Now before I get on New Year Resolutions in my next post and my newly composed Mrs T's Hot Dish Diet (It's a corker!) I feel I should conclude the story of my gnashers. (That's English slang for teeth - just in case you didn't know.)
Well after my last agonizing post, I decided to take control of the situation as my intuition was telling me things were not improving. I rang my dentists on the morning of Christmas Eve who then decided they couldn't fit me in their schedule. (Bearing in mind I was told they would do a root canal for me on 24th if things had not improved I was not particularly impressed. ) So I then rang the NHS emergency dental service who said they couldn't see me unless I had chest pains or severe facial swelling.
Again, not particularly impressive. Chest pains?? With toothache?? Hmm. Of course, after over a week of agonizing toothache and going do-lally on painkillers I reckon I wasn't far off having chest pains. However, not being one to cause a fuss, I decided the only course of action was to go private otherwise it was likely things were just going to deteriorate during the course of the vacations.
Yep, and I was right. Because I didn't just have an infection, I also had a broken tooth that had split from top to bottom that somehow my lovely new dentist had failed to spot. I therefore had my tooth extracted, my mouth stitched (Just the rear bit folks not the lips!) for the cost of £73.00 by a private dentist. So I now have another new dentist; a thoroughly charming South African gentleman who, I think, was most impressed by the fact that I did not pass out at the size of his big needle. Now I know lots of people are squeamish about the dentists but fortunately I'm not one (for reasons explained in previous post) but nevertheless my new dentist kept probing me;
"Are you sure you're alright with injections Mrs Turley? Are you sure? Positive?
"Now don't worry about the size of my needle, I'll be very gentle. It'll just be a little prick, I promise."
" I've no problems with little pricks. Fire away."
"Really, I'm sooo sorry to do this to you Mrs Turley the first time we meet!" (Plunges in big needle rather enthusiastically.)
At which point my tongue went numb - which was probably just as well because I think there was some rather naughty phraseology on the tip of it.
Anyway, after quite a lot of twisting, jerking and general rotating of the pliers my tooth came out. Whereupon, I gave a big long sigh because I knew that things would finally start to get better. My new dentist, however, expressed concerned at my exhalation;
"What's the matter Mrs T? Has my little prick upset you? Or the extraction?"
"No, I'm fine. Honest. I really have no problems with pricks or extractions. It's just the mouth wash. Yuck!"
So all's well that ends well. My mouth is on the mend. At last. And my new dentist may just have come up with a cure for my insomnia. (More to come on that... but it has nothing to do with his little prick - just in case you were wondering.)
However, my tooth saga has been quite a painful episode and not the first unsatisfactory experience I've had with the NHS whose treatment of my father during his decline from cancer was shoddy to say the very least. But I'm a big supporter of the NHS. There maybe times when things don't work out as they should but, on the whole, it's still a wonderful service.
That said, I think it's time for me to quit my NHS dental practice and go private permanently. I'm at an age when I need to start taking better care of myself and a private practice seems to offer that solution. I guess I'm lucky that I have choice in the matter but I know many people don't and so I'm truly grateful that we have a service in the UK which in times of genuine personal crisis, chronic illness, and life and death situations is always there to serve us.
The NHS is a Great British Institution and long may she continue.
(Just not in my mouth.....Ho Hum.)
See you all soon!
Happy New Year!