Monday 6 July 2009

Doing the responsible thing?

For a very long time I was extremely derelict in my duty to my teeth. Let’s face it… I pretty much ignored them. About a decade passed and I didn’t got to the dentist, not once. My reasoning was that I only go to the doctor when I am sick so I only go to the dentist if I have toothache. The last time I’d visited the dentist (back last century) I was taking a brief foray into responsible adulthood and going for a check-up. The routine check-up also gained me a filling (even though I didn’t have a toothache until after it was completed).

So. Ten years pass and suddenly I have toothache. This is enough to galvanise me into registering with a dentist and going for an emergency appointment. It turns out not to be my teeth that are the trouble but my gums. So I advance on a course of Hygienist visits. These cost £45 (as they aren’t available on the NHS) and basically consist of what I remember my dentist doing at the end of an appointment when I was a child. Modern healthcare is a wonderful thing.

This wakeup call was enough to decide me that I need to take better care of my mouth. So, this morning I went for a routine check-up (for the first time in a decade). For less than ten minutes the dentist poked around my teeth, told me to floss better, and to come back in six months. Now I’m back to wondering if my teeth really need that much attention, after all – even on the NHS it costs over £15 just to walk through the door!