Back at the start of Lockdown, and within the space of a week, I broke 2 fillings in my over-filled teeth. It’s a fairly regular occurrence for me. I have had, in the words of my dentist, a heck of a lot of dental work done for someone so young. Of course it wouldn’t usually be a big deal – I’d simply book an appointment and get fixed. Times are not what they used to be, however, and so I have had to spend the last few months trying to eat carefully around the holes and hope for the best.
All was going well until I woke up with the most painful of toothaches. Urgh. Now what? I was in so much pain that I had no option but to call the dentist. This meant facing a drawn out interrogation by the receptionist followed by another intense questioning by the triage nurse a few hours later before they could decide what was to be done with me. Typically my tough-gal act kicked in and I downplayed the pain, scoring my discomfort as a 6 /10, which was evidently not high enough to grant me access to the new and exclusive world of ’emergency only’ dentistry. Or was it? I was about to give up all hope when the nurse said, “What we’ll do is give you a temporary filling and some antibiotics to clear up any infection”. Great! “Just pop along anytime before 5 to collect the filling”. That’s right – collect the filling.
As it turns out, thanks to this horrific ongoing pandemic, temporary fillings have now become a do-it-yourself job.
Arriving at the reception I confidently nudged the automatic ‘open door’ button with my elbow and stood there like a numpty waiting for something to happen, but the door remained closed. Suddenly I spotted a masked receptionist scurrying over to the door. She wasn’t going to risk opening it, however, and instead yelled through the glass, “What do you want?”, “I’ve come to collect a filling” I hollered back, inwardly chuckling at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. After asking my name she ran off back to the office before emerging again carrying a see-through bag of clinical goodies, which she slipped through the tiniest gap possible to avoid any contact. I then carried it back to the car between pinched fingers and swiftly cleansed my hands with anti-bac.
Safely home I whipped out the instructions and proceeded to read… first brush your teeth blah blah blah, then use a “nail file to smooth any rough edges of the tooth”. I’ll be honest, this was starting to feel like some kind of a joke, but it wasn’t a joke – the evidence was right there in my hands. Well, I didn’t have a nail file, and even if I did I’m not convinced that I would have used it; one imagines it wouldn’t feel too dissimilar to scrapping your nails down a blackboard *shudders*. Besides, my nerves have got enough to deal with!
Performing a filling on yourself isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you factor in the numb fingertips and the rather awkward angle at which you need to tilt your head in order to allow enough light in while trying to see what you are doing. I managed to squish a blob of the filling into one of the teeth and felt pretty proud of myself – until, that is, it fell out 7 hours later during dinner. As with the hairdressing, I’m clearly not cut out to be a dentist.
Good news is that the antibiotics worked and the pain has gone. Bad news is that I’m no nearer to getting those holes filled.