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The Dental Chair!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, Jun 16, 2024.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    I am sitting in the dental chair…. again. Don’t tell me you are not familiar with that! The assistant plays with the chair, raising, lowering, and turning it around – all in an effort to align it with the X-ray machine. I want to go ‘wee….’ But alas, those chairs are expensive, and she finally gets me to a position allowing her to take x-rays of my teeth, which may or may not be needed. At least, that is what I feel. Sometimes, they make me feel like the 32 teeth are like 32 different body parts. I get it! I hear you; one toothache and god saves us. But still…....

    I watch myself lying down on this pleasant golden-colored chair. My feet are crossed, as always, and I prefer to take my shoes off. My fingers are interlaced, lying gently on my belly. I am twiddling my thumbs, as is my habit when I am nervous or agitated. I take a deep breath and tell myself,” It is just a cleaning, after all,” my superior self reminds me that it has never been just a cleaning! I sigh! The dentist, as is her wont, comes in, examines the X-rays, and chides me for not taking care of my teeth. Told you so! She then recommends this and that. I refuse some of this and that, and I nod for some of that. We reach a truce, and finally, the cleaning begins.

    A bib is placed around me. The light hanging from the ceiling turns on, making me close my eyes immediately. My mouth is pried open, and the work begins efficiently with that specific buzzing sound of dentists and their cleaning instruments probing and prodding, clearly making a noise in my head. The TV is on, but the bright light directed toward my teeth prevents me from seeing it. The sound is on, but the noises in my mouth prevent me from hearing it. As if that is not enough, the dentist asks me questions and jokes around, talking about business even, while the thing in my mouth prevents me from responding, and my brain wants the assistant to suck the extra water, fearing I might choke otherwise.

    Think about it. Wanting to, I cannot do anything. I cannot even think, I think. I make a mental to remind my students that a dental chair is a perfect place to experience what it means not to do anything for some time other than twiddling one’s thumbs, maybe! Surrendering to the assistant’s voice asking me to close my mouth for water to be sucked out, finally feeling a relief that I won’t die, I close my mouth and take a deep breath and finally close my eyes also in surrender.

    And suddenly, a smile came across my mind, and I knew it could not be seen or felt. I am glad, though, for I am not in the mood to share the reason behind the smile. I also realize my mind can think now that I am relaxed, and it has popped this lovely poem by Roald Dahl into my head about none other than…..the dentist.

    The Dentist and the Crocodile
    BY ROALD DAHL

    The crocodile, with cunning smile, sat in the dentist’s chair.
    He said, “Right here and everywhere my teeth require repair.”
    The dentist’s face was turning white. He quivered, quaked and shook.
    He muttered, “I suppose I’m going to have to take a look.”
    “I want you”, Crocodile declared, “to do the back ones first.
    The molars at the very back are easily the worst.”
    He opened wide his massive jaws. It was a fearsome sight—
    At least three hundred pointed teeth, all sharp and shining white.
    The dentist kept himself well clear. He stood two yards away.
    He chose the longest probe he had to search out the decay.
    “I said to do the back ones first!” the Crocodile called out.
    “You’re much too far away, dear sir, to see what you’re about.
    To do the back ones properly you’ve got to put your head
    Deep down inside my great big mouth,” the grinning Crocky said.
    The poor old dentist wrung his hands and, weeping in despair,
    He cried, “No no! I see them all extremely well from here!”
    Just then, in burst a lady, in her hands a golden chain.
    She cried, “Oh Croc, you naughty boy, you’re playing tricks again!”
    “Watch out!” the dentist shrieked and started climbing up the wall.
    “He’s after me! He’s after you! He’s going to eat us all!”
    “Don’t be a twit,” the lady said, and flashed a gorgeous smile.
    “He’s harmless. He’s my little pet, my lovely crocodile.”

    Little does my dentist know that this very poem saved her like that lady with that golden chain from my savage teeth :mask:
     
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  2. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    When I saw your post, O remembered Mr. Bean!
     
