freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
It occurs to me, after yesterday's merry little implant experience, that it must be quite difficult to date a dentist. Both my actual dentist and the orthodontist who stuck a pin in my jaw yesterday are lovely men with a lovely chairside manner aimed at distracting and reassuring the poor victim of their ministrations, which mostly works. (Orthodontist to me as he and his assistant led me from one dental theatre to another: "It's like a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. Oops, I shouldn't say that, should I?"). But both of them have a tendency to talk almost non-stop as they poke around inside my mouth. This has to have social ramifications.

It must do some fairly serious hard-coding of a dentist's communication skills, if their days are spent talking to someone whose mouth is inoperable owing to being filled with bits of metal and numb in random and interesting areas. (The local from the tooth extraction last year numbed my nose. Yesterday's gave me a numb area all down the left side of my neck. It's bizarre). If you go on a date with a dentist, is there some subliminal part of them which expects you to simply go "mmm" at intervals while they supply all the actual conversation? Is it difficult to get a word in edgeways? Are they actually capable of listening? Or do they relax with gratitude into allowing someone else to do all the talking for once? I feel this needs serious study, probably a wide-ranging linguistic and quantitative analysis of level of chattiness of a large sample of dentists' partners, correlated with a non-dentally-attached control group. On the other hand, possibly the pain meds are making me trippy and I'm hallucinating being a socio-linguist.

I have to say, the really quite extraordinary amount these people charge for an implant and crown to replace an extracted tooth, is more than somewhat mitigated by the sense I have that these guys are really good at their job. (Orthodontist to me, cheerily, as he raises the chair after the session in slow and deliberate stages so I don't inconveniently pass out: "How are you after all that? Did you enjoy it? because I did!"). I was inexpressibly cheered by his insistence that I inspect the x-ray halfway through the session, which is admittedly fascinating: there's a metal screw in my upper jaw, nested into the bone, and beautifully centred in the gap, all ready to receive a crown in about six weeks' time when it's healed. (The drilling and grinding and weird torque with specialised tools required to get it there would also be incredibly interesting if my entire body wasn't clenched throughout in involuntary response to the jarring). And he took such an innocent joy in his own achievement: "Look at that! That went superbly! Textbook!"

But I still can't help wondering if his wife is monosyllabic.

(Subject line is, as before, a random quote from Goats. Read Goats. Scientifically proven to floss your teeth for you.)

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