Today it’s finally happening, again…the day has arrived and I am going to the dentist; there’s no way out of it (unless I bottle it at the last minute, which will incur a £60 fine. And you can be sure that I am still using this as a backup! Paying £60 to avoid a miserable thing is definitely worth it). It’s something each and every one of us has to deal with, and an experience which I absolutely despise — always have, always will. So, to chart this one, I’ve decided to do a before and after blog post about the experience. Yes, I’m going to drag you down with me — if you like. Do you really blame me?
See…I’ve had this very dull, barely noticeable, nagging tooth-ache for a while now. It’s not my fault, honest it isn’t. I really did register with a new surgery in July and it really has taken this long to get an appointment. I’ll hold my hands up and say that it took me about a year to actually pick up the phone and book that appointment — I am well aware I’m my own worst enemy — but at the same time, we’re all allowed a few rational fears, aren’t we? Because going to the dentist is never a nice experience. Especially when they start calling out the letters and numbers…
Here are my Predictions:
1) Someone in the Waiting Room is going to annoy me or frustrate me or irritate me. It probably won’t even be their fault, but at that moment I simply won’t care. The faces of the fellow waiters will probably annoy me to be honest; if they’re as worried as I am then they’re bound to get on my nerves even more, what with their expressions-of-woe. I can only hope that I am seated amongst waiters who are confident and unbothered by going to see the dentist. Although thinking about it, if that is the case that’s bound to annoy me mildly as well. Actually I may just have to wait outside. Failing that, I’ll crouch in the corner of the room and stare at the wall. Yes.
2) The dentist will act like he or she is pleased to see me, swiftly followed by them jokingly — or not — acting like actually they are not pleased to see me.
3) I will attempt small-talk as a poor and feeble attempt at distracting them from my teeth. Especially the one on the left — a molar? — which has half fallen out. I know this is not in my interest, but I can assure you right now that as this happens I won’t particularly care.
4) The nurse will be a trainee and, although it’s not his / her fault — though I am saying now that I think it’ll likely be a girlish woman — they will write something down wrong and this will mean the dentist has to stop looking in my mouth and help him / her sort it out. All the time I will be left there trying desperately to hold my mouth wide open.
5) The second I shut my mouth the dentist, who is not even looking at me at the time, will say “please open your mouth as wide as you can”.
6) The walk up to the room of terror will be long and drawn out. I anticipate obstacles in the way so as to increase the tension. I also fully expect to bump into a pregnant woman on her way down, and, as the stair-way is so narrow I will have to walk backwards down the stairs and wait for her to pass. Before going up, again.
7) I will be told off needlessly. I say needlessly because you know and I know that the dentist is not doing this for free. Yet, nonetheless, they will feel it is a good idea to bollock me for not having visited them when half my tooth fell out (6 months before I booked my appointment…I think).
8) I will call the dentist a bad name under my breath once going back down the narrow stairs. This time I will take full advantage of my right-of-way and make the life of the person coming the other way a right proper misery by being all slow and holding my face. I am not usually like this, honest.
Ways I’m going to deal with it:
1) I’m going to pretend that the dentist is just a really nice, really friendly hairdresser who, on this particular day, has decided — on a whim — to have the entire salon completely gutted and replaced with lots of stainless-steel equipment. A hairdresser who just likes to casually look in mouths every so often. Nothing to worry about then, nothing to fear.
2) When he or she starts calling out the letters and the names — I expect F to feature heavily, as usual — I’m going to cancel them out by saying, just in my head, the names of funny sounding pets. F8 might become Susan McSpoosan the Hamster, for example. Or maybe Bernard Nobanobazing the ferret. I anticipate this will make me at least smile and maybe even laugh. Obviously I don’t want to push this too far, because he or she might tell me to stop laughing and keep my mouth open. Worse, he or she might ask me what I am laughing at, which will only extend the period of time spent in that bloody chair. Yes, I definitely need to tread carefully here.
3) I’m going to tell myself that, at any moment in time, I can just say “Alright bollocks, that’s enough! I’m leaving! take my £60 or the clothes off my back and my arse if you like, just let me go right now.” Worse things do happen. This probably won’t have been the first time someone has stripped off and chucked their personal possessions at them and bolted out the door.
It is 13:42…it’s time for me to face my demons and go.