I'm in love with my dentist.
For the first time in my whole life, I left the dentist's office thinking to myself, "Hey, you know,that wasn't half bad."
Because I slammed whiskey shots and took a giant hit of nitrous oxide right when I walked in the door?
Nope. Turns out Dr. Robert Hodous is a genius. A dental Einstein. And if you live in NW Arkansas, I strongly recommend you ditch your current dentist and come on over to the The Dental Spa. (Seriously. Whoever you're using cannot possibly be as good as this guy and his crew.)
Admittedly, when I first saw the sign on the building, I thought, "Yeah, right! Spa my patookie."
(I was feeling a wee bit apprehensive and grumpy, you could say.)
But as it turns out, while my exam didn't exactly involve a facial or pedicure, it was as close to "relaxing" as a trip to the dentist's office can come. Really, the fact that I used the word "dentist" and "relaxing" in the same sentence is nothing short of amazing.
Dr. Hodous and his staff are as friendly and hospitable as can be.
1.) You walk in the door and not only does it not LOOK like a dentist office, it doesn't SMELL like one either. (How they achieve that, I have no idea.) As soon as you sit down in their homey, cozy waiting room, they offer you something to drink - water or hot tea, like "Welcome. Let the spa experience begin!")
I, admittedly, wasn't buying it at first. (Tea or no tea, I've got my eye on you people and I'm ready to bolt in a moment's notice!!)
2.) Next comes a chat with the friendliest, smiliest hygienist in the entire world. She takes your medical and dental history and asks about your general "feelings" about your past dentist experiences. (Um. Hated them! Despised them! Breathed into a paper bag mid-way through every exam and ran screaming from the office!)
3.) Then Dr. Hodous comes into the exam room (which, impressively, also pulls off "warm and homey") for another chat. The man is a listener. He listens. To your fears. To your freakadoos. To your slightly schizo tendencies. LISTENING prior to bringing out any shiny torture devices, what a refreshing concept!
After we discussed the "plan" for my visit, he gave me a numbing rinse, put a pair of noise-blocking headphones on me, turned on a movie, and started to clean my teeth. NOT with the disconnect-your-head-from-your-neck scraper thingee dentists have always used in the past. But with an ultrasonic magic wand. Think Fairy Godmother, minus the sparkly dust. I'm telling you, no pain! No pressure! No jabbing! Just plaque, calmly submitting and flying away. (Seriously flying. I needed some goggles, I'm embarrassed to say.)
At one point in the exam, I started to feel the teeniest twinge of pain. I guess my eyebrows furrowed or something because the next thing I knew, I swished a bit more numbing rinse, and POOF. Back to the spa.
It was GRRRRRREAT. Or the closest thing to great that a trip to the dentist will ever be.
Dr. Hodous couldn't find any obvious problems, at least not anything that would be causing my headaches. He thought, based on some wearing on some of my back molars, that I probably clench and grind my teeth occasionally during the night. He asked me if I'd had any stress in my life. To which I laughed, ha ha!, and said, "Naaaaaah. Not reall... Oh! Hear that little munchkin out in the waiting room, twirling and jumping and telling your receptionist she 'neeeeds' to come back here and help Mommy? She can be a smidge stressful at times."
He said he would look over my x-rays for any signs of anything that might be causing headaches (bad roots, pinched nerves, something along those lines). But he said he didn't expect to see anything major. He didn't even think I had any cavities! No stinking WAY!
Which is great! ...And not so great. Because now we still don't know what's causing these whopper headaches. Please pray, if you would, that the origin will soon be determined. And will either be easily treatable, or will just resolve itself on its own - quickly.
Anyway...just wanted to let everyone know I lived! I left with a rinse to strengthen my wimpy gums, and a big 'ole cheeser grin on my face. I know anyone who witnessed me leaving the dentist office! HAD to think I was drugged and loopy-bo-boopy for sure.