Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

You can't argue with an orthodontist

Dentists accept being questioned because they can suppress the unanswerable. I asked mine how many Brits-per-year died in the dentist’s chair given that many sit there bathed in fear. She said something diplomatic but forestalled a follow-up question by filling my mouth with her fingers, the scritchy thing, the sucky tube and a pint of saliva.

As she pursued her scratching it occurred to me my teeth were taking a lot of punishment. But they are designed for it. The enamel is rated 5 on the Mohs hardness scale while iron is rated 4 to 5.

Dental surgeries are technology treasure troves. Take the chair; it's complex, so what does it cost? Here’s a funny thing. The Denttek BT ML 4800 DE with its “three powerful motors” has two prices €3594 and €4277. The first for the trade, the second for consumers! Aimed at true enthusiasts who like to rehearse their visits to the dentist.

But the chair seems a bargain compared with “The 2007-2012 Outlook for Dental Burs, Disks, Abrasive Points, Diamond Points, Wheels, and Other Tools for Use with Dental Hand Pieces in Japan.” A paperback, priced to go at £326.70, it reminds us that dental care costs a fortune in Britain. I asked my dentist why she didn’t sell advertising space on the light which looms over the prone patient. This produced a snigger and the brief removal of the sucky tube. Imminent drowning puts an end to investigative journalism.


Plutarch said...

My dentist, a New Zealander, is a man of few words, but interesting nevertheless. He is something of an eonophile. I often feel I would like to talk to him, but I can't because my mouth is wide open and he is tinkering about therein.

marja-leena said...

I was at my dentist's yesterday morning for a checkup and cleaning. A new piece of equipment, a digital Xray machine with 90% less rays than the old kind! So I agreed to my first Xrays in five years, took minutes and appeared on a monitor in front of me! Now that's good technology, but at what cost?

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: My male dentist, who's just moved on, was an oeno-novice and received my instruction (especially on prices) with a mouth open wide enough for him to provide an admirable subject for his own ministrations. Alas wine is said to dissolve the enamel.

M-L: At what cost? I've just looked it up. Cheap at $135,000. What's more it can be used by vets.

Zhoen said...

Good dental care is priceless.

Sarah said...

Is the consumer chair aimed at some sort of dentist pervert type person? - to be frank, anyone who even thinks about about dentists when not in the chair, are dentist pervert type people (speaking as one who has just postponed tomorrow's appointment until Easter)

Lucy said...

I was thinking along the same lines as Sarah: what kind of person would buy their own dentist's chair? I don't think I want to know.

How did you find out all this stuff? Oh yes, there's the internet now. I imagined you had some kind of dentists' hardware catalogue stashed under your bed or something...

Our dentist always blames our stained teeth on the wretched English habit of tea consumption. I don't bother to argue that coffee contains more tannin than tea, or indeed Bordeaux probably more than either.

herhimnbryn said...

Firstly, in answer to your latest comment over at my place.....Please don't 'go quiet'BB ;)

Secondly, like Z said re dentists.

I have been impressed with the dental care here. But it does pay to have private health insurance! I appreciatethe tiny camera, that when put in my mouth can show me on overhead screen just why I need a repair. I like to see the evidence!

Barrett Bonden said...

Zhoen: I sort of agree but isn't it odd that teeth get the attention they do? If I had to choose I'd rather have my brain serviced at regular intervals.

Sarah/Lucy: The American humorist, H. Allen Smith, wrote a book about the philosophy of practical jokes. In his view the most successful are those where you imagine rather than view the outcome. As for instance: a man bought a secondhand dentist's chair very cheaply, crated it and had it despatched to an address he'd observed from a train window. After which he hugged himself with delight as he envisaged the head-scratching this must have engendered. A much gentler perversion, I think you'll agree.

Lucy: Ain't nothing but fluff under my bed.

HHB: Well OK, if you're absolutely sure you don't want to be tarnished by propinquity.

herhimnbryn said...

hee! there are a couple of comments for you over at my place.