The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Smile of the Day #2390

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Smile of the Day #2390

For the past few years I’ve lived the blissful ignorance of a life without dentistry. I spent some time without insurance, and when I finally had it I didn’t have the knowledge to use it or the impetus to learn. But now I have a full-time job and the Internet has made it embarrassingly easy to take care of myself, so today I finally returned to the land of the dentists.

X-ray technology has finally gone digital. The dentist just stuck an electronic sensor in my mouth and blasted my face with high-energy photons, and a few moments later this image appeared on the screen. I never granted the x-ray process any thought before; what I thought was the camera was just an x-ray emitter, and for all those years my dentists were putting the film in my mouth, then taking it away to be developed. It makes me feel a bit like a camera myself.

So I lay there on the dental chair, wearing dark blue sunglasses they had kindly lent to me, and tried to stop being a person and become nothing more than a jaw for the dentist to work with.

Open. Close. Open, open. Close. Turn towards me. Turn away. Open.

I stared at the ceiling, at the light, at my mouth’s reflection in the dentist’s magnifying eyeglasses.

I wondered what questions I might ask my dentist if I didn’t need my mouth to speak: Do you get your teeth examined here, too? How often do you have to deal with impossible patients? Am I a good enough patient?

I thought about how I might write about this whole experience, planning out tonight’s post in my head, including this sentence.

Dental work is necessarily uncomfortable, and the more you focus on the experience the longer it takes. Let your mind wander, leave your dentist to do her work, and come back when everything is finished.

To my untrained eye my x-rays look just fine, but I do have to pay for my time away. I’ll be back again soon for repairs – all part of the necessary maintenance to keep my engines running for decades on end.

split your infinities

Written by Umbrella Man

April 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm

Posted in Miscellany

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