I went to the dentist for a cleaning with xrays. My mother did find out why my cleanings cost more then hers. The receptionist responded “he is considered two appointments”. The hygenist took me at 9:05 and I was out at 10::35. The xrays took five minutes.

Well my hygenist was wearing this.

She used the manual scale, I hate the electric scale. She claims it takes longer manually, it may, don’t care.

Top is manual and bottom picture is electric in case you are confused in what I am referring to.

She said that she was a hygenist for over 10 years.

Me: So you must always have worn the mask, glasses and gloves.

Hygenist: Of course.

Me: I recall until the Aids crisis in mid 1980s they wore none of that.

Hygenist: If you think about it that’s gross.

I remember when the masks were put on and the Aids csrisis in dentistry in late 80s.. One appointment circa late 80s my hygenist wore typical her typical clothes of blouse, lab coat, pants that it. Next appointment long bib, face shield, long gloves, mask and a cap. Plus a new hygenist. We were told the regular who worked there for 20 plus years decided to quit. She was my only hygenist since age of four so close to 18 years she cleaned my teeth. I had her since I was 4. We stayed with the dentist until about 2001 when he retired.

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I remember thinking how impersonal it was but I realized it protects both of us. I knew people who hated this change dentistry took. A common refrain was “I don’t have Aids why are they treating me like I do.”

Looking back I wonder if the Aids crisis was the reason my regular hygenist quit. She loved her job and we got the impression he worked for her. More then once he was not going fill a cavity because of the small size and she would say “”you need to fill it anyways”. He would.

So anyone remember when hygenists wore no protection? When they decided to put it on what did you think?