Sumptuous Dentistry - 5/13/04
Costa Sarah told me the other day about a recent dentist appointment she had. Now, I don’t have the medical insurance to experience such fancy things as dentist appointments, but apparently things have changed.

When I was a young pup the choices I had were what color toothbrush I wanted and whether my cleaning fluid would taste like bubble gum or like grape bubble gum. When my parents were young pups their choice they had was whether or not to be malleted over the head during their anesthetic-less root canals. When Sarah went to the dentist, her choices were what DVD she wanted to watch on her personal TV-helmet, and whether or not she wanted a back-rub while she got her incisors cleaned.

Maybe it’s just LA. Maybe Sarah has really awesome dental coverage thanks to her up-market hotel employer. Or maybe dentistry has just gotten a lot more posh.

When my security and SAT-Tutoring gigs get old, I’m thinking of starting a dentist’s office. “Painless Dentist” is such a tired tag, and judging by the way things are going, I’ve got it narrowed down to three trendy themes for my future luxury tooth-care facility.

- The Omni-Theatre Dentist. While your chompers are scrubbed you’ll enjoy not a wimpy helmet-sized movie but a full-blown 360-degree cinema experience. Each exam room will be shaped like a giant igloo where you will lie back in a leather recliner and enjoy the film of your choosing in theatre-quality surround sound, beamed onto the domed walls and ceiling by a 3.7 million dollar projector. Of course the dentist will require some light to work on your mouth – perhaps a nice outdoor adventure with the midday sun ubiquitously placed right in the middle. The score could be Vivaldi’s “Seasons”. Cleaning flavor choices will include Junior Mints and Synthetic-Butter-Substitute.

- The Virtual-Reality Dentist. Instead of a movie helmet, why not go back to early-90’s Lawnmower Man technology and live in your own virtual world while getting your toofers polished? Instead of vicariously watching someone else’s story, you can be participating in an your own undersea adventure or laying it all on the line in a high-stakes poker game. Of course, the virtual realities would have to be limited to programs that didn’t stimulate actual punching or biting, lest the dentistry be hindered, but I'm sure less-active realities could be found. Perhaps a “Sitting in a Dentist’s Chair” program.

- The Chinese Massage Parlor Dentist. Not much needs to be said about this option. Balms and hot oils are involved. For a few extra bucks you can get a cavity-fill with a happy ending.

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