Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Teeth ? Who'd Have 'Em ?

I've just returned from an appointment with the dental hygienist and, as usual, I'm not sure why I pay a fortune to have someone inflict pain on me. I know the 'poor' girl doesn't mean to inflict pain but when you're poking and scraping teeth, you'll always inflict pain, unless you're a coroner !

It was supposed to be a double appointment as, after being abused by the hygienist, I was due to be carried kicking and screaming into the dentist's chair in a nearby office for even more poking and prodding. And maybe drilling. And certainly more criticism.

Yes it's bad enough that all this pain gets inflicted on me but then these professionals see a need to tell me it's all my fault and if I looked after my teeth better, they'd not have to hurt me !

It's like a kick in the teeth !!

Ok I'll admit I don't floss and I rarely use those little pokey things you shove between your teeth as, lets face it, they take time and effort and I just wanna brush my teeth and get out of the bathroom. So maybe they have a right to criticise my dental hygiene as, apparently, a healthy mouth helps maintain a healthy heart. This isn't a theory I entirely support but having had 2 heart attacks, I Guess I should be willing to try anything to prevent a 3rd.

Part of my problem is I quite like plaque. I mean when my teeth are all cleaned and scraped and there are nice gaps between them, that's when the food bits take up the slack. For weeks after an appointment, I have to pick enough meat from between my teeth each night to feed a small African village. Then eventually plaque fills the gaps and room for food ! I think plaque is nature's food barrier and as such, serves a function.

I doubt that any long term study would prove my theory to be anything other than wishful thinking so I'l just have to go with the flow on this.

Anyway I got a letter on Tuesday telling me my dentist, due to unforeseen circumstances, couldn't make the appt and could I make another appt with her after my visit with the hygienist today ? Well as I really wanted both 'pain visits' out of the way one after the other, I went yesterday to try and book an appt with both again. When the receptionist started muttering about mid July, I said forget it and I'd stick with the hygienist appt today and that way she got me in with the dentist in 2 weeks time.

Never thought of hygienists as being so popular !

So a nanosecond after she poked my first tooth and caused me to put a death grip on the chair arm, she said "oh I'm sorry but your gums are very sensitive there and I'll be more gentle." MORE GENTLE ? Shouldn't that be the standard from the get go ? What's that old expression for medical people..."first cause no pain" ?? Maybe it's "first do no harm" but I prefer my version.

Then while I'm trying to do complex math in my head to help block out the pain, she starts asking about my time in America. Obviously hygienists get trained like dentists and have this bizarre notion that having the patient talking will help deaden the pain. NO IT DOESN'T !!

You end up trying to mumble answers with a VERY sharp metal bit spinning at about 20,000rpm on the back of your teeth. One false move and you could be skewered like a display butterfly. Leave me alone and let me work on my times tables.

At one point, when I was allowed to sit up and gargle, I asked her what it was like to be feared, if not worse, by everyone who came to see her ? On reflection that probably wasn't the best time to ask and I sensed I'd touched a nerve (payback's a bitch) when she roughly pushed me back onto the chair, straddled me and roared like a demented maniac as she approached my mouth with a needle sharp dental scraper.

No she didn't ! But I did ask the question and to be fair to the girl, she laughed and said it was an occupational hazard.

Finally it was time for her to say "I'll just give them a quick clean" as that signals the end to the pain. I still just wanted out of there in case she changed her mind so when she opened up her drawer of consumer products and recommended some new long handled pokey thing, she'd already lost me as a potential customer.

I said I'd think about it and was out of there faster than Will Smith at a KKK rally.

So that's it for another 6 months. I've told myself to up my dental hygiene program and as I said earlier, this wouldn't take much. I'll try this flossing malarky although I just know I'll never manage it as I've a small mouth and big fingers (stop laughing) and I'll use the pokey things, at least until I use up my supply. Then I'll just swap to a fork. Can do several at once then.

I've just had a beef curry and I can enjoy a lot of the beef again all afternoon as I now have a nice supply handily tucked in between most of my teeth.

I miss my plaque ! Nature's grout.


Jan said...

LOL - so funny reading your story!
Dentists are a nightmare - An expensive one too!

Daphne said...

Ahhh that made me laugh! The only time I ever used that dental floss that's like cheese wire, it gave me an attack of acute neuralgia that lasted two weeks. Back to the brush. The dentist always says how clean my teeth are. Doesn't stop the hygienist tutting though. I think they have Tutting Classes at Dental Hygienist College.

Anonymous said...

You are right on all counts!! As for oral surgeon was attempting to extract a molar..without checking to see if I had any feeling in that area. I SCREAMED...and he told me to stop it because I was scaring his patients in the waiting room.......................

Most Recent Awards

Most Recent Awards