Tuesday, 7 June 2011

On backstreet dentistry

This isn't a new entry as such - it actually happened some 5 years ago, before I kept a blog, when I used to just include some of my tales in emails to friends equally bored during work.

I figured it deserved a place here, so here goes:

Part 1

So, having lost half my tooth at the weekend, I went to the dentist this morning, the only one I could find near me that were still taking new patients. I think I understand why.

Alarm bells started ringing when the doorbell played a lullabyesqe rendition of the French National Anthem as I entered the building. Random. The building itself was a run down old shack that was basically someone's house with a few desks and a 'surgery' in there.

The dentist herself was a pleasant German woman. Pleasant until she saw my form and said,
"You smoke? Stop it. Well, unless you want to grow up toothless."
After digging around in my mouth for a while, she re-endeared herself to me:
"Your teeth are in great condition, you must visit a dentist regularly."
If by regularly she means twice in the last 12 years, then yes, regular as clockwork.

So, she informs me I need a filling, and that this filling will cost me £250.
"250?!!" I exclaim. Well, mumble sheepishly, rather than exclaim.
"Well, yes, unless you want a regular filling rather than the gold?"
This rather stunned me into silence. Do I really look like I share the same penchant for gleaming gold accessories as the majority of street kids that live in Hackney? And if I could afford that, surely I would have found myself a more 'respectable' dentist. Anyway, I left kind of sated, but not before I'd had to run through the rain to find a cashpoint to pay my bill as they didn't accept cards.

I do hope their tooth repairing tools are more modern than their banking methods. If not, I guess I could get used to a mouthful of wooden pegs. At least then I'll look like a pirate.

Part 2

I returned to the 'dental surgery' this morning to have a huge fucking filling fitted. I decided not to opt for the gold one. Or the "more aesthetically pleasing" white one, and instead went for the cheapest option, the amalgam filling. It's the back of my tooth so I don't look too much like Jaws.

Already in the waiting room were two old trolls that were jibbering in what I swear was a language the scriptwiters of this godforsaken serial I found myself in had invented purely to make me feel more uneasy. Add to that the fact that their 'conversation' was punctuated at regular points either by one of them cackling insanely, or by the other standing up and performing some kind of shit jig, which I took to be a rather unfortunate, if highly amusing twitch.

On a side note, I spent close to two hours there, during which time numerous people arrived, were treated, and left. These two crones were not, which led me to believe that they were either the surgery's pets, or that my fear had caused me to imagine them.

Anyway, I was called in. The dental nurse was wearing a ridiculously large woolly hat! Surely against hygeine regulations, but I didn't like to question any member of the coven and so I let it slide. The nice German lady, or head witch if you will, sat me down, injected me and told me to sit outside whilst the poison, I mean, the anaesthetic kicked in. I was informed that it should take around 20 minutes.

An hour later, it had all but worn off and I was called back in for my filling. A procedure, surprisingly without incident. When I returned to the waiting room, the two she-devils had vanished, although I had no recollection of hearing the French National Anthem (see part 1).

I will be returning for regular check ups, if only so I can make these adventures a series of epic proportions.

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