Digging for gold

The deeper one digs in mountains, the higher the chance of finding gold – or that’s what I’ve been told at least.  Some prefer to chance their luck by sifting sand from the mountain rivers.  Others seek riches elsewhere.  I wonder, does that theory also applies to teeth?

It certainly feels that way when visiting the local bone drilling maniac.  That’s probably not the nicest phrase I could’ve used, as these tooth doctors normally are amazingly good looking and extremely polite.  It just happens that they are equally good at delivering excruciating pain; pain that runs all the way down the spine and makes my pinkie toe tingle.

In times, no so long ago, drilling holes in teeth, was a preferred method of getting the truth out of people – just remember Marathon Man, where Dustin Hoffman lost most of his teeth to some really evil person.

Ever since I can remember my first filling, and because of the strict dentist regime in Denmark, visiting the bone driller has been an annual event.  I’ve never really feared these visits, mainly because we were forced to drink this awful fluoride drink monthly in school and there were literally school trips to Mr. Tooth Puller.

However, as I left the dental comforts of Denmark, going to the tooth fairy’s paradise Ireland, where going to the dentist was frowned upon, I quickly fell off the dental-wagon.

It was actually not easy to find a dentist, or a good dentist, in Dublin.  I’m sure most of them still used Guinness as an anesthetic, which I guess was excellent.

Years went by and my dental hygiene visits became a bi-annual (or worse) event.  In fact, I only visited my dentist when going home to Denmark on holidays.  Some holiday!

Enough history.  Lets fast forward to a few days ago.

Because we had the choice, and we wanted to make sure our kids teeth are well looked after, we added dental coverage to our health insurance.  And, that also meant that we could schedule annual visits ourselves.

At best, it must have been at least 5 years since my last visit, so I was expecting a severe drilling exercise and a lecture from my new dental hygienist – the new word for dentist.

Fearing for my gums and teeth, I laid down in the chair with a somewhat nervous look.  The clinic had been decorated in nice warm earth colours, removing all the sterile white tiles, and scented candles were filling the room with a nice ambiance and relaxing atmosphere.

That still didn’t remove my eminent fear of getting some serious dental work done.

The horror show started.  The hygienist filled my mouth with a number of tools, suction devices and then placed her fingers on my teeth, starting her polishing task.  Water, dental plaque and strange sounds were emitting from my face, spraying down my well groomed beard and suit.  Thankfully I had been given one of these “cool” dental bibs.

Just because ‘dental’ is put in front of these devices doesn’t make any cooler to wear a bib.

And, this is normally where any professional dentist professional would ask you a number of questions, expecting elaborate answers.  This normally results in inaudible sentences and drool running down my chin, much to the stunning dental assistant.

OK, I admit that I brush my teeth at least twice a day and I fully acknowledge that some plaque had been building up, but spending 48 minutes with my mouth full of utensils was not a pleasant feeling.

To add to my displeasure, I was forced to get my entire cranium x-rayed.  Although they placed this large (and heavy) x-ray apron over me, which protects against e.g. becoming sterile, I still feel uncomfortable.  A large plastic thingy is placed on strategic places within my mouth, then the hygienist legs it out of the room snapping a few photos.

A full hour went by and I thought I was in the clear.  Suddenly the gorgeous dental specialist arrived, examined the x-rays of my teeth and uttered some strange code-words.

Each of these meant trouble I’m sure, and I was right.  They had spotted a small cavity between 3-4TR.  Darn it!  Thankfully he didn’t find any gold.  I wonder if he would’ve shared his findings with me?

On the positive side, that was actually a pretty good result given the amount of time I had relied on my own dental skills, by using my toothbrush regularly and flushing at least once a day.

Unfortunately I have to visit the dental specialist again.  I’m more than delighted to help him fund and run his new Bentley Continental GT.

Until next time my new Facebook friend!  At least I checked in at your clinic on Facebook too.

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