The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth

| July 22, 2016

… swears Leicester Warburton. Here he explains how he developed a fondness for dental appointments.

You can point your toothbrush at me and declare me a freak. I am not making this up: I love… going to the dentist.

Always have.

I guess it stems from pure panic that almost bubbled out of me when I was 16 and experienced, coincidentally, 16 fillings. This somewhat impoverished my parents. For me, it was a kind of baptism under drilling.

“How long do you think my teeth will last?” I asked the man in the white coat when he hauled the last of the little packing rollers from around my numb gums. “About three years or so,” he said solemnly.

Then I enlisted in uniform way back and saw an instructional film on dental care that inspired me. I cut out sweets. Switched to nuts. Development of my dental caries slowed – not dramatically, but appreciably.

I shopped around for a good man. Found Richard, one of the best. And I have been going to see him since 6 April 1979 and loving every minute of it!

I even took a “selfie” long before mobile phone cameras. I’ve followed every new dentistry improvement, the x-rays, the screens, the protective glasses, the new drill bits, replacements for the ugly amalgam and approximately 29 comely dental nurses whose proximity with supplementary gear have added to my enjoytment, expecially Bozena, the current one.

On top of that, when I stupidly tried to open a cellophane package with my teeth while stopping at a motel, my teeth slid sideways and both my front incisors snapped off! I looked like a Barbary pirate and hotfooted it back to Richard for more of his magic. Result: a dazzling new smile and a large helping of relief.

No wonder then that I slide into the sleek hi-tech dental chair with the eagerness of a fighter pilot ‘scrambling” on a mission and my mouth automatically snaps open like one of the laughing clowns at the Royal Easter Show. I’m back at my enjoyment centre and the fun of more oral exploration begins.

After all, at 95, life can be pretty quiet otherwise.