We enter the rather dimly-lit, dental office and are greeted up front with a fairly threatening photo of dental trauma. Right next to this photo are horrific pictures of a dental abscess and dental implants. Is this reverse psychology? American dental offices greet one with pictures of unnaturally, white-toothed smiles. Is this any worse social conditioning?
My Nepali sister's daughter has a baby tooth that requires pulling. The tooth has been causing her pain. It won't budge with any extraction attempts. She is frightened. Who wouldn't be with the front desk horror story photos.
A friendly patient in the sitting area attempts to alleviate her concerns. His teeth are bright and white. Nepali teeth seem to be polar opposites. Either decaying and falling out or like those of this cheerful man. The patient is not distracted by his antics.
The desk clerk/assistant sits with her friend, their heads hunched over her cell phone, her mask tucked under her chin. The dentist beckons us down the hallway leading to the dental chair. The assistant follows us, pulling her mask up. We veer off before we reach a curtained room with X-ray written above it.
My nursing mind does a quick check of the place. It could be tidier.
A topical pain ointment is given prior to the lidocaine. Did the needle come out of a package? Pre-procedure, the young patient starts to cry. Anticipation of pain can be worse than the experience.
I conveniently step out to use the toilet and on return, the job is already done. A hand holds in a big cotton wad in the mouth. Efforts to talk are pointless.
Not as bad, it seems, as the pics out front depict.