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    Dear sister Sabitha @Srama
    Kudos to you. What a way to express the discomfiture of getting on to dental chair for just getting teeth cleansed! I enjoyed the narration replete of humour. I liked the poem too. Tricky crocodile insist to start probe from deep innermost tooth is a good imagination of the poet who created the poem.
    Minute details of agony and ordeal are nicely put.
    Dentists always suggest in subtle ways to give a big picture of minor issues as major one needing extraction and implantation and even surgery.
    Dr Shanbaugh - a renowned senior Dental Surgeon at Sion examined and looking at sad face of my spouse said the tooth has gone rotten at its base needs gum surgery and discoloured tooth is to be extracted and i must get it done lest the bacteria at the root would travel and spread into brain and that he had seen persons neglecting this gone mad after few years.
    (My mind goes back to my childhood days playing thief & police with neighbourhood boys & girls whence I struck my face on to a trunk of tree) .
    This averment by dentist was more painful yet we said that for some other reason we need to have some temporary fix. I was scared because I read somewhere that extraction itself would diminish my brain capacity alacrity agility etc. After long discussions, he agreed to put a cap on discoloured tooth but I must do extraction & surgery at the earliest.
    But that was a fine job he did that lasted for nearly two decades. I have not turned mad though discoloured canine tooth of the right upper jaw fallen on it's own only after my retirement from service.
     
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  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Sabitha,

    I enjoyed the brilliant sense of humor of you remaining agitated yet calm in your demeanor, asked questions but unable to answer any questions. Isn't it interesting our mind stops thinking when your body is in a crisis mode? May be mind has the ability to focus on one thing while the body is in distress. The poem is hillarous.

    Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal (Known as Mahaperiyava) once gave a golden golden words of wisdom why there is a tradition to eat Yogurt Rice at the end of our meal. Yogurt has properties to avoid any dental complications. It keeps our teeth healthy and hygenic.

    I have seen the video of Mr. Bean that Cheeniya Sir posted above over 4-5 times before and thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Bean playing around with those toys of the dentist. I couldn't believe he gave the shot to the dentist at the end which was kept to be given to Mr. Bean to make his mouth become numb.

    There was a movie called, "Dentist" that was released in 1996 and my wife and I watched it at home after migrating to the US and got really scared thinking what country we had walked into.
     
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  5. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, sir! That's a classic Mr.Bean!
    Still evokes so much laughter after all these years, especially the flipping of the x-ray.....how ingenious. I appreciate this response, sir, especially from the king of humor here in IL!
     
  6. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Thyagarajan sir,

    Thank you so much for your very warm and appreciative feedback. I wrote this snippet in my head as I sat in the dentist's chair! She is a good friend and wants to do 4 cleanings/year! If only she reads this! I give enough grief to my sister also who is a dentist - she ends up offering more commentary on what the dentist has done.

    Glad you went with your gut and didn't get the surgery as asked by the dentist!
    If only he knew the excellence of his work. I am glad all is well that ends well! Or all of us will have to think like that crocodile! That poem always brings giggles from my students and I love to read it to them!
     
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  7. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear V sir, @Viswamitra

    Thank you for your very warm feedback! I am sure all of us have some dentist stories. I truly hope what Mahaperiyava said is true—I can't ever end a meal without curd rice! These 'coming to America' movie stories, sir, are scary. I remember watching Lifetime movies as a young girl as soon as I landed and being petrified constantly! Now, for the life of me, I can't locate the channel even.
     
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  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Srama
    Good humour is slowly becoming relics of the past in IL. People are becoming more and more serious probably because they seem to be getting saddled with more and more problems which they think only ILites can solve!
     
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  9. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @Cheeniya sir,

    I agree, but don't know what to say!
    As you and I and the rest of the world know, problems will be there! We just have to see humor where possible. Been a long-time IL user, and not wanting to, I end up posting :(
     
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