Friday, December 17, 2010

The Root Cause

It has been a family outing. To the dentist. I would like to blame it on the genes. At least that is what the last dentist I visited told me, probably to make me feel I was not wholly responsible for the condition of my teeth.

They say all our problems started once we evolved to standing on our own two feet! And then discarding the neem twig to adapt to the modern 360 degree angled toothbrush, with ultra designed bristles, curved handle, cheek and tongue cleaners and the different flavoured mouthwashes. The ‘get close’ has only been with the dentist.

I get one of the best smiles from the dentist. And I must admit he has a good set. It does instill confidence. I remember a visit to a dermatologist who had bad skin, and we discarded the prescription she gave us.

This guy is also suave and sophisticated. Just the right age. Not too young, to make us feel like guinea pigs, nor too old to wonder about the steadiness of his hand. I have been clinic hopping the past few years, and very critical of the guys who peer into my mouth. There are some who do not wear a mask or gloves. I mean if they do not care about their health safety , they probably care even less for ours.

The clinic is neat and clean. Not even the faint sign of dust on his shelves. The spouse is also a dentist. And you have posters of how good teeth should look. This also for me is a plus factor. I hate sitting in the waiting room looking at framed pictures of ugly stained and broken teeth and bleeding gums.

His chairs are comfortable too. If they were not so huge and ugly, they would make ideal ones for home. Adjustable to different levels, the little side tray for small eats and a beverage, the adjustable reading light…. I guess I had time to take it all in after the anaesthesia set in.

I did panic a little though. When he said, lift your left hand if you want me to stop. I have this problem. It takes me a while to figure out left from right. A difficulty I face even while I give directions. I quickly settle that issue and keep my left hand on top.

The dental procedures so far have been painless, marring some slight discomfort. Far different from the visits to the dentists in the past. And they all of course come for a price.

I would have to be taking my younger one when she comes home this month end. Her stay is short. The doctor tells me to bring her in as soon as she comes. She might need repeated visits, he says, you never know. But I say, you must be closed for Christmas. He says ‘no’. But she may be tired the day she arrives. He assures me he is working on Sundays too. Whaaat?

I feel a little sorry for him. I mean he is making money. My contribution to his wealth has been substantial. He must be laughing his way to the bank. But no holidays? I should try and peer into his garage the next time and see if he has a swank new car parked in there.


  1. Interesting read. Personally I'm terrified of dentists. I lost two teeth in my teens to a VERY disapproving dentist. Maybe my fear is actually disguised guilt.

  2. I have a dentist, who i have actually seen coming up in the world. From a tiny clinic where you moved sideways between the chair and wall to access the sink, it is now a roomy modern thing with a chair that has all the bells and whistles. Yes, they charge an arm and a leg to make smallish diggings and fillings, and worse for root canals and extractions. But my family and I go to him because he explains what he is going to do, draws diagrams and stuff, and we do stuff only after we are convinced about things. He has analysed our teeth types and tendencies, and I must say he is spot on on what he predicts about our teeth in our old ages. The only saving grace when he is doing a surgery type extraction is there is a TV way up there, and you get to see cricket matches, evil m-in-laws, simpering bahus, villains, and old Chhayageet stuff as you lie down there and just for a while gets your mind elsewhere as he digs into your jaw....

  3. You reminded me I have not been to a Dentist ever since I have left india and came to uk.. I am jsut afraid of going ... GOD i shud go I think ...


  4. They work on a simple principle.Make money when you can,and as much as you can.
    Times change,competitions are due,so make the hay when the weather is good.

  5. @Deepa - I am still terrified of the breed. But they seem to be going to personality grooming classes these days. And they definitely do not make disapproving sounds. And why would they?
    @Ugich - My dentist only has one in the waiting room. I think I should raise the issue with him. Could do with some 'free?' entertainment.
    @Bikramjit - am told that dental work is not covered by medical insurance in the UK. Makes sense to make a quick trip to India.
    @Dr A - yes, that seems the rule. Atleast this guy seems good at his job.

  6. He works even on sundays....either he is a maniac or loves his job more than anything else.

  7. Yes, by just fixing my teeth and my husband's teeth, our dentist must be building another floor in his house!

    Differentiating between right and happens to many of them, sometimes, with me too!

    I was going to a general physician for the past 21 years. He had a small clinic in the beginning and we used to wait in the shed with mosquito bites, get sick and go back to him for treatment! Now, he has got a hospital with 22 beds, sorry, he is no more now. He worked on Sundays and he was available at his hospital, nearly the whole day. He died at the age of 54 in a first heart attack. My dentist said that he should not treat people without appointment, like me. Do you think it is right for a general practitioner?

    Enjoyed reading your 'root cause' - nice heading!

  8. I remember going to a dentist some years ago... It is a very scary experience... But loved all the ice cream that I got to eat that day:)

  9. Liked the way you have narrated it all :)

  10. Your post reminded me that I am forgetting my visit to dentist for long.

  11. enjoy it reading and pic is excellent

  12. At the root of the issue is that there is a canal of hope ! For even the most unever assortment of yellow teeth !


  13. @Sh@s - don't know. But he is making good money and does a good job.
    @Sandhya - this dentist does not mind if you walk in without an appointment. He tries to accommodate you, or atleast is more than polite if he cannot. I even cancelled an appointment at the last minute, and he was OK about it.
    @Arti - the dental procedures have improved over a period of time. Some of them are painless. And after enduring pain for more than a week, the treatment was a relief.
    @pRasad - Thank you
    @Renu - do make the visit.
    @sm - thank you. The picture of course was off the net. Could not find the original source.
    @kavi - that was funny

  14. Touch wood.. but till date I havent been to dentist!! May be I didnt require it so badly yet or I am totally horrified of some1 peering down my open mouth!!

    Nice read!!

    Liked ur blog... I will follow it!!

  15. This nice and hilarious account is going to make me go to the dentist next time around with a bit of cheer!!

  16. Wish you a very very Happy New Year, Radha! Be happy always!

  17. Oh my....I hope you are okay. Dental work is NOT for the feinthearted. Personally, I think dentists deserve their pay...I mean, who would want to peer inside another person's mouth..ick! Smile. Anyway, haven't been around lately but I wanted to wish you a very happy New Year! Take care my friend. I haven't been baking or cooking much since my move, there is only me to take care of for the most part although I do bring in goodies for work AND my guys visit from the mainland every ten or so weeks. Sigh. Come by and visit bloggie world.

  18. I hope all your dental troubles are over and the new year is a happy 'toothsome' one!

  19. @Pripat - Touch wood! May your visits to the dentists be far and few.
    Indian Bazzar - Thanks! The treatment was painful only on the pocket.
    Sandhya - Thank you for the greetings. To you and your family too.
    Trish - Welcome again. Will visit you soon. Have been away for a while
    @Dipali - Yes, hopefully the dental troubles are over.

  20. Ma, I never knew you sat and analysed the dentist's office. Though he did have nice teeth (not a single gap also!)

  21. ah! must I meet a post about the dentist/teeth here too?

    you have company in the bad genes part. maybe our gene pool emerged from the same 'root's. ;)


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