Why don’t dentists only have appointments at 2.30pm?

by Pseud O'Nym

I went to the dentist yesterday to have a tooth out. Not, as no-one in the history has ever done, and popped in for some rollicking good fun. No, a trip to the dentist at my age can only involve a number of things, none of them good; bad news or very bad news, painful work or very painful work.

Long gone are the days of my childhood when a visit to the dentist would end with him giving me a lolly.

I went to see the dentist initially because of a slight discomfort in my teeth and gums, a slight discomfort that was only going to get worse if unchecked. And also because it had been a while since I’d last seen one; not for want of trying I hasten to add. My local hospital has a specialist dental unit which caters for people with disabilities. Like most things in the NHS, once you’re getting the treatment, it’s excellent. Getting to that point, however, and dealing with shocking inept bureaucracy, is another matter.

As I was lying there during the examination, I was aware that he was calling out words and numbers, that by comparison made ‘The Shipping Forecast’ comprehensible. Worse was to come when he’d finished. He declared that apart from some minor work – two fillings replaced and a tooth out is not minor – everything was fine. ‘Then what was it with all stuff you were saying to the nurse. Or are you playing Battleships to relive the tedium’, I thought. But instead just smiled and asked when he could fit me in

Wonderfully, I’d gone private, not because I think private healthcare is anything other than an abomination – which it is – but because I wanted the work over and done with by Christmas, and I knew they weren’t seeing NHS patients because of Covid. Their secretary could get a job at my local NHS dental hospital; they didn’t me see for years…

It’s always a bit disconcerting when a dentist wants to engage you in small talk before he gets down to business, the first time I saw him, he was curious as to how I’d acquired my brain injury. Really curious. My stock response of ‘Just bad luck’ seemed not to work. So he asked a couple more times and got the same answer.  He gave up, thankfully.

So this yesterday I had a tooth out. It wasn’t as bizarre as hearing the sound of a drill going at it in your mouth and not feeling any pain. Or the dentist wearing a head-torch that made me think of Orbital.  But still. I can’t remember having one out before, but I didn’t realise they pull actually it out. Yes, granted, they twat about with wiggling it a bit, but is essence is the same you did as a child, when a tooth was loose you loosened it until it fell out. At least he didn’t offer me some mouthwash, so that with my numb mouth I could dribble it out along with my dignity down my chin.

Mind you, the day got off to a good start, even though the rest of hasn’t lived up to it. I awoke early to find LMS in the kitchen, told her was going to the dentist later and had got up to have breakfast. ‘If your making porridge can I have some?’ In the pantheon of silly questions that’s right up there, but told her to check with her mum first.

We have a mutually beneficial arrangement, she makes me tea and I make her porridge. As I was drinking the tea, I asked her to have a check on the porridge and to tell me how it was looking.

“It’s looking cooking”, she said.