Relaxing in the Dentist’s chair

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Birds always understand

“Isn’t it about time you get your teeth looked at?” That was one of the first things my wife came up with one early morning rising out of bed. “Why, I asked,  is there something about my teeth that kept you awake?” “You were gnashing them, all night,” she said  stroppily. “Oh, great, lets compare your snoring with my teeth gnashing,” I replied, ready for combat. “It isn’t just your gnashing,.” Helvi said. “Oh boy, is there more,” I said  warming up into a nice marital fencing?  “Yes, but for now, can you just turn away from me while you are talking, you have either not brushed your teeth last night or you got something sinister travelling inside your mouth”, she said. I thought that was quite a funny thing to say. She won.

I took the hint, and made an appointment with the local dentist. It was some years since I last visited one. Helvi had already made several visits to this new dentist who has his practise inside an old weather-board cottage. The outside is painted a stark white. The picket fence at the front is also pearly white. By squinting and using imaginary projections it is almost possible to see a perfectly formed white toothed mouth. There is a board hanging outside; ‘Family Dentist.’ The gleaming whiteness of it all is the best advertisement for this dental surgery. It impressed us enough, and that is the reason why Helvi decided to get her teeth checked out there. She is not scared of dentists. Not many women are.

She had already warmed me up by telling me that this dentist is very calm who explains the procedure in the greatest detail. Helvi seemed very impressed. I like calmness in dentists and would certainly not have my teeth fixed by a nervous or very agitated dentist.

I arrived promptly at 10.30 am and was met by a very nice bare armed secretary. She wore a blue floral shirt with a white open collar. Her previously mentioned arms were decorated with a modest arrangement of silver bangles around her wrists. There were no other adornments, not even earrings. She seemed kind and reassuring. If I was a dog I would not have minded being walked around town for a bit by her. I would definitely try and refrain from lifting my hind leg.

She gave me a large sheet to fill in. The sheet had all sorts of questions regarding any illnesses or diseases, suffering at present or suffered in the past. Was I pregnant etc? One question that stood out, and shows how far we have arrived in how people are now considered with so much more dignity and empathy was; Was I nervous and if so; what was my level of nervousness? I filled in that I had no nervousness at all. If the secretary had been less friendly and welcoming, I could well have answered with honesty ,and filled in ‘very bloody nervous.’ I can’t say that dentists and I have ever been close soul mates.

I also signed that I took all responsibility and more importantly would pay in full after each treatment. I sat down and waited for the dentist to call me in. The walls of the waiting room were adorned with nice pictures, all meant to calm and ready us. There were some magazines but no hunting or car racing magazines. No deadly accidents or photos of shot pigs.

I was called in by Craig and we shook hands. He was the dentist. It is always comforting when first names are being used by the medical fraternity. I can’t imagine that being normal back in Holland where things used to be much more formal. Perhaps that has changed as well. It is all becoming friendlier, I hope. The dental chair is what struck me first. I have never seen a chair so modern. It had in front a screen on which a projection of a photo of a grizzly bear in a forest was shown. I had hardly absorbed this image when it was replaced with a penguin surrounded by a vast polar expanse, all white. The penguin was large and I suppose it might have been an Emperor. It all looked very nice and peaceful

Craig sat down and crossed his legs in an amicable fashion. He explained in a friendly and calming manner what he was going to do and after perusing my medical sheet, he promised “no great drama.” “You have no medical problems now nor in the past.” He reassured me, and he chatted on how long he had been practising his dentistry art. “Your wife told me you used to have a farm”, he added.

It was after this brief chat that he examined my mouth. His assistant took my glasses, hearing aids and other paraphernalia around and inside my mouth. We are going to take some x-rays, he said. All in all nothing too intrusive. It was over fairly quickly. “It will take about three visits,” he said. “There are some teeth that are split and there is a built up of tartar, a few fillings have come out. Nothing insurmountable.”

I was ushered back into the waiting room.

Nothing too bad. Almost a nice experience.

