6 reasons to be depressed about your mouth today

1.  Recently I was really dissatisfied with my current state of dental care, and so went slinking back to my old dentist of 17 years ago.   (I loved him, but bailed on him after the earthquake, when I was exiled to a rural town and cut off from the relatively modern services of Kobe.)

2.  Incredibly, the receptionist still remembered my face after 17 years.  The dentist didn’t remember my face at all (well, neither does my gyno, for the same reason, I believe – they’re not looking at my face!).

3.  The dentist told me that my mouth is a big old mess, and that he’s going to have to remove all the old work and replace it.  Unfortunately in Japan, thanks to the nature of socialised medicine, this kind of procedure is done piecemeal and takes months if not years.  Fortunately though it doesn’t cost very much – my visit today to get x-rayed and have an old cap removed and filled cost me about 25 dollars, a huge expense for which the receptionist profusely apologised – but still … imagine spending a whole afternoon sitting in a dentist’s chair every single week for the better part of a year, which is what I’m going to have to do.  (I know you’re thinking “well just take a nap then you silly girl, you deserve it” but hello, drills are involved!)

4.  The dentist said something like “have you never heard of dental floss?”  before handing me a free sample and giving me a demonstration.  (Hello, have you never heard of toothpicks?  That’s what people usually use in Japan.  They are even provided for free in all restaurants and convenience stores.)

5.  Sonbeam took the free dental floss from me as soon as I got home.  According to him, he needs it more than I do.  By the way, apart from his edumacation, his teeth have cost me more than anything in my life, including Benjamin’s vet fees.

6.  It won’t be long before pets require orthodonture.  Then I’ll really be in trouble.


8 comments on “6 reasons to be depressed about your mouth today

  1. Karen says:

    Oh, pets can already require dental work, and it’s hideously expensive.

    Sitting in a dentist’s chair every week for a year is pretty much my idea of hell. You poor thing.

    Floss. Hmmm. I rarely use it either. I’m headed for disaster, obviously.

  2. Miko says:

    I really wish I’d taken better care of my teeth (or that my parents had, at least). But now that I think about it, why not just go the whole hog and get a complete overhaul? My bottom teeth in particular are really crooked, and although they don’t show much, I’ve always felt just a bit self-conscious about them.

    Me and Ben can get matching braces, if it comes to that.

  3. Petra says:

    Iko-Chan had to have major dental work last summer – don’t ask how many dollars we had to hand over for that! Plus we got the stank-eye afterwards…

  4. Miko says:

    What, Petra? You mean you actually paid for dental treatment for your puss??? How did this come about? Is it common over there? Seriously? I’ve never heard of such a thing in Japan. But actually it’s probably only a matter of time, especially for me.

  5. Karen says:

    My neighbors had to have high priced dental work on their cat, too. And Nicole paid like $200 to have one of her dog’s teeth cleaned!

  6. Miko says:

    I don’t know if you know anything about the state of dentistry here in Japan, but it’s not good. Most people have bloody awful teeth, and their pets’ are even worse. I foresee a boom.

  7. Petra says:

    Well, Miko, Iko-Chan is an elderly cat lady and she had trouble with her teeth, I could see that. So at the vet they checked her out with the result that three teeth had to be pulled and some work had to be done on her gums.

    What can I say? It did her a load of good – so, yes, we did it, we paid for it and we are not alone, I know a lot of people who do it around here.

  8. Miko says:

    I don’t even want to begin to ask about what you guys spend on your own teeth, let alone the teeth of your pets … let’s just say that $200 is roughly equivalent to what I’ve paid for my own dental care in the last five years (which explains a lot!).

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