees with me on that.
    Third book is halfway done – should average a chapter a week if all goes according to schedule. Then after that, it’s a bit of a toss up as to the date it will get put into print… No estimates so far…Oh well…

  19. Maddy says:

    One time i went to the dentist and the woman put the glop in my mouth and when she took it out she looked at my impression my teeth made then showed me that i had lost a tooth when she took it out :( it was bloody

  20. Kippy says:

    Hey, Look! My Mammy let me have my own email address! Well, it’s really one of my Daddys’, but I get to use it! I’m so excited!!! I’m trying to put my picture in now, but i can’t figure it out. I’ll get my Daddy to help after his nap.

  21. Mallory says:

    One time my dentist’s assistant was finishing a cavity and he said, “ok all done…hold on……..ummm ok your good. Well, actually, open up again….ok no you’re good. HMMM well there might be a piece of skin stuck in there, but it will come out. Don’t worry…it’s normal.” Yeah that made me feel good.
    Hi Sarah aka Snuffygump.
    Oh and Thea on the way back from Florida we drove by S. Lumpkin Street. Oh and Mallory Ave.

  22. Thea Phipps says:

    Maddy, you sound like me. I bit into a Sugar Daddy (I don’t know if you know what they are… or were..) and when I finally unstuck my mouth, I had a tooth embedded in it…

  23. Thea Phipps says:

    Good grief, Mallory! Poor thing! Just what did he do to your mouth? It was a good thing you were numbed!
    S. Lumpkin street! That is too funny! And Mallory Avenue… any Slarty Blvds by the way? :)

  24. thea says:

    Good job, Kippy! I hope you write lots on my blogs! Thank your Mammy for me! And your Daddy when he figures out how to put your picture in the box!

  25. Snuffygump says:

    Allright, y’all are scaring me! Were they baby teeth? Surely not your grown up teeth? The only way that I come close to those kinds of scenarios is in one recurring dream that I have…where, as I am conversing nonchalantly with whoever it is in that particular episode, my teeth start falling out. The longer the dream proceeds on, the more teeth crumble and I fish large hunks out of my mouth. Then the same torrid scene plays over and over, like a stuck vinyl record ( youngin’s: google vinyl record and get your answer) until I wake up in a pool of sweat. At that point I get out of bed and hope that once I return I will not sink back into the same dream cycle.

  26. thea says:

    Mine was a baby tooth. In fact that was the first baby molar to fall out. It scared me. Later my brother found it in the trash and got mad at me. There was a little bit of Sugar Daddy stuck to it and he knew I had candy while he had been slaving away at school. :)
    And I can only assume Maddy’s tooth was a baby tooth since she is 12 and has a perfect smile right now.
    But, Snuffygump! Your dream is scary… and hilarious at the same time… I wonder what Freud would make of it… If I had a dream like that, I would probably be fishing my foot out of my mouth while I’m talking to someone.

  27. Mallory says:

    I’ve had dreams where my teeth are falling out…crumbling. And usually I am talking to someone and I have to keep spitting pieces of tooth out of my mouth. One time I got carried away and pulled my whole mouth out of my mouth. And the weird part…even though I had my mouth in my hand I still had my mouth in my mouth hahaha!

    Speaking of dreams, Thea, I had about 3 or 4 with you and Randy while I was in Florida. Funny they used to be just you and now Randy is always there. BUT they were INSANE!!!

  28. Mallory says:

    hahaha and the more times you say mouth the funnier it sounds!

  29. Thea Phipps says:

    Mallory, your dreams are masterpieces!!!

  30. Snuffygump says:

    I had a dream last night that I wanted to write y’all about. Unfortunately, If I had gotten out of bed right then and there and written aout it, I would have remembered what it was about. Relying on the old falsehood: “I’ll remember!”, I rolled over and fell back to sleep. All thatI can remember is that in the dream my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth and that I could not communicate with anybody. That’s it. There was a much more compelling story line, but that was lost once I made that decision NOT to get up and immediately write it all down. Actually, the thought to do so never crossed my mind. But, in retrospect, it always seems like the thing that I should have done. Like the things that you think of as come backs to say to people once your several blocks down the street. Retro snide remarks, or brilliant flashes of reasoning, which are never actually present when you could really use them to full effect. Actually, now that I think of it, I should have stayed in bed today. Sidebar: When I did wake up, I did have to pry my tongue off of the roof of my mouth, get up and have a sip of water to insure that it didn’t happen again. The cause, of course, was that I had been sleeping with my mouth wide open.

  31. Mallory says:

    Great dream! Well, the whole scenario wasn’t great. In fact it probably would have creeped me out, but i’ve never had a dream like that so I was impressed ;) ;)! haha. Dreams are so interesting! I wish I could remember all of them!

  32. Thea Phipps says:

    What about walking your own hospital gurney to Ireland… a masterpiece!

    Snuffygump, that is truly an interesting take on the teeth falling out dream. Google ‘dream of teeth falling out’ and see what you come up with. Strange insights – and rather apropos.

  33. Maddy says:

    now i want a suger daddy

  34. thea says:

    Mmmmm…. who doesn’t :D

  35. Samudra says:

    Gas! Laughing gas! Nitrous oxide! I won’t let a dentist anywhere near my mouth with a needle (though shots elsewhere don’t bother me) unless I get gassed first.

    Hey, Thea & Randy! Saw your visit with my sis on yr blog. Great pix.

    Loved your second book, where’s your third?

    And do you have an email address, or is everything I want to write to you going to be public?

  36. thea says:

    Hey, Samudra!
    My email is rtphipps@yahoo.com
    How is your book going?
    I’m halfway finished with my third book – been thinking about sending you each chap. as I write, but I’m feeling my way a bit… so I want to get my first draft down, then feed you chapters if that’s okay.
    It’s great to hear from you! :)

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