Heckling Hygienist

I had to endure my six monthly teeth clean the other day.  Actually when I say six monthly, it’s more like eighteen monthly because I put it off for as long as possible  – usually until I can feel the plague building up behind my teeth.  Not really!  But maybe until I can see coffee stains. Ugh! I disgust myself –  but the fact is I, like many others, am not a big fan of going to the dentist.  All that prodding and whirring makes my toes curl.

This visit I was given the talkative hygienist.  Her name is Paula.  She’s cleaned my teeth before and her incessant chatter makes the whole the experience even more excruciating.  It’s ironic really because I think she thinks that her nattering is relaxing.  And maybe it is, for some people.  For me though,  it just adds more stress.  Why?  Because she  perpetually asks questions which I have the inability to answer, usually due to some whizzing dental instrument in my mouth or failing that, a gobful of saliva, and it makes me feel uncomfortable.  It goes like this:

Paula: I saw the new Matt Damon movie the other night, it was awesome!  Have you seen it?

Me: uff (also attempting to move my head slightly from side to side)

Paula: Keep still please. (Scraping my molars)  Oooh you have a lot of plaque here …. Doesn’t he go out with Jennifer Annisten?

Me: uhuhu (almost gagging).

Paula(Spraying a vast amount of strange tasting water in my mouth) No it’s Jessica Briel!  He’s married to Jessica Briel isn’t he?  

I know she’s wrong –  I’ve read enough OK magazines to know that it’s Biel not Briel and that she’s not married to Matt Damon anyway oh yes I know my Hollywood trivia – but I give up.  Paula, on the other hand, does not and I spend the rest of my time clenching  the chair,  listening to her prattle away – I would have gritted my teeth if I could have.

You see it’s essentially rather difficult to express yourself fully in a grunt.   Worse than that, it’s common for a grunt to come out all wrong and then sound terribly rude.  In fact  it’s probably best not to grunt at all but then I was brought up to answer when someone talks to you,  so the silent treatment doesn’t come easily to me.   

Perhaps there is a special sitting-in-a dentist-chair-grunt that I don’t know about  – a universal grunt which answers everything? 

Seems to me there’s a flaw in dental training here.   I mean don’t they practice this as Dentist School? Don’t dental students  have their teeth cleaned aswell? What do they do? Are they taught how to make the special grunt? 

 Afterwards, my teeth are sparkly and white – she’s done a good job and it’s worth all the trauma.  Then the Dentist, Dr Truss, comes over to see me. 

“So Ms Jenkins, how do you like our new and improved sound system?”  He looks all  smug and superior, and points to some sleek speakers in the ceiling which must have cost a bob or two.

 This is what I want to say:  “Dr Truss – what is the point of attempting to relax your patients with a hi-tech speaker system playing mysteriously soothing pipe music or a DVD player showing reruns of Frasier, when your hygienists undo all the good work by pointlessly attempting to engage them in conversation?  It’s a waste of bubblegum flavoured cleaning stuff quite frankly!”

But I don’t say that.  Instead I say: “Very nice!” And smile.

Bye y’all!


6 Responses to “Heckling Hygienist”

  1. Ah, talkative dentists drive me mental. On the other hand, silent ones make me feel worse because I wonder what they’re seeing in my mouth that’s made them clam up. I can’t tell which stress is worse!


  2. Oooh, I’m such a weenie when it comes to the dentist. I could care less for the tv and music just knock me out!!! 🙂

  3. But what if you never wake-up? It would just be easier if we didn’t have teeth at all but then how would we eat popcorn? Ah life’s little conumdrums!

  4. I can’t stand the supposedly “minty”, “berry”, “melon” tasting numbing goop they rub on your gums before they give you a shot. Have you ever tasted anything more un-minty? The shot, when it comes, seems like sweet-release, because it takes your mind off the gaggy taste…

    You can tell I have been in a dentist’s chair for more than regular cleaning, can’t you, Josie? 🙂

  5. My biggest dentist fear: a root canal – oh the horror!

  6. Josie, to help you forget the horrors of a dentist’s chair, and think only happy thoughts, there’s an award waiting for you at my blog :).

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