Hi my name is Rob, I’m a dentist I can’t show you my face because… well I’m a murderer, but I’m getting paid bucket loads to appear in this ad for a toothbrush. Not that it’s any different from any other toothbrush and not that I care one bit about your teeth really. After all they’re your responsibility and I’m just here to charge you an arm and leg if you can’t look after them. How do I get away with it? Well, while everybody concentrates on critiquing medical practice I can get away with murder and I’m laughing all the way to the bank and, no, I’m not going to show you my face.
You see it’s like Catch 22. I can get heaps of money from the aluminium companies because I’m a steadfast supporter of them making a profit out of their waste fluoride which I claim (with dubious support) to be absolutely necessary to improve dental health but when it comes to any individual set of teeth, I don’t have to take responsibility for my professional practice because I can blame it on the victim (sorry patient) who obviously hasn’t cared for their teeth probably. Good eh?
I can recommend that you have braces on your teeth and I don’t have take responsibility for any damage to the enamel caused by them. You see it’s your responsibility and by crikey can I make money from them.
Of course, if you’re poor and can’t afford my rates you can go to a government clinic where they will solve the problem of the pain caused by a hole in your tooth simply. We’ll just pull it out, like they did in the 19th Century. Not that we care that this is guaranteed to cause further damage down the line to your other teeth and result in you losing all your teeth prematurely with consequent damage to your overall health perhaps reducing your life expectancy by 5 or 10 years. You still can’t see my face, can you?
We dentists could of course make professional submissions to the government about the long term costs of these antiquated practices but we won’t because we make so much money charging those who can afford it for fillings and root canal work and so on. We could make submission to the government about the value of public education programs regarding prevention of gum disease and how to clean your teeth to prevent this as you get older but we don’t because… well you get my drift.
Of course if you have something really serious going on in your mouth such as cancer. We won’t bother to look to closely if you’re poor. There was a bloke in here the other day – he had a hole in the base of his wisdom tooth. We yanked that out and didn’t bother to wonder how a hole could occur that far down. When he came back and complained that there was still pain. We just tapped his gums and said ‘sensitive gums, go away’. Eventually he went to a private dentist to get an xray and that showed that a chip of the wisdom tooth had got left behind. Well whose fault was that! We’ll give him some antibiotics that will shut him up.
Silly bugger came back complaining that the antibiotics hadn’t worked. So we better have a hack around –can’t get it – let’s refer him up to the University clinic and get a student to practice on him that will shut him up. Let’s give him some more antibiotics as well.
Silly bugger complained when the student created a hole between his nose and his mouth and left him with no follow up or analgesia. Doesn’t he realize that it’s summer and we need a 6 week break. Let’s make him travel up from the country a few times at his own expense before we do anything and give him some more antibiotics for his non healing wound.
Silly bugger went to his doctor. But you know there is a demarcation line that the most left wing unionist would be proud of between dentists and doctors. Doctor won’t do anything until the dentist makes a referral back except give the silly bugger some more antibiotics.
Silly bugger’s been complaining now for 15 months about this – so we better have a good look. Hmm, the hole in the bone between his mouth and his nose has gotten bigger and that ulcer looks suspicious let’s get him back under a general anaesthetic and take a sample for histology in two weeks time. Wonder what’s eating that bone away.
OK he’s unconscious and can’t complain now - these public patients are such a waste of time. I can’t be buggered to fill out this pathology report properly and I’ve got to pick the kids up from their private school. Get him back in 2 weeks and we’ll see if our handiwork has made any difference.
“Nurse, ring up the pathology company and find out where that pathology report is” – turns to the silly bugger – “actually it’s healing quite nicely you know, I think we did a good job this time”(best professional smile). Hang on a tick here comes nurse with the path report – oh dear you’ve got a squamous cell cancer - better go back to the country and see your GP. It’s his problem now.
Silly bugger knew he had cancer 4 months ago but nobody could be fucked listening. Now he’s in the hands of a specialist who reckons his got a 60% chance of surviving the next 5 years because it’s stage IV and been eating the bone away for some time. Silly bugger needs to have all his teeth out now because of the radiotherapy – he won’t need a dentist anymore that’s for sure.
My name’s Rob I’m a dentist I can’t show you my face…
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