I would say that in the average year, visiting the dentist takes up about 20 minutes of my time.
Let’s assume that I live until I’m 75 (I don’t know if that’s an over or under-estimation) and I’ve probably gone for about ten petulant, rebellions years without going at all, that means a total of 1,300 minutes.
I make that 38.3 hours – so in total, less than two days of my long, fruitful, exciting life will be spent strapped to the chair with a pair of goggles on while someone prods about with my molars and canines.
So why do I mention this?
For something that takes up so little of my life, I don’t know why it has to be an ordeal.
I generally don’t have an issue with the dentist. I don’t especially like having a fish hook and a Borrower-sized Dyson in my mouth but I accept that it’s just part and parcel of staying healthy.
It’s the waiting that I can’t stand.
I was booked in this week for a check-up.
I’m lucky in that, aside from when I broke a tooth while training for the marathon (don’t ask), I’ve never needed any work doing on my teeth.
A check-up for me is literally just a check-up. I made sure I was the first patient of the day – that way I could be in and out without any worries – but I still ended up sitting in the waiting room for 40 minutes before making my way to the treatment room.
Imagine if that happened in other areas of life.
You wouldn’t walk in to McDonald’s or Tesco and be asked to sit down for the best part of an hour before you were allowed to make your order or go shopping.
How is it possible that the first patient of the day can be delayed by so long?
I went in all guns blazing ready to complain – but would you argue with a man holding a miniature version of Captain Hook’s arm? Thought not!