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Friday, January 27, 2012

Some dentists I've known...

The decor at my dentist's

I went to the dentist today to have my first appointment of 2 to get a crown. Hmmm...dentists...hasn’t always been a favourite subject of mine!  My first experience with going to the dentist wasn’t until I was about 7, but that wasn’t unusual for those times. My parents were concerned with my ‘over-bite’ so I was taken to my dad’s dentist. Dr Rappaport was his name and my parents said that he had been in an internment camp during the war because he was a Czechoslovakian Jew. (None of that meant much to a 7 year old)

I developed an overbite with protruding top teeth (genetic, from my mum's family)
I’m sure he was a nice man but I hated my visits to him. He took impressions for a brace for my teeth and I can remember that the ‘plate’ was a bit big for my mouth and the dentist also said that the white stuff on the plate was icecream. Well it wasn’t; it was peppermint flavoured plaster! And guess who hated peppermint flavour then??? Over the years I went to regular appointments with fear and trepidation. He didn’t use local anaesthetic for fillings, even deeper ones. Dr Rappaport was indeed a kind man because when my dad died when I was 15, the doctor never charged my mother for any of my treatments. When I left home to get married at not quite 21, I refused to go to him any more, much to my mother’s disgust with me!
That meant that I had to find my own dentist. Someone recommended a dentist in the next suburb, ‘who didn’t hurt’! That was enough for me so Dr Gil Shearer became my dentist. (and he didn’t hurt!) After a few years, he moved suburbs, but I followed. Then he decided to go into ‘specialist dentistry’ so Gil recommended a new dentist to the practice, Harvey Carter. Harvey was a blond blue-eyed ‘dreamboat’! Going to the dentist was a real pleasure. When my children came along, I took them to Harvey too. We had Harvey for years and then the inevitable happened. Harvey retired from dentistry (in his 40s mind you!) to devote more time to his extensive cattle properties in northern Queensland.
The suburb where that practice was, (Toowong) was getting busier and the trip there was getting longer due to heavier traffic so I just didn’t go for a while L. Then one year I was teaching Year 1 at the suburb next to where I lived. The local dentist would park his car in the staff carpark so that left an extra space for patients, outside his surgery across the road from the school. As a trade off for this carpark, he would talk to the Year 1s about dental care each year.

So that’s how I met Tony. After he talked to my class I chatted to him and told him of my dentist phobia and how the dentist I liked and trusted had flounced off to a new life without a backward glance. Tony was very sympathetic and claimed that his dental work didn’t hurt so I made an appointment. He has been my dentist since 1999 and touch wood...there is no talk of his retiring yet!! A few years ago he moved a few streets into a group practice and the good thing about that is that he is easier to get an appointment with now. Urban Dental also has a TV above the dentist chair which is probably quite swish...most of the time the sound is off or it is set to the news channel! lol

The photos of the staff  on Urban Dental's webpage shows them as children; this is Tony my dentist.
The other day when I went to the dentist because last Sunday night a piece of tooth broke off a molar, I discovered something that made me like my dentist even more. Kellie, the receptionist said, 'I don't want to offend you, but are you a senior?' And of course I am (business seniors card only). Now apparently that means I get a 10% discount. So that appointment left me very little out of pocket. (My health insurance doesn't pay full 100%, so I'm always out of pocket) The quote for my crown work also had the discount applied and I was happy to go ahead with the work. Then yesterday I got a letter from the Tax office. At first my heart sank....then when I opened the letter, I found that there was some money owing to me, to do with superannuation. A phone call revealed that I will get that money directly and guess what? It's just a little bit less than my out of pocket expenses for the crown!! How good is that?
Just another little bit about dentists I've known:-
A few years ago one of my nephews married a dentist; a beautiful girl. My BIL goes to Yas and says she is the most gentle dentist he has ever been to. Unfortunately the practice where she works is in the middle of Melbourne, a bit too far away!


Humble wife said...

I always wonder about why so many of us have trepidations about going to the dentist.

I have come to the conclusion that we can fake everything else, our hair, our smell, our clothing, our cars, etc, but the dentist sees what we cannot only see, but cannot do too much about.

I have a genetic issue that has spawned from childhood which has made my dental trips frightful for sure.

Since my husbands accident, I have had no dental insurance so my care which costs hundreds of dollars of year with my co-pay is too far out of range now. Now I worry because I haven't been in several years, I will be treated with disdain etc. Why am I sharing? I wonder, I suppose sometimes it is cathartic to get things off ones chest.

Sigh, the extra money over the years has put braces on three so far, and the fourth will be getting hers soon. Part of my genetic issue is carried on...and the boys needed actual heavy duty work to pull some of the teeth from sitting horizontal!!

Oh well, I would never change anything, except my tremendous fear.

Well I am glad to hear our dental offices are the same with the Televisions above.

Have a great weekend and forgive my ramblings. My I jumped off the deep end, didn't I? :)


Lea White said...

Dentists are not my favourite either. Loved your stories of the dentists in your life!

Tiff said...

Good dentists are hard to find.... I now hardly see one, despite going with my kids twice a year... our practice has 'hygienists' now and we only see the dentist if they think he needs to check something! Sweeeet! It makes going way easier! Glad you got a bit of a bonus, despite having to go to the dentist first!!! Happy week! X

Gus Eckles said...

That's an interesting account of the dentists you've been with so far. Finding a dentist that's suitable to you is rather hard. By the way, I think it's cute their website shows their practitioners in childhood pictures, which is something you don't see in most dentists' websites. And isn't it just lucky that you've got that extra cash just in time for your crown work!

Dr. Thomas Seal DDS