Staring Down the Barrel of Modern Dentistry

Tuesday, the 4th of September, 2007 - 22 to 9pm.

Midway through August, it appeared that, in a dramatic revision of standard procedure, my back teeth had become fed up with me.

I parted company with my singing teacher on the 24th of July, promising that I would try and practice at least a little bit every day throughout the summer break.
That's the kind of promise that tends to get dashed on the rocks of everyday distractions within about forty-eight hours.
Nonetheless, I was doing surprisingly well for a while. I'd even started incorporating Quilter's Love's Philosophy into my practice time, which is virtually unheard of. It's one of those songs that can easily go very wrong, and it's all too easy, after getting off to an excellent start, to turn to Love's Philosophy and think ' good can come of this.'

All of this glorious progress came to an abrupt halt when I woke one morning to discover that I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to accommodate foods thicker than pizza, let alone high notes.

Having more experience of this sort of thing than I'd ideally like, I soon ascertained that my jaw hadn't done its tiresome partial dislocation thing.
Some incredibly painful poking around later, I was forced to conclude that all was not well with one of my wisdom teeth; and after a few days, I finally gave in and booked the dental appointment that I'd been putting off for the past three years.

The earliest I could get in was the 4th of September.
Needless to say, in the intervening period the problem cleared up by itself.
However, since we live in a world where there are such terrible things as cancellation fees...

'NHS dentistry has changed since you were last here,' the dentist said after I hoicked myself up on to the chair.
'Oh lawks,' thought I. 'It involves even more pointy metal things now, doesn't it?'

As it turns out, what he meant was that all of that cleaning and suchlike that dentists used to do in checkups is now the job of the hygienist, leaving dentists free to get on with the more sadistic side of dental care. And, since my teeth were deemed to be fine apart from the tea stains and a bit of wisdom tooth wonkiness, this meant that I was in and out within five minutes and the dentist earned himself an exceptionally easy fifteen quid.

We asked after the hygienist on the way out, but it turns out that she charges £40 per half hour, and... well. As an eight-cups-of-tea-a-day girl, I am never going to have pearly white teeth for very long, and £40 would buy a lot of the high quality tea that I love so very much.

Indeed, I think I shall end this here and brew myself a cup of loose leaf cinnamon...


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