Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Dentist

I live over two hours from the nearest Dentist. My new Dentist.

There used to be a Dentist in St George. You can read about her here. There are always two sides to every story. But I personally wouldn't have seen her if you'd paid me a large sum of money. Unfortunately for residents of the St George area, it was a case of seeing her, or driving hundreds of kilometres elsewhere. And now there is no one. So I find myself driving to Goondiwindi to see a new Dentist.

For as long as I can remember, I have been seeing a Dentist called 'Leo' (I can't show you his face because he is a REAL Dentist). Leo practices near the Gold Coast. (Over 700km from where I live). Leo likes working there because he says it is 'God's waiting room', and elderly people don't have a shortage of dental problems. I like him because he is what I know. Dentists are like hair dressers. When you find a good one, it's hard to let go. They know you, your history, and more importantly, you trust them - and I like to trust my Dentist with my teeth. And when you have teeth like mine, that's saying something. Plus he has a sense of humour. I like that in a Dentist. On our last visit, I told Leo about an 'Urban Legend' out where I live. 'Hot Andrew' the 'Hot Dentist'. I told Leo I was considering swapping over and going with the younger, hotter Dentist.

Leo told me a story about a very good looking Dentist-in-training he had with him several years earlier. This young Dentist-in-training was particularly nervous about giving an injection to a patient. He steadied himself for the job. The poor woman patient started squirming and wriggling and making gagging noises. The young Dentist asked her to please stay still as he was concentrating on giving her the needle and he needed her to say as still as possible. She continued to groan and wriggle. When the needle was done, the Dentist stood back and asked her if she was okay, and told her that he was sorry if it had hurt her, to which the woman replied, "You had your hand on my boob while you were steadying yourself!"

Again I digress.

My dental history goes something like this:
1. First filling around the same age I learn to walk. And then 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. in fairly quick succession. What can I say? I wasn't a junk food addict, I was just genetically blessed.
2. Repeat step 1 every other year. I learned to hate the Dentist from a very young age. I associated the Dentist with pain and discomfort.
3. And then when I was 13 or 14, I had braces put on. Thousands of dollars, countless sleepless nights, many packets of Panadol, and almost 3 years later, I had them removed. It's not prefect, but it's a darn sight better than it was. It was braces, or sawing my jaw off and realigning it. Yuck. But I credit my Orthodontist with giving me any of the confidence I possess today.
4. Then I found Leo. Dentistry had come a long way by then. Plus he gives us mates rates when we visit.
5. Unfortunately, the 700km to Leo is becoming harder and harder to do, so I decided I needed to find someone a little closer (and younger) to step up to the plate. And that's how I found Rhiannon.

Which leads me back to Hot Andrew. 'Hot Andrew' is, as I mentioned, something of an urban legend around these parts. Hot Andrew is very much alive and well, but very few people I know have actually seen him. He's such a popular Dentist that he is nearly impossible to get an appointment with. But I had to try. I wasn't sure how I felt about having Hot Andrew shove his hands into my open mouth to fix a chipped filling, but as I was desperate, I was up for anything. When I called to make an appointment, I could only get one with Rhiannon. As it turns out, Hot Andrew is married - to Hot Rhiannon. And she is lovely. And what's that on your certificate on the wall? You graduated with honours?? OHHHH - so Rhiannon, you are HOT, lovely, intelligent AND married to HOT ANDREW?! I would hate you, except right now I need to trust you and like you.

I was shown to the room, and immediately I felt good. Rhinannon asked me if I was okay, and as I looked up at the television staring back at me, I answered truthfully,"Well, having Enrique Iglesias singing 'I like it' to me as I receive dental work, certainly makes for a better dental experience." Apparently with Hot Andrew, you have to watch the sports channel. I liked Rhiannon already. After the whole thing was said and done, we chatted about how we both ended up in the bush. And that's when she broke the good news to me. I need a crown on my tooth. Fantastic...

"The bad news Jessie, is that sometimes with a crown, the nerve underneath can die, resulting in the need for root canal surgery..." At which point she must have seen my face and added, "Which isn't as bad as it sounds."

"I'm sorry Rhiannon... the phrase 'root canal surgery' coming out of a Dentist's mouth is just about as horrible as it gets for me. And I've had 3 babies without pain medication."

And that's how 2011 is going to be. I'll keep you posted.

But I walked out of there with a smile on my face. I have a new Dentist, who lives a darn sight closer than any other Dentist I've had before. And she's lovely. And smart. And nice. And I think I don't even mind the thought of going back to her.

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