Why I Took a Half Day for a Dental Appointment


I worked vigorously through the morning, racing against the clock. In preparation for my upcoming dental appointment, I’d taken a half day and needed to condense my most important tasks into a smaller window than usual.

In the future I plan to schedule my appointments at the very end of the day, a lesson learned from this past appointment, but this obligation was already set in stone.

My teeth have always been a problem. Cavities have always grown easily in my mouth. “Bad teeth run in the family, kid.” My grandmother and mother would say. My resistance to brushing as a child undoubtedly complicated the issue.

It doesn’t feel right, brushes, picks, and gloves invading and overwhelming my senses. Still, despite times of great discomfort, I take care of my teeth. If I don’t they will surely fall out.

I pull into the dental office’s shared parking lot sixteen minutes before my scheduled appointment, eyes bouncing from side to side, seeking a shaded spot. At the back of the building, I find a quiet space to gather myself. Here I will sit until exactly five minutes before my scheduled time.

Alone in the car, I close my eyes and focus on the feelings in my feet while counting my breaths. It is my car ritual, arrive early, meditate and do breathing exercise. After a few moments, I am feeling charged and ready.

I glance upward at the digital clock on the car radio on the dash to my right, eleven forty-nine. Still too early to go inside. Time to kill.

There is a nagging in my brain, are reminder that I haven’t done anything for my website this week, “I should shoot a video! I bet I can edit it and create the title art before I have to be inside.”

Despite almost no desire to compete with others, I’m always challenging myself.  I grab my iPhone from the dusty, grey, cupholder and prepare the camera. With one more deep breath, my finger slides over the record button on the glass screen. “Here goes.”



My goal is always to get the video in three takes, although it can be five to ten when the dogs are around.

Today, in the quiet car, I quickly shot two short videos. Most often I feel as if the videos get better on the second or third take, however, today was more of a “get it right on your first try” kind of day, perhaps because I was feeling the rush.

So how did I feel after the dentist? I have a small headache but relaxing at home with soothing music and writing this story (being creative) has kept it from growing into a monster. Also sitting in a dark room helps me greatly.

6 thoughts on “Why I Took a Half Day for a Dental Appointment

  1. Might not fall out. I had a new dentist once who claimed my gum health was looking bad and I could lose my teeth unless I took on an obsessive brushing routine and bottled mouthwashes and stopped eating oranges! But aren’t they good for vitamins and heart? “People think so.”
    I wrote to the British Heart Foundation among sourcing opinions that she was a faddist imposing an unreasonable personal prejudice, probably to exploit me and make money, and changed dentist away from her. I did not buy any second bottled mouthwash, nor change my mouth care in any other way. Ever since, my confidence in her wrongness and stupidity has been right, I have never lost a single tooth nor had any crisis of gum health.

    1. I like my current dentist. They talked me out of a lot of unnecessary work another had recommended to me. They also care a lot about if I am comfortable. It is a very happy and friendly place.

  2. Ah, dentistry is invasive work. There’s only one other doctor women see who tinkers around inside your body, and for that one you get to put your feet in stirrups. So, yes! Take the day off. I hide inside, in the dark, relaxing after seeing the dentist. Appointments are always riddled with anxiety for me. As a side note, it would be great to see a crack down on dentists who recommend unnecessary work. There’s a LOT of them out there. They prey on the fears of their patients to wring more money out of them. It’s unethical.

  3. Memories of the 60’s with a grinding drill, a pump-up chair and funny pink water in a glass to swill with! There are some huge positives with progress!

  4. Possibly the headaches were more related to having to go back to work after the ghastly dentist experience, than the ghastly dentist experience itself, and you’ve found the solution. Only recently I’ve understood that if your mind doesn’t work along the same lines as other peoples, neither will their solutions apply and neither will their opinions as to what is best for you be relevant. You have to go with your gut, as they say. As you did. : )

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