One other thing I’m not sure dentists are good at is delivering bad news.
When I went to the dentist yesterday I was in the curious position of knowing that something was afoot. Normally I find that I think my teeth are fine but the dentist will be excited to share with me a cavity they have found. Or the hint of a cavity. And if they can’t find one that way they’ll x-ray me until one shows up.
But when I turned up yesterday I knew I had an issue. I thought that I had lost some or all of a filling, quite recently. I was alerted to it by the fact that I had a new sharp edge on a tooth which was catching on my tongue. I could also, with my probing tongue, feel a hole. The beauty of it is there’s no associated pain with it. Which, in hindsight, is probably a sign that the tooth was pretty buggered up.
So, I told the dentist as much when I arrived. And she headed on in to have a look.
“Oh! Oh! That is…. that is really big!” She then laughed. I mean, it was probably a nervous laugh, but she definitely laughed. “It might not seem that big to you but that is… yeah, that is big. I can’t do anything about saving that tooth… so it’ll have to be extracted…. Ooo, I can’t do that here… it’s going to be at the hospital…”
And it went on like that for a while.
So yeah, pretty buggered up.
And then as I was getting ready to leave she threw in that they’d probably have to cut my gum open to get at it. Which was a segue into asking me if my gums bled a lot when I brushed my teeth because during the scale and polish they bled profusely. They don’t bleed a lot when I brush my teeth because I don’t brush my teeth with a really painful vibrating pointy stick. I use a brush. Brushes are friendly. Pointy death sticks are not.
I didn’t say that. I just said, “No.”
I didn’t dare saying anything else in case she pole-axed me with more bad news and a nervous chuckle.
I can’t wait to mention needing an extraction to people and have them tell me their own horror stories – “Oh, he had to put his knee on my chest to get any traction” or whatever. Like when you say about having a root canal and everyone’s like it’s the worst thing in the world and it’s not. It’s just like an infinitely more boring filling because it takes forever.
I mean, I’m not bothered about it. It’s just something I could really do without…