things you see on the dentist’s ceiling

There once were a few peanuts, and a couple of raisons, and a small piece of chocolate.  They gave such pleasure, until they gave such pain. Truthfully though, the peanut was guiltiest of all!

A tiny piece of peanut and a broken tooth – so begins the search for my dentist.

Now before I begin with my sorry little tail . . .er . . . um. . . tale,  I just know that there will be people shaking their heads in wisdom at my folly.  Yes, I know you’re right.  I should make regular visits to a dentist (and remember who it is).  I should probably see a doctor too for that matter.  The thing is though that I’m fairly healthy if a “bit” overweight.  But that doesn’t really have anything to do with this post.  Well, except maybe to point out that I like to eat – and I don’t like doctors and dentists very much.  Both wield needles, if you have to ask.  I’m not scared of needles, understand.  I just avoid those little instruments of pain as much as possible.

(c) makeshiftgarbage

So how does a person go about finding the right dentist?  You start by asking the folks who do actually visit one of course.  Funny thing though, nobody seem to agree on who is the best dentist around.  And who knew there were so many of them in our town?!  I listened to everyone’s stories.  I made a few calls.  I finally decided who I’ll turn to in my hour of dental need.

Off I went to the dentist’s surgery and filled out the forms.  What a great shield those things are when you try to pretend that you’re not nervous at all!  I fiddled with my phone, looking anywhere but at that dreaded door behind which one of those typical reclining chairs looks so deceptively comfortable.  From the stories I heard about this dentist he’s been around a few years.  In my mind’s eye I saw a guy ’round about my age, with maybe a little grey in his hair and a few wrinkles around the eyes.  Imagine my surprise when the guy who came out to invite me into his “parlor” looked like he just stepped out of college. . . or medical school  . . .  or where ever it is they learn to dig in people’s mouths.  He introduced himself.  Nope, definitely not the guy I assumed I had the appointment with.  I felt like throwing anchors and yell – I don’t wanna see you, you’re not him!  I didn’t have the guts.  Besides, my tooth was really sore.

In case you didn’t know, it pays to be friendly with people in whose medical hands you entrust your physical well-being – be that body, gum or tooth.  Okay, maybe that’s debatable.  I once went to a dentist who talked to me while my mouth was stuffed with cotton balls and whatnots, things he had put in there.  And I mean talk, as in asking me questions he seemed to be expecting answers to.  What sense does that make, I ask you?

Getting back to doctor Young-Guy.  He made sure I was comfy (I lied and said I was!) then started doing his thing.  I don’t know if anybody else feels the same way I do but it is kind of weird when people talk about you like you’re not there, about things that sound alien but are actually your teeth.  I find it difficult to decide where to focus my mind in situations like these.  I mean, here is a guy with his face so close to yours you’ll be able to bite his nose if it wasn’t for that little mask thingy he wears.  Ugh!  No, not something I want to think about.  What else?  His eyes.  Will he notice if I inspect his eyes while he taps and scrape my teeth?  Better not do that.  I certainly don’t want him to shift his attention away from what he is doing, especially when he starts using powered tools.  How about if I just cast my eyes down.  It isn’t so bad inspecting your own nose, but I can only look at black heads for so long.  Ah heck, there’s no choice really.  Just look up and aim a little bit to the side of dr. Young-Guy’s head.  Aah yes, there it is.  The ceiling.

who started this mess? by RJ Crisp

Something I remember from dentist surgeries I’ve visited before is that they always have some form of entertainment on the ceiling for kids.  Mostly they have busy images like the one above, other times they have puppets or model airplanes stringed up there.  It seems that the practice where dr Young-Guy works has come a long way from simple posters and figurines on the ceiling.  Instead, they have a monitor mounted there in a very nice wooden frame.

At first I did not pay too much attention to the screen as the conversation between dr Young-Guy and his assistant had changed to a subject other than my teeth.  He was now complaining to her that he was running behind schedule and he did not sound happy about it.  At all. He gave these huge sighs while deliberating what should be done to fix my tooth. Can you imagine what went through my head after hearing this?

I decided that no, it is not necessary to panic – yet. Focus on the ceiling, focus on the ceiling I chanted to myself.  I did. Focus. On the ceiling. I’m sure my eyes bulged. I’m pretty sure I blushed. My eyes are playing tricks on me, I thought. I glanced away for a second.  I looked back.  Oh jeez!  My eyes are still 20/20.

