Scaling my Teeth

I love the dentist. The Treece family dentist, the beloved Dr. Parker, is legendary.

My family was so loyal to him that even when we moved from Tacoma to Yakima, we never changed dentists. My mom would pull us out of school for a day and make the 2.5 hour drive for our appointments every 6 months. It was great for me. Every appointment he kisses me on the forehead, asks me how the drive over the pass was (we would face snow storms on Snoqualmie Pass to get to him), and how school is. Am I getting good grades? Am I staying away from boys? Am I flossing? He says I have the healthiest gums he's ever seen. Then afterward, he would give me a paper bag full of dental goodies: floss, toothbrushes, and a toy that I got to pick out from the infamous toy basket. Then after all of our appointments, he would give us lunch at the nearby burger joint. Then my mom, brother and I would go to McChord Air Force Base PX and shop. Since this was only a biannual event and the military makes things cheaper, we got away with getting all sorts of stuff that we normally couldn't get at home - God bless the Armed Forces! All of this (with the exception of the toy basket) happened the same way for 15 years. My mom has a polaroid picture of me and Dr. Parker that was taken at my FIRST dentist appointment. My last appointment with Dr. Parker was in 2008.

Today I went to see a new dentist: Dr. KK Ong. Since I'm going home without dental coverage (and Dr. Parker probably isn't nice enough to do me free of charge), I thought it was high time to get some work done on my pearly whites before I return home to the extorting dentists of America.

I was a little wary of seeing the dentist. Not because it's a dentist here in Malaysia - I have full confidence in them, despite what my mother tries to tell me. It's because no other person has worked on my teeth besides my beloved childhood (and grown up) dentist, Dr. Parker.

The first thing Dr. Ong noticed was my "milk tooth": The baby tooth that I still retain on my lower jaw. "It's very rare" he says, "only one in two or three thousand." I told him it was genetic - my mom and my brother both have one, in the same exact spot in our mouths. The Treeces are a genetic anomaly. He was even able to show me on his super deluxe tooth camera hooked up to the TV screen in front of me.

All I wanted done was a cleaning. They tried to convince me to have some scaling done, but then I realized that "scaling" meant "cleaning". Scaling is the weaker version of cleaning I think, because my teeth don't feel very clean. He just sprayed sodium bicarbonate all over my mouth and face. I miss Mr. Parker's cleaning...he really got in there. Plus, he would let me choose the flavor of the toothpaste AND mouthwash.

Then Dr. Ong started acting kind of wierd. He was saying over and over, "Sorry, I'm very sorry, but unfortunately..." You'd think I was about to die of gingivitis. Turns out I had a hole in my tooth. He showed me on the super deluxe tooth camera - yup, I have a hole in my tooth. A small hole, but still an empty void near my gum line. He kept being all sympathetic about it like I just lost a child or something. Just fill it, Dr. Ong - I'm tough, I can take it. My teeth have been through everything. An x-ray and a 10-minute filling later, I was finished. No more hole.

Scaling, an x-ray, and a filling, all for $40! But no complimentary floss or toothbrush. I miss you Dr. Parker :(


  1. That is so cheap!
    Okay, I also have a baby tooth on my lower jaw! Left side? Strange!


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