In praise of modern dentistry

How wonderful it must to be coming out of lockdown into spring. We in New Zealand are  looking at autumn leaves and the prospect of cold, rainy days ahead. Everyone seems to be fed up with the solo life and the word “bubble” sends me screaming for cake which has created another problem. Toothache.  I did the mirror investigation and both of the teeth that are of concern are filled with fillings I suspect originated in the Murder House at Otautau Primary School. Oh that was an awful place! We went to a small country school with three class rooms and I think, a top roll of about 70 kids. There must’ve been twice or possibly three times the number of kids at Otautau. When later in life I learned about the baying mobs at the guillotine, I thought of the kids at that school. Of course it wasn’t actually like that but I was an impressionable and fearful child who’d spent the whole 25 min drive in the car, wanting to vomit. Once inside the waiting room, there was nothing to do except stare at the green linoleum floor, wonder why there was a poster of a giant carrot on the wall and listen to the drill.  The nurses were always pretty young women who wore a white crackly uniform, a bright red cardigan and the things that fascinated me the most, white shoes and a starched white headscarf attached with white hairclips. Those white shoes and white hairclips marked her as coming from a different world, but in the end, alien or not, no amount of beauty or fluffy insects created from gobstopper cottonwool things, ever made up for the drill. But it was a damned good try. Knowing now what we know about sugar, I suspect if we’d been forbidden to add 3 cups of the white stuff to the large jar of cordial we made almost every day in the summer, I wouldn’t have any fillings at all, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. My current dentist doesn’t make me gobstopper insects but she does have a fairy wand that she waves in my mouth just before she pops in the local anaesthetic. I love her. My teeth love her and the fact that she’s personally made me an appointment for Thursday this week has elevated to health professional of the week. The bill which tends to bring me thumping back down to earth, but I have to say, if it’s a toss up between free and painful and expensive and not; expensive wins every damned time.



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