What I saw on the ceiling was a bunch of people.  People in various stages of no-dress.  People with leather belts around their waists, but not a fig leaf or loin cloth in sight.  N.A.K.E.D people!  Huh?!

Okay, so it was a documentary and not a blue film. I’m not sure if that qualification helps to ease my mind though. Given that no sound accompanied the images that bombarded my eyes and I could not identify at first sight that there was (presumably) a narrator guiding me through the whole thing. . .

You may think me a prude if you want, but I got a good jolly old shock that afternoon.  If you have kids and you take them to a dentist you don’t know, I advise you to inspect his ceiling first!


10 thoughts on “things you see on the dentist’s ceiling

  1. You had me in total stitches here, Clouded. I love that busy picture – why did MY dentist not have something like that on her ceiling ito distract me?!

    I am sooo with you on visits to the dentists. Actually I mean NOT WITH you, because I try to AVOID them as much as I avoid doctors. It was only after protracted, increasingly stern reminders from my nearest and dearest that I finally gritted my teeth… er… um… and ‘made that call’. Thank all the powers in the heavens and the earths, I *survived*. And now I’m off the hook for another… oh… I don’t know… perhaps 10 years? 😉

    In the meantime, I’ll definitely be avoiding anything hard and crunchy though.

    • You enjoyed my suffering, did you?! Ha-ha. Don’t worry, Reggie, I totally understand why you’re NOT WITH me.

      Isn’t there a saying that goes something along the line of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”? 😉 Seriously though, I’m a great believer of listening to ones body (or teeth). If mine tells me I need to go see a doctor, I’d go to the doctor no matter how much I dislike going.

      “Teething” problems are a bit a pain though. I’m currently on soft foods only.

    • I hope you’re again allowed to have the good things in life, like dark chocolate, or rusks dunked in coffee as you sit on the stoep and gaze out at your world…?

      Mind you, soup does sound good now, what with all the ice and snow we’ve been having in our fair land! (Not that we’ve had snow in Cape Town, mind you…)

    • I’m still being careful of what I eat, but I have found ways to eat some of my favorite things or substitute it with something else. . .
      For example, bought a slab of plain chocolate and savor a small piece of it as it melts in my mouth – it’s actually better than chewing it. And peanuts are replaced by lots of peanut butter. If there’s a will, there’s a way right?! 😉

  2. Hilarious – really? N.A.K.E.D people on the ceiling!!??
    Was at the dentist myself this Monday. It was my husband’s fault. Nothing dramatic – he had a cavity brewing and made the appointment, I was with him when he made it and threw in my towel for an appointment straight after him. Figured that I’d never bother otherwise. I don’t think I had been for over 7 years – perhaps time for a check up… 😉
    I just close my eyes and pretend that I am somewhere else – although that Hyper-mosquito-drill noise puts the dampeners on pretending to be at a spa!!
    Once got a root canal after eating Weetbix. Weetbix I tell you! How innocuous!

    • Hi Lu! Yeah, I kid you not. Still can’t believe it. 🙂

      Ooh, you’re gutsy! Close your eyes?! I’ll never be able to do that – too scared I will be lulled asleep by the sound of the “hyper-mosquito-drill” (as if!) and close my mouth when I shouldn’t.
      It sounds kind of unbelievable that Weet-bix can result in you having a root canal, but I believe you! I have on occasion found some surprises in it myself, luckily without incident though.

  3. ROFL CM!! What a hoot!! For me that is…since I wasn’t the one with my mouth agape staring at naked people on the ceiling 😉 Geez…even as I type I’m shaking with laughter at the imagery 😛 Like you (I think), I have a dentist-phobia too and I’m a doctor!! Blood and guts don’t frighten me in the least, but the thought of a dentist liquefies my knees, gums…you get the picture! A few years ago, I had to have a lot of dental work done because the phobia had resulted in several of my teeth committing suicide!! Luckily, a good friend of mine, is also an excellent dentist (I say this firmly in retrospect :P), and did the needful without me having to be restrained physically 😉 Bless him!

    Enjoyed the read CM 🙂 I hope you’re done with dental visits for a while! It seems to me, they’re never done with one sitting!

    • Glad you enjoyed it enough to laugh, Harsha! 🙂

      My eldest sister is a nurse and I often wonder how she is able to cope with “blood and guts” because I just don’t see myself doing it by choice. 🙂
      You are right about the dentist not getting things done in one sitting. I’m not done yet, unfortunately 😦 I don’t have a phobia, but it I really don’t enjoy going there.

      Hope you don’t need to visit the dentist again soon!

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