Teeth on my mind today. First off, Margo has been having an unhappy experience with a dentist:
Just what I needed today, Frank – have had the most depressing and angry-making visit to the dentist, who waits till I’m trapped with my mouth full of his gear and then gives me the spiel about how I’m going to lose all my teeth and, when that’s happened, my gums will not heal – and it’s all my own fault because I smoke. And implants will not be an option because no dentist that he knows will put these into a smoker’s mouth. And, anyway, years of smoking have done too much damage. (The same damage most of my family have suffered, both the smokers and the non-smokers – but anything I say falls on deaf ears.) What is one to do?
What indeed is one to do? Sympathy poured in from all quarters, and Margo went on to write:
Oh thank you, it does, it does cheer me up. I knew there was something about nicotine helping healing – and tobacco has been used for this over centuries. My dentist was just spewing out the ‘Dentists Bible’, I knew that. I did have a go at him afterwards, as far as I could – and I know I have to go back for more treatment a few times. I said, ‘Can we take it as read, now, and you don’t do this lecture every time I come?’ And he said, ‘No – I will be doing it every time’. Unbelievable. I came home fuming with rage. But I should just laugh, really, I think.
Thanks for your experiences, HR. It’s a bummer, isn’t it. I put my problem down to: age (over 70), family inheritance, bad or non-existent dentistry all my childhood, poor nutrition over several years, ignorance for a long time about how to look after my teeth, stress, a certain amount of wild living, all in the past now. Smoking? I don’t fucking believe it, and Frank is right – the dentist is a liar. Thanks to everyone. You’ve really helped,
Sounds like a really poisonous little shit. She continued:
jltrader, yes, “every illness known to man is ’caused’ by smoking”, but only if you smoke. A few years ago, I was moving huge breeze-blocks in the garden, wearing sandals (yes, I know) and managed to drop one, flat on my big toe. I hobbled to the doc (really, just to see if I should get an X-ray or something) and he said, ‘It’s definitely broken.’
Next thing I knew, a few days later an appointment came for me to visit the Low Bone Density Clinic. I phoned up to ask why, and the doc said, ‘Well, since you smoke, you’ve probably got low bone density, which is why your toe broke.’
So I said, ‘I DROPPED A BRICK ON IT!’
“Oh, did you?” he said. He hadn’t taken that bit in – he’d just focused on the word Smoker, which unfortunately is on my records. If you’re a smoker, there are no other causes whatsoever for any malady you might suffer.
Margo is over 70, and really these people have no business lecturing someone of her age. What’s the point, other than sheer vindictiveness?
It set me wondering if there might be other ways people might help Margo other than offering sympathy. If, for example, we knew who this dentist was and where he worked, we’d probably be able to find out his email address, and write to him to complain about his conduct. Equally, we might write and complain about him to his superiors in the NHS. Or the local MP. And so on.
I’m not actually suggesting that we do this. I’m just airing the possibility. But a blog like mine is being read by a whole bunch of like-minded people, and they might want to help Margo. And maybe it’s possible for them to help in all sorts of ways. People may have their own suggestions.
Anyway, the other reason teeth are on my mind is that one of my teeth broke yesterday. It was a 30-year-old crown, and it broke while I was eating a cheese roll. I’ve already got one NHS plastic front tooth, and it looks like its going to gain a companion. Because I’ve got an NHS dentist too, and a couple of years back I also got given an antismoking lecture by a hygienist. I answered back, of course. And I just laughed at her when the stupid woman said that smoking was “naughty”. As a result I have an idea that I may be on a Do Not Treat list, because treatment has been a bit perfunctory ever since. Anyway, I shall soon be finding out where I stand.
And now Lauren Bacall is dead. It’s surprising that it was nearly 60 years ago that Humphrey Bogart died. Seems like only yesterday they were on screen together (and married).