.by Anura Guruge
As I mentioned in my Foley post I had to go to the dentist on Wednesday for my bi-annual teeth cleaning. We go to a dentist outside of Laconia. We have been going there for (I think) 9 years — definitely more than 8. Deanna found it when it had just started. But it has changed hands since then and things have gone downhill as far as I am concerned.
Though the rest of my body is a crumbling walking disaster, for reasons I never understood (and one that dentist are at a loss to explain), I have (big) teeth like a horse. I think I have three small fillings in my entire mouth. I tried to look last night. I only have one on my bottom teeth and I can’t see what I have in my top teeth — but I think it is two. As one U.S. dentist, in Mass, told me 25 years ago: ‘I will never make any money from YOUR teeth. You have teeth of an horse‘.
[He was a decent, upfront dentist. I went to him for about 10 years though it was quite a commute once I moved to the Lakes Region. He had an interesting hygienist. I can’t remember when it started but she would do a complete, non-stop, no holds barred, graphic monologue of her sex life while she cleaned my teeth. It was a lot of fun. There was no chance of me, with my known penchant for boredom, losing interest. So during the time I was going to her to get my teeth cleaned she got married and was trying to have a baby. So I would get the whole story, blow-by-blow, so to speak, of their ‘nightly’ exploits. Yes, there was a few times that I nearly choked, on laughter, when she would tell me about her wagging her feet in the air waiting for the ‘little buggers‘ to complete their swim! I know some folks would claim that this was unprofessional, but I saw no harm. It was fun. She enjoyed regaling me and it certainly beats an hygienist who only tells you to ‘open wide‘.]
Once I had my adult teeth the first cavity I had was when I was 18. It was the first time I had gone to a dentist with a fully reclining dentist seat as is de rigeur now. I always thought it was the seat. This was in the U.K., Swansea, so I don’t think the dentist just did a drilling and filling just for the money — because I, like everybody else, was on the NHS plan.
For the last two years the dentist has not come to see me when I have my teeth cleaned. I am ‘A OK‘ with that. I don’t want to incur the additional cost for nothing. This time the hygienist, rather sheepishly, tells me that the dentist has insisted on seeing me. I said I did not want to see the bloody dentist. There was nothing wrong with my teeth or gums. The hygienist said that my gums were fine. I knew that this was but a ruse just to charge me for something I didn’t want. I knew that. She knew that and the dentist knew that. I would gladly sign a waiver saying that I do not want to see the dentist. Just want my damn teeth cleaned. I am sorry to say I don’t like him either. He seems to have the personality of a constipated armadillo and the mannerism of a robot on a sugar-high.
I did not have a choice. I, however, did manage to refuse, yet again, the $200 X-rays. I don’t need X-rays. 9 years. No cavities. No gum problems. Nothing — other than an impacted wooden toothpick that had to be dug out. Though, in general, after that incident, I try to use ‘good’ plastic picks, I still break them in between my teeth. Forget flossing, which I don’t do. But I maul my gums between my teeth. It actually seems to do them good. Now when I break a tooth pick, as I did two weeks ago, I just go digging for it myself.
$46 bloody dollars and he wasn’t there for more than 2.5 minutes! He knew. I knew it. She knew it. In a way I feel bad for the dentist. If he has to reduce himself to that level to make money.
Well, that was it. I am NOT going back to that practice. As I have said we do have what is supposedly a ‘good’ bona fide ultrasonic toothbrush, an Emmi-Dent. I am not convinced about that toothbrush, though Deanna likes it (and I am sure that it is not because it is German). I now use a normal toothbrush as well. Also went back to using Hydrogen Peroxide in addition to my generic mouthwash.
Staining is the only problem I have, thanks to my two large cups of coffee, two large cups of black tea, one or more cups of lighter tea and my large, by diluted, daily dose of red wine. The cleanings at this place, which have gone up yearly, are $80. I was ‘OK’ with that, even though they keep on trying to get me to come 4 times a year! Screw that. No wonder so many folks in NH walk around with teeth missing. This is crazy.
So, I am on the market for a new dentist.