The Allergist vs The Dentist
Jennifer E. Miller
“What do you mean you like the dentist ‘way more better’ than me?!” Dr. Reynolds asked Gia Milton.
“The dentist doesn’t poke me all the time!” Gia answered.
Dr. Reynolds was Gia’s allergist. Allergists like to poke and prod their patients. Blood draws, skin scrape tests, and allergy shots were all part of the package. Gia didn’t like it one bit. She was seven, which only complicated matters. Kids are notoriously unwilling to cooperate in these matters.
Gia was looking forward to her dentist appointment the next day. Not only was a visit to the dentist easier, they gave out prizes. Much better than the measly stickers handed out by Dr. Reynolds.
“Here is a copy of her test results, Mrs. Milton,” Dr. Reynolds said to Gia’s mother. We can start allergy shots on her next visit.”
She turned to Gia. “If you got to pick out two stickers, would you like me more than the dentist?”
“Nope,” answered Gia, with extra emphasis on the p. “The dentist lets me pick out a toy. And I get a brand new toothbrush with bubble-gum flavored dental floss. He doesn’t stick me with all those needles either.” A brief pause. “I’ll take two stickers anyway.”
Dr. Reynolds raised her eyebrows as she looked over at Mrs. Milton before leading them to the sticker drawer.
“Hey, I don’t know what to say. You have to up the ante,” said Mrs. Milton.
“I take it she hasn’t had the pleasure of receiving a filling yet?” inquired Dr. Reynolds.
Gia selected her stickers, thanked the doctor and they went along their way.
In the car, Gia asked, “Mom, what’s a ‘filling’ that the doctor mentioned.”
“Sometimes people have cavities, or holes, in their teeth. In order to keep them from getting bigger, the dentist cleans the tooth, and then places special material over it. It’s called a filling.”
“So, what’s the big deal?”
“Well, the dentist usually uses a special medicine so the patient doesn’t feel what is happening.”
“Okay…” Gia was confused.
“The medicine has to be given by a shot in the mouth.”
Gia gasped in horror. “Do I have cavities, mom?”
“I don’t know. That’s why everyone visits the dentist. To have their teeth cleaned and check for cavities or other problems.”
“I do not want cavities because I do not like shots!”
“I figured as much,” said Mrs. Milton.
The following morning brought the dentist appointment. Gia skipped into the office with giddy excitement. She was immediately seated in the splendid dentist chair that goes up and down.
“It’s like a carnival ride!” Gia exclaimed.
The hygienist cleaned and polished her teeth with ease. She let Gia pick out her toothbrush; purple this time. They had grape flavored floss with delighted Gia.
“I was getting bored of bubble gum,” she said.
The dentist came in to provide the examination.
“How are you, Gia?” Dr. Connors asked.
“Good. I’m really glad I’m here and not that stupid allergy place. They are always poking me. I told her I like the dentist way more better.”
Dr. Connors perked up, “Really?”
“Yep,” answered Gia, with emphasis on the p. “When do I get my prize?”
“After I examine your teeth. It won’t take long.”
As he tapped and poked her chompers, Mrs. Milton explained how visits to the allergist typically involve getting poked with needles. “She needs skin prick tests, blood draws…the typical stuff kids dislike.”
“I’m thrilled someone actually enjoys coming to see me, Gia.
Dr. Connors carefully checked all her teeth. He let out a disgruntled sigh when he finished. The blue latex gloves snapped as he pulled them off and rose from his stool. A look of disappointment was on his face.
“I’m afraid she’s got two small cavities,” Dr. Connors informed Mrs. Milton.
“Ok,” Mrs. Milton assumed cavities would happen sooner or later. Nearly everyone gets one at some point in their lives.
Gia had a look of dread on her face. She remembered what her mom told her about cavities and a shot in her mouth.
“However,” the dentist continued, “they are so tiny, I believe I can fill them without the need to administer Novocain.”
He turned to Gia and continued. “So there’s nothing to worry about, kiddo. You will come back and see me, I’ll fix your teeth, and you’ll be as good as new.”
“Do I have to get a shot in my mouth?” She gave him a cold glare.
He realized Gia hadn’t understood the word Novocain. “No. I think I can do it without the medicine. Then you’ll still like me more than your allergist, right?”
“Yes!” Gia’s eyes light up.
So that was it, thought Mrs. Milton. By skipping the Novocain, he was attempting to keep his approval rating above the allergist.
Gia hopped out of the chair to collect her prize trinket from the treasure box, and back home they went.
The following week Gia returned to Dr. Connors’s chair for the fillings. She felt a little nervous. Could the dentist really do this with the shot? And would the procedure hurt?
“Are you ready?” He asked her.
She sighed. “Yes. Just remember, I like you better than the allergist.”
“I haven’t forgotten.”
Dr. Connors went to work by first showing and explaining all the tools and gizmos he planned to use. Then he eased her back in the chair to get started.
“Let me know if anything hurts or feels funny, ok, Gia?”
She nodded her head; her mouth full of suction tubes and miniature water hoses.
Everything went smoothly. The drilling didn’t cause any problems and Mrs. Milton believed she even saw Gia smile. He filled the cavities and set the cement will the funny blue light. A few taps on a black piece of paper to check her bite levels and she was all done.
The hygienist brought the treasure box to Gia for another prize. She was beaming with excitement.
As she was carefully selecting her prize, Dr. Connors asked, “How was the experience, Gia?”
“Good. I’m really happy you didn’t have to put a shot in my mouth.”
“Me, too,” he replied.
The pressing question hung in the air.
“So, Gia, do you still like me more than your allergist.”
Dr. Connors triumphantly thrust his fists in the air and exclaimed, “Yes!”
Copyrighted 2016 by Jennifer E. Miller