Saturday, May 19, 2007

Leader of the Plaque

I've been going to the same dentist for as long as I've had teeth. I took a brief break from him when I had a dentist in my building who took my insurance, but then I moved and my union took away our dental coverage, and I never liked the new guy anyway so back I went.

My dentists' office is a time capsule of New York in the mid-70s. Right down to the 300-year-old hygienist and, unfortunately, the equipment. I mean, it's not really that unfortunate - it all works, and obviously the parts that go into my mouth are new and sterile, but I think if I were a new client I'd run away and never come back at my first visit. They don't take credit cards. There's no computer. Until recently, the answering machine used tapes. Two big ones. It's funny actually, when things break and need to be replaced, they look completely incongruous, like the new cordless phone and digital answering machine on the receptionist's desk.

Anyway, I feel fine about all this, seeing as how I've only ever had one cavity (and that happened during the period with the other dentist!) and my teeth are in generally good shape, clearly the old doctor (how old? I have no idea) has been doing something right with me for the last 30-ish years.

When I visited last week I felt strangely compelled to take some pictures with my phone.

View from the chair:

The thing hanging down is the tooth-polisher-thing, and I'm pretty sure that with another attachment it's also the drill. Is it always two-in-one like that? I think if it were being used to drill holes in my teeth I'd find it much less benign!



Does anyone know what the thing with the cotton is? It's always been there, but I don't remember anyone ever using it for anything.