Thursday, November 08, 2007

A man walks into a dentist’s surgery...

Sound like the beginning of a joke? Well, it's no laughing matter.

But before that, the wife and I went for some lunch. As you might know, I like a decent burger now and then. And when I'm in central London, I like to indulge my palate with a visit to Hamburger Union. There are several branches, but yesterday we went to the one on Tottenham Court Road. But once we placed our order and took our seats, we remembered that the last time we went there we ended up feeling a little sad.

You see, right above the table that we have taken on both visits there is a print on the wall. A quick glance reveals that it's a picture of Noah's Ark, braving huge crashing waves. However, and grab a Kleenex now, on closer inspection you can see that the ark, which is full to capacity, has had to tow a smaller boat behind it, and upon this secondary vessel stands a pair of dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are also wearing inflatable rubber rings around their long necks.

I mean, how sad is that?

Well, after the yummy burger I could delay the inevitable no longer. First the hygienist. Apart from the fact that I have T-shirts older than the woman who was let loose inside my mouth with sharp and dangerous tools, this part of the visit went okay-ish. Nothing I didn't already know.

The dentist proper was a different story. Man, how I hate those initial anaesthetizing jabs. The needle is about 3ft long and she sticks it in, pulls it halfway back out then pushes it back in at an adjusted angle. And after that one she does the same with another needle. Like, ow.

Then she got me all prepped, with the green rubber sheet with a hole in it to isolate the tooth that is to be worked on. Once the area seemed numb enough, on with the drilling. To be honest, I don't have a major problem with this part of the process. So long as I'm suitably anaesthetized, it's all good. For me, it's the fact that I have to lie there with my mouth fairly wide open for an hour. That's hard work.

So, drill and file and dig and file and drill ad infinitum. All the fun of the fair, it was. And drill and file and dig and file and drill some more. And we're done. Then the not-great news. She wasn't able to finish it, but that had been half-expected anyway. The worse news? Because one of the canals goes off at a funny angle, she can't get all the way down it. Options: live with it and see how it goes; or go to a specialist who SHOULD be able to get to it.

Now, the specialist will charge around £800 ($1,600) for this treatment. And given that I'm already paying the best part of £500 ($1,000) for the work my dentist is doing on it, I'm sure as hell not going to pay yet more for someone else to maybe not be able to finish it. To be honest, I wish I'd had all the facts at the outset, though I appreciate she may not have known how tough the canal would have been to get down. It's a curved one, apparently. But armed with all this info and a list of costings, I might have simply decided to remove the offending article. "If thy [tooth] offends thee, pluck it out" kind of thing.

Oh well.

So I go back for the second phase of the job on Monday the 19th. Looking forward to reliving the whole thing again, obviously.

Well, that's all for today. Over and out, amigos.

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Blogger Cynnie said...

at least dentistry is cheap here in prico..
I go every 6 months and it's about 10 dollars..
I had a filling refilled..( so that visit was 15 instead.)

get a water pik !!!
I swear by them..

the gums are next darlin..nip that problem in the bud!

08 November, 2007 16:22  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Cynnie: I could of course pay waaaay less if I used the National Health Service, but to be honest I'd had a number of unsatisfactory situations in the past with the NHS. Second to that, I figured that if I paid more, I would likely be more vigilant than if I was getting cheap treatment. And it's working. However, since I neglected my teeth for about six years, I no doubt did a degree of damage that I am now paying for...

08 November, 2007 16:34  
Blogger furiousBall said...

i bet those dinosaurs would have made delicious hamburgers tho

08 November, 2007 16:54  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Ouch...what are you trying to do to us...scare the shit out of us...first Gardenia with all her scary stories...and now you with scary dentist stories...

Hey that poster sounds sad all poor dinos...I tried to see if I could find an image online of that poster...but with only a quick search i didn't...I'll keep looking though...

08 November, 2007 17:55  
Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

ow ow ow ow ow. I hate dentists. And the only work I've ever had done is a single cavity and a wisdom tooth removed.

That description of Noahs Ark had me giggling. Goodness. Still smiling from it. hehe.

08 November, 2007 20:18  
Blogger Gardenia said...

I would love to see that painting. So now we know what happened to the dinos - their life vests weren't adequate.

