Yes, another temporary crown is needed. No good wishing dental care was as good yesterday as it is today. It is What it is! A new crown is required and today I am having the temporary one fitted. Back to the dental surgery, I go.
I appear to be the only client this morning. Either that or the other clients are hidden, behind the white, surgery doors. All is eerily quiet.
The waiting room remains deceptively homely. A departure from the clinical whiteness of the surgery, so long held dear by dentists across the land, our dental team prefers a gentler approach so a leather sofa beckons and retro wallpaper decks the far wall. Waiting is the least of my worries of course. The appointment will take about an hour in total I am told.
An hour gives one a lot of thinking time so I am not put off. I can plan that story…unravel that plot. It will be good to think without the distractions of home.
I am offered a choice of in-house entertainment:
DVDs (Blue Planet or Planet Earth) or the fish tank?
(You may notice a strong, watery theme here)
I choose the fish tank. Well, it looks so calm and those little coloured fish swimming round and round the overhead screen, are so, well, to be honest, they are boring. Haven’t I seen that red fish in that exact spot several times before? Can I cope with this for an hour?
“Can I change my mind? Yes please, Blue Planet sounds good,”
(Which one did I watch before?)
“Oh, earphones too – sound effects – too loud you ask? A little loud, that’s better, thank you.”
“Yes, I am comfortable…”
“Yes I will raise my hand if I feel discomfort at any time.”
(I will try not to because I want to get this over with quickly and any amount of discomfort is preferable to a lengthy stay in this chair)
The DVD begins – it begins with the sea, shoals of fish dipping and diving, glistening under the diver’s camera light.
The overhead light winks at me as the dentist’s drill approaches. I concentrate on the dolphins opening their mouths as I open mine – fish into theirs, metal into mine…
The whirr of the drill is like nothing on earth, rattling and insistent as it seeks to dislodge the old crown. I am wondering about the advisability of choosing Blue Planet now. A storm is raging across the ocean, water swirling, rising, waves crashing against the rocks, chipping away at their surface over a millennium. The music reaches a crescendo and I am in my own storm until the drill ceases and the reluctant crown is tugged away, exposing God knows what beneath.
All is calm again.
I refuse to be dragged down into that synergy again. “Nothing to see here folks,” I want to say, as the Albatross fall prey to the great sharks in the aftermath of the storm. I allow the impressions to be taken, upper set first, pushing in so hard I think I might leave the chair.
“No, no, that’s fine, really…”
Turtles are laying eggs, scurrying across the sand – millions of eggs, there is safety in numbers. They all lay their eggs at one time, giving the hatching youngsters, maximum chance of survival against the predators that await them. A quarter will make it to the ocean. 75% will perish. A sobering thought.
I am breathing deeply, counting the seconds until the horrible putty stuff is removed.
The impressions are lifted, I remember this bit, my teeth will remain intact, I am sure. The lower set, pushed in with less force, feels no less intrusive, but takes less time.
Above me, waves continue to crash against the rocks; sea spray covers the lens.
Temporary crown is in place.
“There you are, all done,”
Is that it? 45 minutes? How quickly the time has passed; hardly time to draw a parallel between what was happening above and what was happening beneath the drill. I am elated. I have come through it all without a problem. I forgot about the story and the unravelling of the plot though – perhaps I have been more distracted than I care to admit.
On reflection, I think I have won round two, Mr Attenborough, but next visit, I think I will stick with the fish tank.