Thursday, 24 May 2007

The Tooth Torturer

I've survived both sessions of root cleaning my teeth which has eaten into my working day somewhat. But the main thing was, wimp that I am, it didn't hurt. The second lot of numbness has worn off and still no pain, though as I said to Himself, 'my mouth feels as if it's been scrubbed with a wire brush.'
'It has,' he said.

What do you think about while you're at the dentist? Do you shiver in apprehension and fear as he/she looms above you with a wopping great needle while you're strapped into the chair of torture, powerless to escape? Do you stare upwards, planning the week's shop? Wonder about a tricky bit of plot/how to cope with mother in law/problematic meeting later that day?

I started wondering a) whether she could tell from my teeth that I'd been a heavy smoker (I gave up 11 years ago, thankfully); b) what she could tell about my general state of health from my mouth and c) why on earth she wanted to spend all day looking in people's mouths.

I then wondered which was worse, spending all day treating gum disease or being a urologist and inspecting people's backsides. I think I'd rather do the former, but I did ask her why she was a hygienist. She looked vulnerable, suddenly, and said that she'd always been interested in teeth and that she hadn't wanted to be a dentist as she didn't want to make dentures and extract teeth. 'Besides, nowadays a hygienist have a much greater role,' she said. 'We can do crowns, temporary fillings, all that sort of thing.'
I couldn't quite share her enthusiasm, but said, 'so what's left for the dentists?'
She made a face and said, 'exactly,' which I found rather worrying.
But my job's very rewarding,' she said. 'Every patient has different problems, but it's wonderful to see them improve - like you.' And her face shone.
Each to their own, I dare say. I think I'll stick with words, though. I can't see the fascination in teeth, no matter how hard I try.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

It's interesting that there are both male and female dentists (predominantly male, what a surprise) but I've never met a male hygienist. Are there any out there?