I went to the dentist on Monday for the first time in about 8 years - I'm one of those people not so crazy about the dentist. The good news was that my teeth are pretty good. One small filling and that would do it. Today I popped along to the dentist again to get it done.
I remembered this morning why I'm not crazy about the dentist. I mean nobody likes getting holes drilled in their teeth and pointy needles stuck into their gums, but there's a lot more to it than that. For me I reckon it's the absolute loss of power. There you are sitting in the dentists chair, tilted back and with your mouth agape. You lay there with your mouth jammed open and numbed from the anaesthetic. Above you like some omnipotent God the dentist pokes around in your mouth with sharp instruments and a humming drill pulverising the decayed tooth. He chats with the dental assistant about lunch plans and about a groovy song he heard coming into work that morning. You stare up through the oddly coloured and silly looking glasses they've put on you, incapable of anything more. You might as well be a piece of meat, except every now and then the dentist brightly asks how you're going. In normal circumstances you might attempt some witty rejoinder, but the best you can do with your mouth jammed open is some kind of guttural grunt. While all this is happening the dental assistant sticks her little sucking tool in your mouth like you're a baby. Sometimes you feel a trail of liquid run down your chin onto the small bib they've clipped around your neck. Oh joy, you think, so this is what its like to be a baby. Or a very old person.
Then they're done. You rinse and spit. One side of your face feels swollen. You imagine your misshapen face. And afterwards when you have a coffee you have to guard against dribbling.
Good news that's it for 6 months - or maybe another 7 years. We'll play it by ear.