"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The dentist

Today was the day I had to go to the dentist for a filling. Yes, just when you thought this week could get no better! I get nervous when I have to go to the dentist. It's a new thing. Years ago, it was something I took in  my stride, just one thing among the myriads of others that made up my day but in those days, the dentist we went to was almost a family friend, Our children went to the same school, he used to put Younger Daughter on the chair at eighteen months old, just to get her used to dental visits in preparation for when she actually needed them, we exchanged tales of our respective children's doings. Oh, and although he had toothbrushes, toothpaste etc for sale in his practice, he always used to give them to us free of charge.
Now, my dentist is Latvian and, while she is a very pleasant, albeit quiet young woman, there is no communication between us and I miss the chit chat.
"The older I get, the more of a baby I am with injections," I joked today, after squirming under the enormous needle which had just been stuck in my gum. 
She smiled and said nothing. I guess her english is not up to chit chat standard and certainly not up to my sense of humour, but thinking back to my friendly dentist, he probably wasn't any more competent than this one - I would say both are good - but a few moments conversation at the start of my visits to him must have taken my mind off the possible pain in store for me and so acted as a relaxant and a diversion.
I know that, with the dearth of NHS dentists these days, I am lucky to have one, whatever her conversational skills and silence during the treatment is certainly easier to deal with than someone who asks you where you are going for your holidays and then expects you to answer while he is excavating your mouth and my old dentist has probably retired by now anyway.
Maybe I should add lessons in Latvian conversation to my welsh lessons.


Yorkshire Pudding said...

Reminds me of a Polish dentist I had the dubious pleasure of meeting three years ago. I could hardly understand a word she was saying and worse than that her skills were certainly not up to usual NHS standards. She charged me for a crown which I later found out was just a temporary crown and because of her amateurish work I developed an avoidable infection. I have always hated dentists but I hate her more. She's back in Poland now spoiling Polish teeth.

Cro Magnon said...

Even the very word 'Dentist' makes me shiver. Are all dentists now foreign and female? I think yours should learn a bit of English (not very PC am I)!

elaine rickett said...

It definitely helps if you have a dentist you can trust - I was devastated when my old dentist left and was replaced by an Indian gentleman. We don't have any NHS ones round here anymore - and with private, well, they can charge anything they want - pick a number, any number. As for female dentists, well their bosoms do tend to get in the way a bit when they are leaning over.

Jennyta said...

Not a good experience, YP. I once had an Indian dentist who, as I later discovered, did lots of fillings which I didn't need when I was pregnant and so entitled to free treatment which, of course, he could claim for.

Jennyta said...

She does speak some english, Cro but not a lot, it seems.

Jennyta said...

The dearth of NHS dentists in the UK is shameful, Elaine. Bosoms not a problem in this case as she is very slim. ;)

WendyCarole said...

The dentist I have now is German I think she doesn't do small talk either. (far too slim for a problem bosom!)

The practice I went to for the first 15 years we lived here was very firendly and chatty and it mad esuch a difference. However as you said I am greatful that I still have an NHS one

Katherine said...

I know just what you mean. We know that being relaxed changes our experience significantly, but I've read recently that it's official: distraction can actually reduce the perceived pain.
I'm not happy with my dentist because he has his walls pasted with fabulous scenery of NZ that he took from the cockpit of his light plane. He spends most of the session telling me all the latest flights he has done. I hand my $$$ over and feel like saying "here's my grocery money and your aviation fuel money for this weekend"

Jennyta said...

Oh dear, Katherine. It must feel as if he is really rubbing your nose in it!


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