Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mind The Gap

"My mum used to say they're trouble coming and they're trouble going."

Wise words from a work colleague. But was she implying that mine could be on their way out?

I've had the same dentist for thirty-five years. Thirty-five years of fillings and re-fillings and the odd extraction. He's never hurt me and he's never had bad breath or smelly aftershave or nostril bogeys.

But he must be nearing retirement now as he's cut down to four days a week and he has started taking long holidays with only emergency back up. And of course his winding down is coinciding nicely with my teeth beginning to play up.

"Have 'em all out," said another work colleague. "The army fucked mine up. I had 'em all out forty years ago. I haven't looked back since, although I had to have a metal plate put in as I've got a strong bite and used to keep breaking the plastic ones."

He showed me his plate. It looked nothing like Jaws' (from the Bond films). But I don't particularly want false teeth because that would be admitting defeat. The army didn't fuck up my teeth, I fucked them up myself.

I've always got by with the odd filling and no pain. Until seveteen months ago when I got an infection just before we were due to go on holiday and my dentist was on one of his sabbaticals.

My stepdad steered me in the direction of a beautiful young woman who he said was really gentle. So I lay back as she leant over me and told me I needed extensive root canal work at a cost of over £300.

And now, after six months of back and forth to my dentist, after three separate infections, and finally a filling falling into the sink just as my dentist is away for a month, I'm wondering whether I should leave my man and take this woman up on her offer. I don't want to pay through the nose for my teeth, but should I bite the bullet?

I've read about root canals on the internet and frankly, I'm scared. They trap bacteria which leads to arthiritis and heart disease. A root-filled human tooth which was inserted into a rabbit's mouth gave the rabbit arthiritis. The rabbit then died.

Before I go ahead I want to see more evidence. I want to see thousands of rabbits with root-filled human teeth, whole mouths of them. I want to see if the rabbits' life expectancies are drastically cut, and if not, do they have as good a quality of life as they would've had without a mouthful of human teeth?

Some times Google isn't helpful enough.


  1. check out a recent article in The Times about dentistry in (I think) Poland

  2. **UC considers jacking in day job - if she had one - and joining the scary anti-huntingdon life sciences protesters to save cute rabbits from a life of arthritic misery**

    oh yeh, sorry to hear about your teeth - have 'em all out! an over-indulgence in rainbow drops between the ages of 4 and 11 buggered mine up

  3. Beep - Maybe my dentist's trips are to Poland where he's training up potential NHS dentists.

    UC - Does it come to everyone in the end?