Thursday, 21 July 2011

At The Dentist

I had best start off with a confession, I do not like dentists, in fact I will go so far as to say that they scare the crap out of me. In the military we had to attend them at least once a year, but once I left the forces trying to join up with a dental practice proved hard to do. Incidentally the fact that they are called practices doesn't fill me with confidence. Maybe I didn't look that hard to get signed up at one, but to me any excuse is better than no excuse where finding dentists are concerned.
Anyway not long after Net's illness I developed an abscess, and typically it was at a weekend so even if I wanted to see a dentist I wouldn't have been able too. I spent the weekend dosing up on pain killers and a general antibiotic, and looking like a relative of the Elephant Man, or at least his Hamster. Sleeping was a problem, as the abscess would wake me up if I rolled over onto that side and so much as put an ounce of pressure on that area. I think that it was the sleep deprivation, rather than anything else, that caused me to go and see the dentist on the Monday.
This dentist had previously been pointed out to us, and we had even got so far as to make appointments to have some treatment done, but then we got snowed in the village and as luck would have it we couldn't keep these appointments. When we could get into see him, once the roads were passable, he moaned that we didn't let him know. had he given us his phone number we might have been able to tell him. This was all of 2 winters ago, and I now needed to see him again. My idea being that I would just go in and book an appointment for treatment at a later date.
The building that the dentist is in from the outside looks like a glorified wooden shed, so it would be very easy to overlook. Once you get through the door you are in the waiting room, or should I say a collection of large house plants with 4 seats to sit and admire them from. The waiting/ reception/ Kew gardens area is separated from the surgery itself by perspex screening, so it is possible to certainly hear everything and probably see everything that goes on. When I got to the waiting room there was someone having treatment, that wasn't too bad until I heard the whine of the drill. At about that time a young girl came in with her parents, she heard the drill and started crying and screaming, that was it I was all for making an escape bid. According to Net I did actually look like I was going to run out of there. The dentist must have realised that the screaming child wouldn't be doing anything for his passing business, so he came out into the waiting room, had a look at her teeth, said something to her mother and the child went quiet. Whatever he said must have worked because the young girl was smiling when her parents took her out, I still wanted to leg it though, but I was only there to make an appointment. Once the dentist had finished with the patient and sorted out his next appointment, he began asking why people were there. When I said that I just wanted to make an appointment for some treatment he must have noticed my semi Hamster like appearance, as I was ushered round the back of the screens and into the waiting chair. I wasn't too concerned then as I thought maybe he only wants a look to see what needs doing, besides I hadn't made an appointment and surely at least one of the other people in the waiting room had. The dentist had other ideas and set about prodding and poking away, he did find my abscess too and surprisingly agreed that I had an abscess but couldn't do anything until the proper antibiotics had worked. In the meantime he removed part of an existing filling, drained the abscess, and packed the tooth with so much cotton wool he must have thought that he was stuffing a Golliwog. He did write me out a prescription for the correct antibiotics, so having made my next appointment it was straight down to our normal chemist. I'll say one thing for this dentist he was relatively painless, and a much better experience than I have previously had at the hands of dentists in the UK. I just wish that he had told me how many tablets and when to take them, we had to get Todor our local shop keeper to read the box for us.
At my next appointment he started the root canal treatment once he was satisfied that the abscess had disappeared. Normally I would have had the jab to numb the jaw but he sprayed some stuff there instead. I have no idea what it was but it smelled and tasted like burning rubber tyres, the good news is that it worked. The last time that I have had something like this was when I had my gall bladder problem, and ended up swallowing a garden hose with a camera attached at the local hospital back in the UK. While he was waiting for the anaesthetic to work the dentist starting sorting out his taps and dies, little drill bits and needle type things. All of these were stuck into a cut down washing up sponge, they do have a way of making other uses for even the most basic of things here. Without going into the nitty gritty of things I had my root canal treatment, and to my surprise it was relatively painless. I have undergone further root canal treatment this week, and hopefully my next appointment will be to either fill the tooth, fit a bridge or a crown. The dentist is very trusting as so far I haven't had to pay anything, although he has told me that the root canal treatment will be 80 Leva but each time I ask about paying I get told when the treatment is finished.
So to those of you out there who, like me, are shit scared of dentists, there is hope and there are decent ones out there.

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