At 8:00 am yesterday morning, I had already taken my eye-glasses off and set them on the tray affixed to the dental chair by the time Mistress Veronica, the Dental Dominatrix entered the room, so I could not see her clearly. She was little more than a shadow, an apparition, though I knew she was there, somewhere behind me in the room. For several moments, Veronica did nothing but rustle the papers in my file, deliberately building tension and anticipation in the room. Finally she spoke:
"Ah Mercurious, you've been a bad, bad boy. I see that it's been many, many months since our last session together. "
I could say nothing to this. She was absolutely right; I had neglected my twice-annual checkups for a couple of years, and I deserved to be scolded. Severely.
"Much has changed since you've last been in my chair," she said. "We have several new....instruments that will seem new to you, and perhaps....a little frightening at first." As if to punctuate this, she "accidentally" dragged to point of one of her sharp tools across my bare forearm where I was already gripping the arm of the chair. It was not enough to draw blood—she was nothing if not an expert in timing—but enough to give a hint of what was to come. "Now, we will begin," she said, her voice a throaty command.
She had spoken truthfully about the new dental tools. I am a very poor dental patient, so it is typical for me to close my eyes rather tightly while having my teeth cleaned, or examined, or (God forbid) having actual dental repair work done. Nevertheless, even with eyes closed I could very clearly sense every one of the new dental innovations she had mentioned.
First, there was some sort of miniature hydraulic scissor jack that they now use to pry the upper and
lower jaws apart to hold your mouth open, making it easier for the dental dominatrix to work. Veronica used this accessory with expert precision, forcing my jaws open to the pinnacle, pausing long enough for me to relax, then punching the hydraulics just enough to cause small tears of pain form in the corner of my eyes. She stopped just before my jaw came unhinged entirely.
Secondly, there is a new kind of speculum used to draw the side of the mouth open in a direction at right angles to the vertical hydraulic jack. In combination, these two devices splay your mouth in a manner that leaves you utterly, defenselessly, at the mercy and power of the hygienist. No safe words can be uttered in this position.
The actual tools used to clean the teeth have changed too. Where once there seemed to be only two different tools used to scrape your teeth, there now appear to be at least fifteen devices of various levels of pointy sharpness.The cleaning is now culminated by a very sharp, very long probe that can extend down into the crevice between teeth far enough to reach the bottom of the tooth root, feeling around the bottom to test the integrity of the nerve root itself. Veronica notably sighed with satisfaction when this probe left me gasping and sweating, verifying that my tooth roots were operating correctly.
There is also a type of water sand-blaster now, similar to the type of water cannon used to extract gold ore from the mountainsides of Alaska. This must be used carefully, I was told, as it sometimes dislodges metal fillings and can tear off dental crowns and force them down your gullet. To keep you from downing, they give you a small, powerful vacuum cleaner that can either suck out water before it reaches your lungs, or give you little hickeys on the inside of your mouth; the choice is yours. Diabolically, they don't instruct you in the use of this tool; you learn on the fly.
Finally, the quality of dental floss itself has changed, as it is no longer a soft white thread, but now consists of very fine and very sharp tungsten steel razor wire that can slice off any gum tissue that interferes with the thread's path to your jaw bone. This makes for a very different experience as the hygienist does her final check.
As the cleaning ended and I opened my eyes, I realized that
Mistress Veronica had also been making a dental porn film with a small, high-def cameral that was exploring my previous fillings and crown fittings, projecting them onto a 50-inch screen across the room. This, I was told, would give the dentist himself a much better way to look for new cavities and examine the condition of old fillings. Even without my glasses on, the porn film made me blush—a live-action montage of glistening, pink. slippery flesh, glimmering in ultra high definition. There were crevices there that I never knew existed, and which should never be viewed in public. Slyly, Vernica froze the live-action film on a particularly graphic and shocking still-action shot. I looked away in shame and disgust.
But at last my session was over, and I put on my eye-glasses. I was startled to see, though, that Veronica had vanished. In her place was a second hygienist, a rather sweet looking young woman who could not have been more than 30 years old. Also gone were the impressive new dental instruments. Instead, there were a selection of rather traditional metal picks on the tray across my lap. Mysteriously, they had also replaced the blood-soaked bib that had been soaking up my bodily fluids with a brand new, clean white bib. Interestingly, I noticed that the new hygienist had a voice that sounded almost exactly the same as Veronica—sisters perhaps?
But the new youngster had much of her sister's wickedness. As a tall dark shadow fell across the room behind me, she punched a button and started up the live action dental porn film, causing me to blush again.
"Mercurious," she said. "It's now time for the dentist to do his....examination.
"I believe you already know Dr. Sado."