With a sheaf of forms in hand I clip clop out to the waiting room where my friend is engrossed in a puzzle book. The X-Ray and Photographic departments are on the ground floor. Thankfully I don’t have long to wait despite the full waiting room – I half read a notice explaining that the patient priority is based on appointment type rather than arrival time. The X-ray lady struggles to find somewhere to place my crutches having asked me to ‘take a seat’. This dentist’s chair is very uncomfortable in terms of the leg position (and my legs are very painful as Cruella is evidently cross at being hiked out of bed so early for such a trivial matter; as ever she is inexplicably awkward). When I ask if the leg position could be adjusted the X-Ray lady replies ‘sorry the only other position is completely flat which won’t work’! I brace myself compliantly as I ‘relax’ in the chair.
The number of X-Rays is in multiple figures and involves plastic frames holding the X-Ray – the experience is both uncomfortable and painful! The ones requiring placing said structure at the back of my mouth somehow sit on my gag reflex – by now I am regretting not having made time for breakfast although perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing as I’m on the verge of ‘tossing my cookies’ to use one of my brother’s favourite phrases! Technology is a wonderful thing as apparently these x-rays are digital; by the time I get upstairs they will be on the Dentist’s desktop – wow I’m impressed!
I’ve barely sat back in the waiting room when I’m called by the Photographer – she has already popped her head into X-Ray. There are people who are Dental Photographers, it’s a discrete profession it seems and I am a real life exhibit waiting to be immortalised in film! She is a lovely young woman, engaging and animated in a way that oozes passion; bizarre, I confess I don’t get it at all. We start with ‘a really big smile’, well it’s a grimace actually designed to show the teeth in all their glory – did I mention the specially designed aluminium plates one inserts into ones mouth and slides them upwards to the end of each lip before pulling outwards. I feel like the Joker from Spiderman! It was rather a waste of time applying lipstick as most of it ends up on the metal plates!
The she continues asking me to manoeuvre the metal plates to expose various teeth as she snaps away happily; my this lady lurves her job! Then she says ‘I just need to get my colleague for this next one, the edges of the teeth’. I’m intrigued as a guy in casual jeans and open neck shirt enters the room, pulls on blue plastic gloves and approaches with a flat spatula like implement which is apparently a mirror. Oh are you inviting me to reapply lipstick for this next one per chance; how kind or how impertinent young man – I’m not quite old enough to be your mother but I am certainly the oldest one in this room!
So I re-assume the Joker grimace and young chappy inserts the mirror into my mouth whilst lovely photographer lady (her casual conversation is great and I fleetingly wonder if she might like to ‘do lunch’), aims and fires oops I mean clicks. Several times before saying ‘That’s me done’. As I gather myself I notice how she manages to make the navy tunic appear stylish; this young woman has that kind of slim physique with just the right amount of curvature for a clothes horse. I resist the temptation to share my observation and concentration of standing up without toppling into her arms (she is holding my crutches, one in each hand).