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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Dentally challenged

Vikramdeep Johal, Hindustan Times   December 12, 2012
First Published: 10:57 IST(12/12/2012) | Last Updated: 11:03 IST(12/12/2012)

A visit to the dental clinic makes you realise, rather painfully, that Tooth, not Truth, is God. It strikes you that no matter whether you eat to live or live to eat, you need all those molars, pre-molars and incisors in the pink of health. And the canines too, even if you aren't exactly a dog lover.

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The dentist helps you settle down in a reclining seat, which is as comfy as the 'platinum' seater in a multiplex audi. Soon, the horror movie begins, starring yourself.

As the doctor peers into your wide-open mouth, you remember an episode from Lord Krishna's childhood. It's said that when Yashoda looked inside her son's mouth, she saw all the oceans, mountains, stars and planets, the whole universe and what-not. You wonder what the dental expert really sees in your 'oral universe'. Probably, high-denomination currency notes and all the things he can buy with them, such as swankier cars and second-honeymoon trips to Bali or Phuket.

Your train of thought is derailed by the screechy roar of a sharp instrument. You suspect that the doctor has read your mean mind and wants to punish you for doubting his Hippocratic integrity. You close your eyes to shut out the torture scene and try to imagine that all this is happening to someone else, preferably one of your enemies.

With your mouth becoming a minefield, you feel like hurling expletives at the dentist or his apprentice. Indeed, the biggest challenge is to control your overexcited tongue, which keeps flopping like a fish out of water. But no words come out   your vocabulary is reduced to oohs alternating with aahs. Rinsing brings no relief as you helplessly watch your own blood go down the drain.

The treatment is repeatedly interrupted by phone calls, which are promptly attended by the doctor. Obviously, the 'switch-off-mobile-phone' poster is applicable only to patients. You want to somehow raise your voice against these double standards, but are advised to keep mum by an aching molar, which for once lives up to its 'wisdom tooth' tag.

At long last, your ordeal ends. But it's only for the time being, as the dentist fixes the date for the next sitting, much like a judge summoning an accused to court. On leaving the dental asylum, you realise that your wallet, rather lightweight now, only has enough cash to pay for a massage by the barber. And the moment his magical fingers swing into action, you blissfully start forgetting the nightmare you've just been through.

The writer can be reached at vikramdeep.johal@hindustantimes.com

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