Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ups and Downs, Lifts and Crowns

The work on my crowns is finally over. Yay!

My dentist's office is on the eighth floor of his building. Needless to say, the lift is a crucial part of the journey there.

The last time I went there with my cousin Mini, we waited a long time for the lift. When it finally arrived, we piled in hurriedly with Peanut. Then a really huge man, around seven feet tall, all burly and gruff-looking entered. He frowned down at me, and I cowered against the back of the lift, quite terrified. Then he saw Peanut, who gave him a delighted smile. His face suddenly melted into that of a tenderhearted, large teddy bear. A cute baby can break just about anyone.

We were discussing him later at home,

Y: Did you see that big guy in the lift?
Mini: Ya, he was really tall. But he was quite nice, I thought.
Y: Oh yes, he held the door open for us.
Mini: Yes and he pressed the button for our floor also.
Y: Quite a sweet guy.
Mini: Ya, and he was also there when we were going down later, I don't think you noticed.
Y: That's quite a coincidence.

Vijay, who had been listening with a great deal of interest to this exchange, piped in 'Are you sure he wasn't the liftman?'


Anyway, that was then - and now, three days ago, I had to go again to the dentist - this was to be my final visit for the final crowns. Vijay accompanied me this time, and as usual, we had to wait for what felt like an eternity for the lift. The wait was made even more painful by the fact that I was slightly late for my appointment, which I hate. Anyway, we piled into the lift with a bunch of other people.

By the time we got to the sixth floor, the left was empty except for us and this scrawny little guy in glasses, who seemed quite lost in his own thoughts. The door opened on the sixth floor, but no one got in or out.

Vijay, wanting to make sure the button for our floor had been pressed, mumbled at this little fella, who was standing near the front 'Can you press eighth floor, please?'

Scrawny little guy, snapping out of his reverie, looking confusedly at Vijay 'Huh?'

Vijay, said louder 'Eighth floor', adding, for good measure 'EIGHTH FLOOR!'

Scrawny little guy, still confused, saw the lift door was open and said 'Oh, is it? Thank you', and stepped out quickly.

Vijay, mortified, said 'No, no, this is the SIXTH....' as the door closed on the helpless, confused face of the poor scrawny little guy.

It was good fun asking Vijay, over and over again, 'Why did you do that to the poor chap, honey?' to hear mumbled variations of 'I didn't mean know that...'.


Seriously though, why do dentists insist on talking to you when your mouth is full of all sorts of drills, syringes and suchlike equipment?

And talking to you is bad enough, but actually ask you questions to which they seemingly expect a response?

And a reponse such as 'yes' or 'no' can still be managed with appropriate grunting sounds, but open ended questions?

Such as 'So what kind of a father is Vijay?'

How am I supposed to answer that question while in such pain, discomfort and the fear of losing all my teeth and maybe tongue, too?

Also, my dentist nearly gave me a heart attack by saying 'My laboratory has made a mistake'.

I waited, stricken.

He continued 'By mistake, they have made your crown a much higher quality than required for a back tooth. Metal finish'.

I waited.

He went on 'But since it is our mistake, I will not be charging you for it at that rate. So you are getting a great crown for half the cost. Lucky you. Ha ha.' (The last 'Ha, ha' being a total fake, barely masking his own pain at the loss of revenue)

I remained impassive, willing him to get on with the drilling.

He finished with 'So I guess that makes all your trauma of the temporary crown falling and having to come here six times worth it, eh?'

At this point, I truly wished for a chance to strap him into his own torture seat, stuff his mouth full of sharp implements and shout in his ear 'Do you think I really care about some ruddy metal finish that I never wanted in the first place on a crown for an inconsequential back tooth? Do you? Do you? Answer me! No, don't grunt! Say 'yes' or 'no'...Bruhuaahahaa....'

Of course, it was not to be. So I just grunted politely and non-committally.

He was obviously hurt by my lack of enthusiasm and therefore proceeded to start final work on my tooth before the anaesthetic kicked in.

I am so, so, so glad that's over.

For the time being. (Shudder).


  1. Very up'lift'ing post!
    Your dentist sounds most sadistic.
    Hope your high quality crown remains trouble free.
    Waise, hamaari Peanut kay kya haal hain?

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  3. ohhhhhh - poor little duh duh! i do sympathise. i hate dentists myself - intensely. they are so cold, calm and sadistic. and they seem so blissfully unaware of how scared you are or how much pain they cause. in that respect they are just like large friendly dogs.

    i'm sitting in office despite the fact that it's nearly 7 pm. i am working much too hard. the only silver lining is that i just pooed. i am considering marketing it - "improve employee morale and productivity through the latest greatest management trend .... the power crap".

  4. Good to hear that your ordeal is over... Yep, Dentists are like that... Mine chose to discuss with me, the high attrition rate in the IT industry while performing an extremely complex tooth extraction (I had two impacted wisdom teeth removed) :/ *gulp*

    -- PR

  5. Dipali: Peanut much better now, thanks for asking :-) - saw your blog, thanks so much, will get around to it tomorrow.

    Ganju: rrriiigght.

    PR: *gulp* is about right!

  6. Aiyaaa !! I hope that's the last you see of a dentist for a long long time.
    Every time I visit bombay the one place I need to visit regularly is my dentists office :-(
    And oh !! How I hate those visits to the dentist !!


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