The Singing Dentist!
Yesterday, my wife asked me if I could take our nephew to town to our dentist. Seems he had rather bad toothache and a possible abscess. The plan was to take him to Dentista Ko, the dental clinic that my wife and I both use in Calbayog City. She is a very capable dentist that likes to sing while sticking you with needles or whilst drilling on sensitive teeth. I remember once asking her how much of her mind’s concentration was being diverted into hitting her high notes, and taken away from where I felt 100% of all her concentration needed to be directed… like my mouth! With a little admonition, I did manage to get her to stop singing that day, but she has since returned to her full glory, achieving even more recognition locally as the “Singing Dentist.” She really believes it comforts her patients, but I will have to respectfully disagree. But who am I to fight that battle… after all, karaoke is king here in the Philippines!
Anyway, the plan with the nephew was to get his abscessed tooth looked at and to get a prescription for some antibiotics, as most dentists will not pull a badly infected tooth. Then he could return after he got the swelling under control for the extraction. About an hour later he emerged from the chair and could not even utter a coherent word. So I asked the dentist how did it go? She responded with “I extracted the four bad ones and I will write him a prescription for the infected tooth.” I exclaimed “You pulled four teeth?” And she very calmly explained that they were very bad and they had to come out. My nephew nodded his head in uncertain agreeance. Huh? I thought! I then asked about the bad tooth. She explained he will need the antibiotic prescription first and then to come back. I had no choice now but to agree… I mean she couldn’t really put the teeth back in now could she?
But before we could get the prescription, my nephew had to pay the bill for the extraction… oh yeah, and the teeth cleaning that she tossed in… in the amount of P3,100. A bargain in my book but to my nephew, it was just over a weeks pay! I asked him “Do you have enough for the bill?” and he exclaimed “No, uncle. I will have to go home to get it.” So we drove the 12 kilometers back to the village, he got his money, and we returned to the city to pay the bill and retrieve the prescription for the antibiotics, which cost him another P120 or so. So, as it turned out this day, the “Singing Dentist” was not only proficient at extracting teeth, she was pretty good at extracting pesos also!
So we headed home again… with four fewer teeth than we started with, a prescription for the tooth that was still there, and the remaining teeth that were cleaner than they were at sunrise this morning. But the culprit tooth was still intact and will be addressed again in a few days. As we were leaving the city, and out of curiosity, I asked my nephew if he felt irritated by the dentist’s unprofessional and slightly off-key singing and he said “No, I thought she was funny!” The rest of the way home my nephew focused more on his intrigue and curiosity about the little paper cup next to the chair. He could not figure out how it kept getting filled with water. He told me “Uncle, never did I see that small girl (assistant) fill the cup, but it was always full!” The only response I could muster up was “Technology boy, technology!