Contrary to popular belief, they don’t teach us “No pain, no gain” in Dental School. In fact, after 22 years in practice, I’m all for the “No pain, at all, ever” experience, particularly when I am on the receiving end of my colleague’s attentions.
So it was with some trepidation last week that I found myself prone, wearing a pink bib and wondering whether my dignity was going up the suction or drooling down the side of my face I couldn’t feel. To be fair to my colleague, the whole experience was quick, utterly painless and conducted in a very friendly and professional manner. It was also a monumental success, instantly resolving a niggly tooth that had been bothering me for weeks. Unfortunately, no amount of positivity can atone for the horror of a Nathan Carter/Daniel O Donnell playlist.
As dentists, we are acutely aware of the peculiar vulnerability our patients experience during treatment. Lying flat, mouth open, numb, wondering how you ended up being treated for a problem you didn’t know you had, in ways you don’t understand. Your only escape is to try to tune out, listen to the music and keep asking “Are we nearly there yet?”
And that was my Eureka moment last week. When it was my turn in the chair, I spent most my treatment trying to figure out how to say: “For the love of God, please STOP the Nathan Carter” in sign language. That got me thinking about the kind of musical distress I may have inflicted on my patients over the years. Growing up in the 80s is no excuse for playing songs from that decade, particularly if it’s mixed with experimental jazz.
So, at Portobello Dental Clinic, we have invested in a streaming music service, and our promise to all our patients is this: the choice is entirely yours. You can pick any music you like, to help pass the time during your treatment.
As long as it’s not Nathan Carter.