Extraction at the dentist’s!


Just because you’re injured doesn’t mean you escape the important events in life. . . like going to the dentist!

While I was in hospital I did require some dental work and had a mobile dentist come and attend to that work. However, I have been keen to get back to our family dentist for a regular checkup, now sadly overdue.

Sue had been for her checkup a month earlier and did a reconnoitre to see if I would be able to get into the dentist’s rooms. She reported back that I could use the back entrance. It would be a tight squeeze but I would be able to get the chair through the doorway, down the corridors and into the surgery itself.

I would have to remain in my chair during the examination since there would be no way to hoist me into the dentist’s chair. Given the amount of forward and back tilt I have in this chair no one anticipated that this would be a problem.

I arrived at the surgery with plenty of time to navigate my way through the building. It was a tight fit. I have “puff and sip” controls on my chair. This means that I can move the chair forward, backwards, left and right by using my breath.

The controls on the chair are sensitive enough to allow me to turn around tight corners so I managed to get into the surgery. The plan was that I would park parallel to the dentist’s chair. Which I did. I was parallel but facing the wrong direction! A little bit more puffing and sipping and I was in place.

Dr Harley Moffat has been our family dentist for nearly 35 years. Needless to say we think he is a great dentist and I thought all this effort was well worth it to see him again.

After his examination on my teeth he said that I needed a small filling which could be done immediately or on the next visit.

I opted to have it done straightaway. He gave me an injection in the gum, the filling was completed easily and I was set to go home.

Then the unforeseen happened. When I tried to puff my way out of the surgery I couldn’t get the chair to move as I wanted. The left side of my gum was numb from the injection and, hard as I tried, I couldn’t move the chair forward. The right side of my gum was fine and when I blew into the straw I was like a man in a row boat with one oar, just going around in circles.

There are attendant’s controls on the back of the chair and Sue took over driving. Unfortunately she doesn’t get much practice at driving because I insist on controlling the chair all the time. Anyway, the inevitable happened and I became wedged in the doorway. Couldn’t go forward. Couldn’t go back. Stuck! Four of us were stuck. I was stuck in the doorway and Harley, Deb the dental nurse and Sue were stuck in the surgery.

We put the chair in neutral and eventually the 3 others, with a lot of pushing back and forward, got me free. Sue snaked the chair and me down the corridors and out into the waiting van.

There was an extraction that day at the dentist. I never anticipated it would be me being extracted- from a doorway!

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5 thoughts on “Extraction at the dentist’s!

  • Kerrie McFadden
    08/08/2016 at 10:43 am

    A good reminder Gerard, of the things we take for granted- easy access to dental care! However the ‘extraction’ would have made a hilarious youtube hit!

  • Liz Marsh
    08/08/2016 at 10:50 am

    The poor dentist and Sue! Thanks Gerard for sharing that very funny story I could vividly imagine the scenario.

  • Lesley Wing Jan
    08/08/2016 at 10:32 pm

    Thanks for the recount of your extraction. As I read your hilarious recount of the trip to the dentist, I kept thinking of a Mr Bean episode where he squeezes his car into a space between two parked cars and, of course, can’t open his car doors to get out.
    I would love to have seen the expressions of each person involved in your extraction! I bet the dentist had a story to tell that night!

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