Fanging it (Part 3)

From someone old to something new.


Thanks SO much for reading Parts 1 and 2.

Yet again, your interest has transcended my wildest hopes.

Now to our climax and conclusion.

Tears for fears

I believe all pain is bearable, if known to be of finite duration.

Sue did me a favour by saying my ordeal would be sharp but short.

I toughed it out and was astonished that she really was twice as fast as my old dentist.

But with the cleaning done, there loomed the spectre of my sore tooth.

Having not bitten with it for years, I was sure it’d have to be pulled or filled.



Sue disagreed.

She said my tooth was sensitive because gums retreat over time – exposing nerves.

(One of the joys of middle age.)

The tooth itself was sound.

I didn’t know whether to mourn my youth or celebrate my stay of execution.


Product placement

Sue then advised that my obsessive chewing with granulated gum was eroding my teeth.

As I told her I’d heard about it on TV and picked a brand at a supermarket, I realised these weren’t the most authoritative sources.

Sue said she couldn’t fathom why abrasive gum and teeth-whitening products weren’t banned, given their deleterious effect on enamel.

She said plain, sugarless gum was helpful – if confined to three ten-minute sessions a day.

I was starting to get value.



Sue next asked if I flossed.

I said no, as my tight gaps had produced unfortunate slicing in the past.

She asked if I’d heard of interdental brushes (pictured).

I had not.

Producing one, she showed me how to clean between my teeth without cutting my gums to shreds.

Doing so minimises tartar (calculus), gingivitis and dentist visits.

For the first time I thought, ‘Why didn’t my old dentist tell me all this stuff?’

Perhaps it was simply because he, like me, was getting on.


When Sue heard I brushed with Sensodyne, she said I could apply it topically (i.e. rub some on my sore tooth before bed) for greater benefit.

This was welcome news.

She then said that, had I rubbed it on all my teeth nightly for two weeks prior to my visit, I would’ve felt far less pain.

This was ANNOYINGLY LATE news.

Sue asked if I had more questions.

I carefully inquired about her experience and ethnicity.

She’d practised dentistry for six years and been an Australian citizen since age two.

I felt foolish for doubting her and asked if I could write her up in this blog.

She happily agreed.

She even gave me two bucks off a pack of interdental brushes in lieu of stickers.


Pot of gold

Back at reception, I learned with joy that the practice had a preferred supplier agreement with only one insurer: mine.

I paid merely $40 of $145.

Having just taken extras insurance, I’d been worrying about this too.

I left tired, but reasonably happy …


All write

Sadly, when I emailed my drafts to the practice, I got no reply.

Nor does it have a workable website I can promote.

My experience had hallmarks of success, marred by unforced errors and very poor sequencing.

Unlike MacArthur, I may return.

Would you?



Paul Hassing | Founder & Senior Writer – The Feisty Empire