Top Story: 11. September 2009
How I Feel About My Dentist?
A Personal Matter of Jaakko
You know, I used to be afraid of dentist. Not the kind of fear you feel if a doctor gives you a flu shot. It was worse. I feared dentist so much that I even decided to put up with the pain of my cavities, rather than having a dental treatment. It is hard to explain the feeling, but even the smell of the clinic made a chill run through my spine. Finally, I forced myself to go to dental clinic here in Yokohama. It was time to face my fear, I decided.
Since then, my fear has disappeared entirely. I can honestly say that going to dentist is no more a problem for me. I can relax as well in dentist's chair as I can in my livingroom.
Today, I had a root canal treatment. It was a bit of a surprise, the doctor discovered a big cavity in one of my tooth, and decided that it's right time to take off the nerves as well. It just took a little longer than usual. I didn't notice anything, and there was no pain at all, it just felt a little funny. And you know it was root canal treatment, kind of ultimate courage test for those who want to get over their fear of dentist. While they took care of me, I noticed they played soundtrack of Platoon, you know "Adagio for strings", kind of dramatic.. I felt like my spirit escaped from my body.
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My dental clinic is relatively small company. I go there by walk, as it's pretty near my house, just next to the supermarket. There are about five or six chairs and a small x-ray room. The dental clinic is clean, but not super clean like hospital. It's just clean enough, but doesn't make you feel uncomfortable like hospitals sometimes do. Their BGM is just nice, fills in the silence, but doesn't get in the way (not even the Platoon soundtrack). Sometimes Bryan Adams, or Phil Collins. Almost no JPOP at all.
My dentist is a friendly man. He has a curly hair, and he likes to talk with his patients about details of their tooth. For example how this type of dental amalgam should be avoided and how this tooth could use a little treatment, and he always explains why. The lady working in reception could be his wife, but I'm not sure. She has a little bit of a short temper but she always does her job well and smiles to everyone behind her white mask.
The other nurses are very kind and nice, especially the elder nurse who took care of me today. There happened to be a small earthquake while she was in process of cleaning my tooth. She just smiled and asked if there were earthquakes in my country. She praised Finnish dental care and xylitol, and asked me whether water in Finland contains fluoride. She, as well as others never seem to mind a little chat, which makes patients relax. And they are all very polite and proper, always.
The reason why I like my dental clinic is not because it's convenient and painless. It is the invisible atmosphere, a certain properness the nurses and doctors have. They are always kind and polite, and never fail to cheer up old people or children. And there is something beautiful about the way how they talk to each other while they work. I can't understand everything, because most of it is a professional dentists language, and my Japanese isn't that good. But I do get the cheerful, good mood and professional understanding they have, you know like invisible transmission.
I hope Japan would have more dentists like this.