 

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34 Responses to “Relaxing in the Dentist’s chair”

  1. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I always get a kick from reading about your medical or in this case dental experiences. It is good that Helvi laid it on the line and that you were wise to listen. You lucked out with three visits and when the dentist has finished “visiting” your mouth you are going to feel like a new man. Really!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My next appointment is on the second of May when the serious stuff ‘kicks in.’ So far so good. I find myself looking in the mirror but of course so far nothing has changed yet.
      He advised me to use small dental brushes in between my teeth. It’s rather challenging.

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        I don’t know how a small dental brush looks. One for kids use maybe? At least he didn’t offer you a container of floss. The floss must be wedged between the teeth and moved back and forth. I found that method of removing food particles and to prevent plaque very difficult. I just go and get my teeth cleaned but I am remiss in going to the dentist on a yearly basis because I am lazy. Maybe you should try brushing after each meal and that will help a fair to moderate degree. I assume he is meaning a child’s tooth brush and I use those myself if I’m able to find one in the store.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        They are tiny little brushes like toothpicks but with small bristles on them. They are very good and I find it a bit habit forming now, and do it absentmindedly. Of course not in public but when our dreadful PM Turnbull or Trump turns up on the telly I am not shy of cleansing my teeth in front of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    No photos of shot pigs? Where’s the adventure? I’m not afraid of dentists either. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I dislike hunting magazines. Yet, many decades ago I did go rabbit shooting and Helvi and I ended up in driving into the never never, arrived at a very isolated pub somewhere. We quenched our thirst with a beer in this pub where, because of the stifling heat, no one spoke a word.
      Helvi doesn’t like eating rabbit even after I marinated it in red wine and mustard.
      What can you do?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lifecameos Says:

    i ‘m scared of dentists but I find things get much more painful if I don’t visit them regularly. I just sit in the chair and remind myself that all things pass and this will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jennypellett Says:

    I wouldn’t visit a nervous or agitated dentist either. This had me laughing as much as your demented architect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You would have to admire the pluck of a young person at the start of life wanting to become a dentist. What about becoming a colonoscopy expert? What burning ambitions lie dormant to chose those sort of jobs?
      I stand in awe for the medical profession.
      There is a very good book out written by a German woman and it is called; “Gut.” written by Giulia Enders. ****
      It is a must read for anyone interested in good health, especially the sort of health that includes sound toilet habits.(or toilet habits with sounds)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. auntyuta Says:

    Gerard, this dentist sounds to me like he is looking after his patients very well. You are lucky to have him close by. We used to have some great dentists like this in Sydney. We have been visiting them for a number of years. But recently we have neglected going there for they are a bit far away. So far I have not found one close by yet that I feel I could trust. Both Peter and I have partials and sooner or later they might need replacing. The remaining teeth we have will hopefully last a bit longer even without regular dental visits. So we still want to put any more visitsit off for a little while. For the time being other appointments have priority for us. There were some years not so long ago when Peter and I were very good regular patients at that Sydney Holistic Dental Centre.

    http://www.shdc.com.au/

    They did a very good job with Amalgam Removal for instance which I thought was very important for I had lots and lots of big fillings like this that had deteriorated badly, whereas other dentists kept telling me they were still okay. So I really preferred the SHDC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I certainly appreciated this first visit and we will see what happens next. I know that we are more and more determined to stick to good dietary habits. I think being a vegetarian is probably the answer. But, we still both like to eat fish and occasionally a piece of lean meat. We now eat at least four vegetables each day and try not to boil the hell out of them.
      The state of our teeth are often the health card of our bodies. In Holland as children, teeth were well looked after and there was a national free dental care. In Australia there is some similar scheme for children in place. (I think)
      However, no matter what, with age comes deterioration including our teeth.
      I put off visiting the dentist because in the past they were often too enthusiastic in pulling teeth. Since I stopped going to the dentist no more teeth were pulled and in fact my mouth coped remarkably well.
      So, this new dentist promised and said I did not need to get teeth pulled. The equipment he has is amazing.
      I hope Uta, that yours and Peter’s good health will continue well into the future.
      I just read an 85 year old man is going to climb Mount Everest again. AMAZING
      I am happy and grateful I make it to bed each night.

      Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        Thanks for this long reply, Gerard. So far Peter’s health is remarkably well despite the cancer scare. His treatment is prevention rather than drastic surgery. We hope now, his good health is going to last for the next few years.
        We have a good time with our visitors from Germany and are looking forward to spending the Easter holidays with our family. We wish you and Helvi a very Happy Easter too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        A happy Easter to you and family as well, Uta.

        Like

  6. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I tell my dentist she’s the nicest person I never want to see. 😬 I always dread sitting in that chair, but oral health is important so I’m there every six months for my cleanings and check-up. Glad your visit went okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I used to go to a female dentist. She was very calm and actually never pulled any of my teeth out. I then went to male dentist who was far too vigorous. He scraped and scraped it was scary. He might well have been unhappily married.
      You go every six months? That is truly admirable.
      Have you read ‘Gut’ yet?

      Like

      • Carrie Rubin Says:

        No I haven’t, but what a coincidence–I’ve got a health-tip blog post coming up about the wonders of the microbiome of our intestinal tract. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Can’t wait. There is a lot of talk about all that lately. It seems to have become popular, people openly talk about how their guts are going.
        Gut has become a best seller. It has an outstanding section on faeces and how to judge one’s health by them.
        Millions right now are peering into their toilet bowls. Unbelievable.

        Like

  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Ah, but the worst is yet to come, Gerard. 🙂 I’ve spent far too much time in dentist’s offices in my life. The dentist looks in my mouth and starts to plan his next vacation. Our dentist has all sorts of gadgets including a pleasant travel movie that shows on the ceiling when you are leaning back in your chair. He’s a nice guy, however, and has a delightful staff. When he asked the nervous question, my response was “only here.” I am glad to hear however that when you are walked around town you don’t lift your hind leg. It’s quite decent of you. I’ll bet Milo doesn’t adhere to that policy. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, you are right Curt. Sometimes Milo drives us insane with his leg lifting. We don’t mind at decent intervals but every couple of metres?
      I just received an estimation of total costs from the dentist. Almost $ 3000.-.
      What is Root Planing and what about Metallic Restoration?
      Anyway, at least nothing gets pulled out.

      Like

      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        $3,000… ouch. Sounds like you are going to have some deep cleaning and tooth rebuilding. As for Milo, he seems quite social with all of the messages he leaves behind for other dogs. 🙂 –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Easter is almost over and so it should. I now expect all the Santa stuff to get exposed in shops. Easter and Christmas are now merged into one and will soon include my birthday. Milo is going to have his walk now and I will let him lift his leg to his full content, just to celebrate life being back to normal.

        Like

  8. da AL Says:

    ooooh – makes my teeth hurt just to read headline of this post – interesting cute pic – birdies don’t have teeth, do they?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    The day after we returned frm honeymoon, Dr. A suggested I get a job, so I went out and got a job in a dentist office. I soon graduated from greeting patients to taking their pictures, then helping paw around in their mouths. I didn’t like it much and maybe they didn’t either. I became lucky a few years ago when they excavated my mouth. My smile is much nicer now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres Says:

    I hate and despise dentists, and am really too fearful of them for my own good. The truth is, what I imagine never is as bad as what actually happens, but I’m in line for some truly bad at this point. I still have a couple of wisdom teeth, and one of them broke. My dentist pointed out that, while I could spend two or three thousand on preserving the thing, it would be far more reasonable to take it out. It certainly does sound reasonable, but even typing about it has left me unnerved. I believe I might go lie down a bit. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The Snow Melts Somewhere Says:

    Well the reading experience was nice, at least 🙂 I really enjoyed this little story — everyday life but you made it sound interesting

    Like

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