Sorry about the canal - same thing happened to me some years back - I put a lot of money into that tooth - twice - now, therefor I won't let anyone touch me that isn't an endodonist when it comes to a root canal (because I don't want to do it twice) - but my dentist says I have the world's record for the most root canals, so maybe they are all canaled -

One of my canaled ones has to come out on the 20th - the pin split the root and it has gone from bad to worse -

bummer - back to your tooth - they do make topical anesthetic that will numb you for the shot - ask them about it. The hygienist in Wy used a new method - some kind of high power water spray that beats the scraping by a lot!

Our root canals down here are at about $800 which is less than yours by a lot - course our dollar is way less than yours now too I think............

but good luck - anything to do with teeth is just ghastly -------

09 November, 2007 02:51  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

oh dude that sucks. i was once talked into having a wisdom tooth removed by my regular dentist instead of an oral surgeon. he said tell him if i started to feel something and he would stop....he lied. hope the visit with the specialist goes better. where are the pictures of the dinosaurs and your teefies?!?!

09 November, 2007 03:07  
Blogger Milla said...

Dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the earth cos they all had toothache, don't you know?

09 November, 2007 10:25  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

I have been squirming in my seat this entire Sucks about the dinos too.

09 November, 2007 13:43  
Anonymous Franki said...

Instead of burgers before next dentist visit, I suggest tequila.

09 November, 2007 15:35  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

so THAT'S what happened to the dinosaurs!?! how did noah possibly think a couple of inflatable donuts would be sufficient?

sad day. :(

and sad day about the denist, dude. i'm sorry. i haven't been to the dentist in ages... guess i should go.

09 November, 2007 16:23  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

f/ball: Aww, man...

Candy: i really wanted to find the pic, but no joy. Next time I'll photograph it.

RefPo: Not a big dentist fan, huh? But then who is?

Gardenia: Yeah, the dollar is taking a pounding (no pun intended), so we really ought to come visit! They do apply some topical stuff to numb it first, but it didn't really do much good! Man, your dental issues sound tough, too.

09 November, 2007 17:15  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Andy: It does suck. No pix, I'm afraid. Sometimes that's the way it goes. But I'm not lying, honest! Y'know, i ain't gonna see the specialist. Sod it!

Milla: Maybe that means I need to look after my teeth then, lest I die out.

Shea: Sorry dude. Sorry 'bout the dinos, too. :sad face:

09 November, 2007 17:18  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Franki: You may be right about that, but alcohol makes you bleed more.

Martha: You'd think God would've been more accurate with the measurements and stuff, right? Yeah, it's a slippery slope, not going to the dentist.

09 November, 2007 17:19  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

Aren't root canals special? I recommend a double scotch to ease all post-dentistry pain.

09 November, 2007 17:52  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Mr A: Yeah, I think that's a plan! Though usually I prefer a nice red wine after losing a bunch of blood.

09 November, 2007 18:07  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Hi there. I came from Gardenia's blog to say hi and see what your blog was about. Its interesting. I hate dentists but I havent been to one since I left home almost 12 years ago. I do take my girls in but they are small yet. Stop by and see those cute smiling blondies of mine... LOL...

09 November, 2007 18:33  
Anonymous Franki said...

I don't care about bleeding. I care about pain!

09 November, 2007 22:01  
Blogger ~ erika gabrielle said...

yeesh. i know what you mean. my root canal treatment's not even over yet, and it started more than 3 months ago.

just tough it out! you can do it. haha.

10 November, 2007 14:23  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Hey just wanted to let you know I added you to my blogroll if you dont mind. I usually ask then add but hey...LOL.. Hope the tooth is better today.

10 November, 2007 23:20  
Blogger _z. said...

yikes! that's expensive!!!

dude how could you chow a big ass burger before going to the dentist...

I once ran away from the dentist's clinic. When I heard the bad news, and how complicated the stuff was going to be, I told him that I forgot something in my car... and ran away!!!
damn I hate them.

I also took out my 4 wisdom teeth during the same session... I was "inflated" for a whole week and bruised all over my face... I looked like I have been beaten to an inch from death.

11 November, 2007 00:58  
Blogger cappy. said...

the last two times i have been in the chair, i had the options of filling or removing.
i now have two teeth less than before.
cheaper and a lot less painful.

and i don't fear alumin, alinum, alumim, silver foil!

11 November, 2007 13:10  

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