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This is a question Dentists

My current dentist is called Mr Stiff.

Back when I was at university though, I had enormous pain in my jaw one morning - so bad I went as an emergency case to the uni dentist.

He took one look at the back of my mouth and said, "Ah, wisdom teeth. Impacted. They'll have to come out."

He then reached under the chair and came out with an enormous industrial (and entirely non-dental) pair of pliers, "I can do it now if you want..."

(, Thu 2 Nov 2006, 14:31)
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A Riposte


I am a dentist and I feel that a response to some of your tales (some of which sound rather overly elaborated) is required;

1) Many of the posts contain or revolve around the sentiment of "I hate dentists" or "I hate the dentist/going to the dentist". I can understand the reasoning behind this knee-jerk reaction, but may I point out that a world without dentists would undoubtably be a worse place. Toothache that could not be cured and in many cases would result in the sequelae of potentially life threatening infections, individuals with aesthetic problems that cripple their confidence and who face a future of pursed-lipped awkward semi smiles in photos.

2) Whether you choose to have your tooth problems treated by the dentist or not essentially boils down to a choice between short term, transient discomfort or long term often difficult to reverse deformity.
If you have a cavity in your tooth and you choose to leave it until it becomes painful (as many people do) you may have lost the chance to have the tooth restored with a filling and will probably need a root canal treatment or an extraction. If you leave a broken down tooth until it is infected and swollen then it is going to be harder for us to numb up/take out. If you wait until you have an entire mouth of broken down, chronically infected teeth, do not be surprised when we can't sort them out for you with the ease that we probably could have if you attended when the problem was small.
In summation, if you are not too big a wimp to put up with (in most cases) less than a minute of discomfort while you are being adequately anaesthetised prior to simple early treatment, then the road down which you are travelling ends in toothless hillbilly town.

3) Your problems are (in 95%) of cases self inflicted. You come to us with problems you have mostly brought on yourself through your own laziness and or ignorance and expect us to fix them, and are shocked when we have to numb you with a needle or use a drill on a tooth to remedy things. Do you want me to use a magic wand or voodoo chanting?

-If you eat gluttinous amounts of sugar/acid containing foods or drinks and don't clean your teeth regularly then you will get tooth decay, and ultimately it will hurt/lead to the loss of your teeth.
-If you smoke/don't clean properly/don't floss, then you risk gum disease which can lead to your teeth getting loose and jumping from your mouth like rats from a sinking ship.
-Don't come to me and say "but I hardly eat any sweets/always clean my teeth, yet for some reason this decay keeps coming back/my fillings keep falling out" - I don't make the rules, take it up with god or allah or nature or the cosmos.
-Parents don't say to me regarding your kids: "but he/she won't brush his teeth/won't stop eating sweets" - if you can't control your awful kids, how am i meant to get through to them?

4) People of this era (and by no means not just the young) do not realise how lucky they are that their everyday waking life is not almost constant harsh physical discomfort. If you were a medieval peasant or you worked in a mill in the industrial revolution, life was one long series of nagging blisters and calluses and sores and aches, your fingers would be red-raw, your back and shoulders probably twisted out of recognition, not to mention tramping through muddy fields in sodden boots tilling a plough from dawn till dusk in fear that the land owner would evict you into likely starvation.
----Now that is pain and discomfort and once upon a time it was omnipresent in the lives of almost everyone on this planet, and it will always be a fact of life that should be accepted (and Nietzsche would say even embraced), but now you people sit on your fat arses watching Tricia or the fucking Jeremy Kyle show or you do some job that I imagine isn't very difficult or makes much difference to anyone and you come into my surgery and moan and writhe and groan in agony at seconds of sensation that your great grandparents or serfs in china would laugh at.
(, Wed 8 Nov 2006, 23:41, closed)

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