T is for the teeth I still have – despite the prognostications of a dentist that I had gone to when my children were all very small. My dentist was a train trip away – I didn’t have a car, and with three little people 4 and under, and no family to help, getting to the dentist was a major undertaking. So I tried another dentist, closer to home. Imagine my horror when he informed me that my (regularly checked and already heavily filled teeth) needed all sorts of major work, preferably done all at the one time, under sedation and at a very large price. When I expressed some concern about this, he really put the heavies on, telling me that unless I had the work done, I would have no teeth left by the time I was forty. He suggested that my previous dentists had probably been older (which they were) and were not up to date with their procedures. I agonised about this for some time, and eventually, with my cap in hand, went back to my own dentist and told him the sorry story. He said that technically, what I had been told was correct, but that as my teeth were so heavily filled, and fillings had a limited lifespan, that by the time I was forty, the problem fillings would have all been replaced anyway.
When I rang the “new” dentist to tell him that I wouldn’t have the work done, he was very unpleasant about it – uttered dire warnings again and put a lot of pressure on me, but I stuck to my guns. Thank heavens – because about twelve months later he was arrested and struck off the roll for molesting his female patients while they were sedated! A couple of local women had been having coffee when one told the other about a strange dream she’d had when sedated at the dentist’s – when her friend said she’d had the same dream, they decided that it wasn’t a coincidence and went to the police. A young female officer went undercover for a dental appointment and was given the story about needing a lot of work under sedation. She returned with some sort of communication equipment, ostensibly to have the work done, and the dentist was caught in the act. Life works in strange and mysterious ways.