The dentist asked me if I ever had teeth impression done. I answered I had it very long time ago.
When he brought a teeth mould, I realised it was not what he meant. I mentioned him that I never had my whole teeth impression done. He explained the whole impression is much more accurate than a partial one. I agreed.
I’m slowly picking up what to expect from modern dentistry practice.
He tried the mould on my upper teeth, and found out there was a slight problem. The shape of my teeth is not normal and they don’t fit at the back. He tried the larger mould, and it was too large.
The bottom teeth have similar problem, but not as bad as the upper ones. So, we made the bottom impression first.
He mixed pink powder with water and made the dough. Then, he put it on the mould and pressed against the bottom teeth. He explained that it is a concentration of fluoride and should taste like lots of toothpaste. Taste was neither good, nor bad.
After he took it out from my mouth, bits and pieces of solid paste left in mouth. That felt awful.
While he was working on the mould of upper teeth, we chat.
He was curious about my origin, and asked how long I’ve been in Australia. I assumed he was from Australia. He giggled devilishly, and asked if he has Australian accent. Well…, I thought he did. Then, the assistant interrupted that he is from New Zealand. She can pick up his accent without problem. Then, we had typical Australian and New Zealand rivalling chat. She looked at him with cheeky smile and told me he still has lots of New Zealand accent.
I asked what made him come to Australia. One of the main reasons seems to be the better remuneration. He was practising as a dentist in New Zealand already. He even confessed me the salary level in NZ. It made me think that dentists could be making more than doctors… If he was already practising dentistry in NZ, he is not as young as I thought he would be.
The second reason was food. He reckons there are more variety of Asian food in Australia. It surprised me as I thought there are many Asian immigrants in New Zealand. And Australia has more variety of fruits. He enjoys eating fruits during summer.
I asked if there are any difference in dental practice between Australia and New Zealand. He thought about it a little. Then told me that technology is the same, but the supply and material are different because of different manufacturers.
He was using a portable gas burner and applying its heat to the plastic mould to change its shape. He gave me the example that he had green mould in NZ, which is thinner than the ordinary mould. And it would be easier to change its shape. He hasn’t seen the thinner one in Australia, and commented he might import them from NZ.
Once the mould is adjusted, the assistant took over mixing the dough. It came out too runny as she used too much water without realising he used less powder. She rolled her eyes and commented that they were not communicating well. I commented there was a (Australian and New Zealander) language barrier. She laughed and agreed.
He waited until the runny dough sets a little, but it was too late to get the impression. So she made another dough from the scratch. It was like they are having fun with play dough…
While we waited for the dough to settle, he told me his baby sister is visiting him from NZ. He and the assistant was arguing which is more fun, Water World or Sea World. The upper teeth impression was done. There were pink crumbles everywhere. He warned me that I had pink stuff all over my face as well. He gave me a mirror to clean them up. Then checked my face again to make sure I got everything off.
When he mentions about ME/CFS, I sense a slight confidence in him. I asked if he had another ME/CFS patients before. He said just one, but it was in NZ. He seems to know a little bit about ME/CFS. And he asks questions. I’m curious to dig how much he knows, but it is not today as we don’t have time. I guess most of us don’t use wheelchair. But it feels strange that I haven’t met any other people with ME/CFS in my area. I guess we just stay at home resting unless we really have to go out. Even when we go out, our suffering is invisible…
He almost forgot to take the stitches out. He looked at the area and mentioned it was healing very well. He complimented that I was taking good care of it. For some people, it takes up to 4 weeks to heal.
I somehow felt I was a dog. (Dogs heal very quickly.) Just because I have doggy children, doesn’t mean I have doggy nature, does it?
He was happy that it would be healed completely by the time he starts setting the bridge. In three weeks time, the bridge will be in my mouth. It feels strange. I guess something can be fixed, and fixed quickly unlike ME/CFS.
We quickly talked about the other tooth. Once the bridge is done, I will come back in two month to see if the infection is still there. If it is, the tooth has to come out and another bridge has to be made. It is more likely the infection will still be there in August. And I’m hoping that my condition will improve somehow once the infection is treated.
In the next week, his afternoon is all booked out. So, I will come back on Thursday morning. It’s almost end of the financial year. And people might want to get things done now to maximise their tax return.