Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Date With Dentistry

I am NEVER going to do that again.

And neither should anyone else. Please, if any of you have a problem tooth or two, head over to your local sinister butcher (a.k.a The Dentist) and get a checkup. Get it sorted NOW. Before it's too late.

To explain: a long time ago I went to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth taken out. It was a trouble free operation and after it was over he mentioned that I should come back soon and get a filling done.

Ten years later and a few weeks ago, I went to have a checkup. I thought, maybe a couple of fillings and it would all be over. No such luck. I lost that tooth that very day and was told I would need thirteen more fillings. THIRTEEN.

Once the needle had done its numbing work on my gum I thought it would be a simple matter of a quick pull with the pliers.

No, no, no.

There wasn't enough left of the tooth to grab onto. He had to cut away some of the bone so that he could get his instruments of destruction in and split the tooth root by root. After that it was easy. After half an hour of grunting and pulling and jiggling with a selection of pliers and other pointy things, it was easy.

After it was over, I peeled myself off the chair and wondered what the assistant would use to clean the sweat from the plastic covering.

And to 'cap' it all off, I got to pay for it afterwards. Mumbling and spluttering to the woman from my medical insurer explaining that I'd been paying medical insurance every month for the last three years didn't stop me having to visit their office to process my claim manually.

That was a few weeks ago.

This weekend went pretty much the same, except we spent an hour or so trying to save the tooth by drilling and filling. Eventually we ran out of time and the next patient came in. I had to go home for a couple of hours and wait while the anaesthetic wore off so I could go back and get the tooth taken out.

In the interest of my own sanity I won't mention the earthing plate underneath my back or the smell of my own burning gums or the hour of agony after the anaesthetic wore off before the pills took effect.

I won't mention that although the dentist was a friend of the family and a pretty nice guy that locked the surgery door and stayed back to do the job right, he really did look like a gorilla.

I'll just mention the number of fillings I still have left to do.


Danny Hawaii OUT