Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Whole Tooth

Roll up, roll up to be the first to make a joke about the British, their teeth and the quality of their dentists!

Here's the scoop - I was driving along a couple of weeks ago, chewing some lime/raspberry Trident when *pop* out comes a filling dating back to the 1980s. The impending dread hit me right about then.

Yes, I grew up going to National Health Dentists - for free. Including for no added cost were the following quotes: "It's just a small filling, so we won't use any Novocaine" "It won't hurt - this drill goes really fast!" and "We'll wait until you've finished school before I do this (dental work) - so you will pay me full price".

Now, I have the joys of U.S. dentists, who say things like: "Holy sh!t! Did a butcher work in here?" "This bridge (from the U.K.) is like a piece of cardboard" and "Hey! Get in here and look at these x-rays! They're hilarious!"

Of course, no trip to the dentist has caused me any pain since 1990, but the trauma is still something I have to deal with. I was born with no adult teeth in the two "vampire tooth" spots, so until 1997 I had the baby teeth there. As you can imagine, they looked like something that was supposed to last 10 years and had been abused for more than 20. One was almost hollow where the adult "fang" beneath it, being made of stronger stuff, wore its way inside it to within a hair's breadth of the nerve. Even fixing that gubbins wasn't painful. Just boring.

But in the days when fillings came with stern looks and several dozen rinses to get the blood out, I would suffer. Even through my 20s when I went to the dentist I would write myself affirmation notes:

"Dear Adam -

When you read this, you will be getting ready to go the dentist. When you wrote this, you just got back and it didn't hurt at all. It was boring, and your jaw will hurt afterwards, but the nurse is rather fruity so that makes up for any discomfort.

Your trusted friend:

Needless to say, today's trip took about 20 minutes, was totally painless, and I sat back and watched Toy Story 2 with my son on the TV as the guy replaced the missing filling and shook my hand to thank me afterwards.

There's no moral here - I just hadn't posted in a while, and wanted to show you why. This is the most interesting thing that has happened in days. Although tonight I have to give one of those speeches to the entirety of my kid's preschool parent population again. At least the new and improved Novocaine has worn off so I won't be dribbling as I speak.

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