It’s time for the most dreaded event of the year - my annual visit to the dentist. Actually, to have been true to the term annual, I should have made this statement in early Jan, but luckily for me, procrastination heads the strengths section of my cv.
What is it about dentists that makes everyone avoid them like the plague? (I would have said plaque, but dread has eaten away at my sense of humour). Although a lot of people claim that the sensation and sound of a drill puts them off, it’s like a sailor saying he avoids icebergs because they look dirty.
I think the real reasons are deeper and start way before the drill is plugged in.
Think about a standard visit. However cool/dignified/sophisticated you may be in the outside world, you peel that off with your footwear, and sprawl belly up on a chair like a canine at the dregs of a pack. I don’t know if it’s a Pavlovian reaction, but I usually start whining at this point.
Not for long though, because then I’m asked to say aaah. Not ooh or whoa or a similar cool civilized equivalent, you have to say aaaah till your nostrils dilate like a hippo’s and your double chin behaves like a silicon implant. Sure, a doctor makes you say aah too, but it’s for a few seconds, not for the duration of a 60 minute visit. If that weren’t humiliating enough, the dentist shines a strong light to light up the most unflattering part of you. Whoever says that mouths are sexy hasn’t seen an epiglottis fluttering in panic while you salivate helplessly. The only thing worse must be getting treated for haemorrhoids. But then again, with that unfortunate condition, you don’t have to watch the expert watch you as he sees dreams of a new car come true. In return, does the man at least give you the satisfaction of staring back at his cavities? Nah, he’s wearing a mask like a super-coward.
Once he’s done with the show, he wants the tell bit. Does this hurt he asks, jabbing you with instruments modelled after torture tools of the dark ages.
What do you think you pervert? You want to shoot back. But of course you don’t say that.
However witty or articulate you may be, the only response you manage to everything is gaaa.
The one right question for this answer would be 'tell me what comes after sa re', but the sadist skirts around that. Deliberately, I’m sure.
Then starts the pain. The drill bores deep into your tooth till it reaches your wallet and draws out deposit after deposit. Like an anti-alchemist, he converts your hard earned gold to ceramics, till the inside of your mouth resembles an imitation ming vase.
Once he is satisfied with his handiwork (watch for the mask twitching with joy), the dentist brings out a small mirror to show you what he’s done.
You take a cursory look, before you squeeze your plastic to pay for his emis.
365 days of composure, you sigh joyously as you walk out, gathering your surviving shreds of dignity. But the dentist’s influence still holds. Thanks to the little mirror that only showed you your repaired tooth, you missed out on the white gook that lines your mouth and makes you look like you had a 5 course meal of bird shit.
So let’s make that 364 days of composure, unless you’re like me and you procrastinate.