I decided that I needed to get myself a new dentist. I disliked my previous dentist to the point that I’d let my going to see him slide. That’s not good enough any more. I want my health to get better, not stay the same or get worse.

So on Tuesday I called up a dentist that I have heard good things about. His office is also within walking distance of my home, which is nice. I explained that I was a new patient and needed a booking for the new patient examination, which their paperwork describes as

a one-hour appointment consisting of a complete hard and soft tissue examination, oral cancer screening, updated x‑rays, diagnosis and treatment planning.

They asked if I wanted to have the first hygiene visit at the same time as well, which is

a one-hour appointment that consists of a complete evaluation of your gums and the bone around your teeth. Oral hygiene and nutritional instruction is given and removal of tartar buildup and stain is started.

I agreed to have both at once. They told me I could come in the next day. The next day! I’m notoriously nervous about going to the dentist so having it so soon was a very good thing. I arranged a slightly early departure from work so I could arrive with time to spare.

I talked to Lori about it earlier in the day and she talked me down. Hours before, I was already wound-up about it. Just as she suggested it would be, my visit was perfectly fine. Thank goodness I talked to her. I was nervous enough is it was. I would have otherwise been a mess.

The doctor took care to do something I really appreciate. He didn’t talk at me. Rather, he talked with me, and explained everything I wanted to know. They did x‑rays and he showed me the results and explained. The hygienist did her work and also answered my questions.

There is work that must be done, and other work I want done, so it’s really important that I like this new doctor and his team. I’m pleased to report that I really do. I’m borderline excited about finally having this taken care of.

He said what is probably the best thing I’ve ever heard from any dentist: “It’s not nearly as bad as you thought.”