Sunday, 12 July 2009

Detesting the dentist

Ok so call me weird, but I actually quite like going to the dentist. It’s sort of therapeutic having my mouth yanked in various directions as the tartar is chipped off my teeth. Maybe I see it as absolving my sins so to speak, some puritanical flagellation to make up for any bad things I’ve done.

Of course, I’m not stupid and I avoid seeing a dentist for as long as possible. However, I clearly pissed off a lot of people since I last went almost three years ago because my latest trip went from mere flagellation to outright torture.

All I wanted was a check up and a clean. It wasn’t like I was asking for a root canal or a full on extraction.

It all started on arrival where I was forced to wait half an hour because they were running late – how at 10am you’re running late I’m not sure, but anyway. But there were no magazines to read – unless you could understand Portuguese. So all I could do was admire the way the paint had dried on the walls and get increasingly worried about whether I might need a filling. Now I wasn’t freaking out, but any sane person who has a fear of dentists might have found the wait uncomfortable to say the least.

So finally I get through and hand over my patient survey. Am I taking any medications? No. Do I have a history of heart disease? No. Am I allergic to penicillin? No. How many units of alcohol do I drink a week? I veer on the side of conservatism – um 10 units.

I’m not quite sure of the relevancy of some of the questions. Really, how is arthritis going to affect my dental health?

But once the latex gloves are snapped on and four different items of torture are thrust into my mouth I think they have made a bit of a mistake with the patient survey. They really should have asked: Do you have a phobia of dentists? Where do you rate your pain threshold on a scale of 1 to 10? Do you produce excessive amounts of saliva?

It was a half hour of agony.

Clearly technology has advanced since I last visited the dentist. There was none of this chipping off the tartar with a pick. No, instead it was blasted off with some high-speed supersonic evil device that ended up devouring half my gums at the same time. This was one sadistic dentist. He even had that manic look.

And then, stupid me, agrees to upgrade to a whitening as well, which involved hundreds of sand-like particles being gunned onto my teeth at more supersonic speeds while giving an effective facial dermabrasion at the same time as the particles ricocheted out of my mouth. And all the while I’m trying not to gag on my saliva – those vacuum things really are a great invention but only when used properly.

To top it off, I can’t even notice the colouration difference and all this for some £77. Frickin NHS my arse.

I’ve decided to reassess my views of dentists. After spitting blood for several hours I’ve categorically come to the conclusion that dentists are evil and I am endeavouring to brush my teeth at least twice a day plus flossing to avoid going through that again in the foreseeable future. Oh and from now on I’m going to be good.

1 comment:

  1. Does it help to know the suicide rate amongst dentists is the highest in any professional group (so I've heard)? It's because their patients don't like them and view them as evil and sadistic.

    I agree about the supersonic torture device. Just the sound is enough to make me salivate with anxiety. Give me the old pick and shovel method any day.

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