Oh, I say brightly, taking off my coat, This is all different from how I remember it!
The dental nurse gives me a knowing smile. Well then, she says, equally brightly, it must be well over a year since you’ve been here, then, since that’s when we changed it all.
Damn. Walked right into that one. Note to self: keep mouth shut, and do not attempt to make small talk in dentist’s surgery.
Unfortunately, keeping one’s mouth shut while in The Chair is probably wishful thinking on anyone’s part, and as I have mentioned before, it is one of my pet hates in life that dentists insist on having a friendly chat with you while their hands are in your mouth. I clamber into the chair with a sense of foreboding. I’ve, um, been travelling for a year, you see, I explain feebly, hoping that that will be an acceptable excuse for my lack of familiarity with the new surgery layout.
The dentist ignores me and sticks his hand in my mouth.
So, having trouble? he asks.
Urgh… gh-yes, I reply around the fingers, Bit of – urgh – tyoof bwoke off ‘n’I fot I berr gerrit secked out… gonnaway ‘gen shoon.
The dentist has a qualification in that bizarre language spoken by people who have hands and mirrors in their mouths. Where are you off to? he asks, adding a scrapey-pokey metal thing to the mix.
Show Koh Wayaaaaaaaaah, I gurgle helplessly as he stabs me in the gum.
That’s a long way away, he observes, followed by a string of random letters and numbers fired at the nurse. What takes you there?
Urgh… gonna tish Inngish fwa yur.
This ridiculous conversation continues even as he jams enormous plastic paddles in my mouth and leaves the room for the x-ray machine to do its job. Then he tells me off re: sweet drinks, and so on, kindly agrees to see me again before I leave even though he’s booked solid (I naturally have mixed feelings about this kindness), and bids me farewell. And so I have to go back tomorrow and probably discuss musical preferences and national politics while he renders one side of my mouth numb and then sticks a drill in it.
I find all this rather traumatic, and I’d nearly rather have them all out and take my chances with a set of false teeth, to be honest. Sigh.