Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Shattering news

Last Friday, I chomped on a bit of grit hidden inside some organic brocolli.
Now you might think that if you've paid a premium for buying organic veg
and fruit, that it will have been washed with water and will be free of
any grit or soil. This is often not the case. Potatoes are sometimes covered
in lots of soil, which you have to scrape or scrub off, and items like split
yellow lentils can contain grass seed and grit. I suppose this is OK if
you're a hen ... you need a bit of grit to promote good egg-laying,

Last week, our granddaughter, Little A, spotted a poly bag on our kitchen
surface, which was full of Mrs C's organic muesli. "Bird seed!", she shouted
excitedly. Well, she was almost right there.

Anyway, (please excuse my usual rambling / diversions here and there), I heard
and felt an ominous scrunch when I chomped on that bit of grit. I said to Mrs C
and my daughter L at the time, that this usually meant some damage to my
(fragile) teeth. And sure enough, I discovered with my tongue that I'd
shattered one of my teeth (my right lower premolar, to be precise)... it
felt like a huge crater in my mouth, with jagged edges at the upper rim.
One third of my tooth had disappeared.

I got an early appoitment to see my dentist, Shema, today, who told me that
I'd broken one of my porcelain crowns. She put a temporary dressing in the
gap, and asked me to come back for a new crown fitting. I won't go into
the details of all this ... you'll find out for yourself in due course,
if you haven't had one done yet. The good news is that I can have the
porcelain crown replaced on the NHS (instead of having to pay privately
for it). The bad news is that the NHS-subsidised cost is £198.

Pensioners don't receive any state help or concessions towards the cost of NHS
dental treatment, unless they are very poor (and are in receipt of extra state
benefits). So how can an average pensioner on limited means afford any
dental treatment? I think it's is scandalous, for a Labour Goverment to impose
dental charges on anyone. I can't see the Tories or the Lib-Dems improving
matters either, as regards dental care.

I think one hallmark of someone's wealth, is the state of his or her teeth.
If you see someone with numerous gaps in their teeth or the blackened remains
of them, you'll know that they're either too poor, or just too lazy or too
scared to see a dentist.

Have a look at Simon Cowell's lovely white teeth, which I reckon he's spent a
lot of money on. Well, if you've got pots of money, why not spend it? And if
you're looking great, then you feel great, don't you?

Don't you think society is becoming more polarised, with the rich getting
richer and the poor getting poorer? Is it not time for a more radical form
of socialism to come in, to bring about a fairer distribution of wealth, or
do you think we should carry on with the present capitalist system ...
rewarding the wealth-creators while tossing peanuts to the poor?


Blogger Keith said...

What a coincidence! Only yesterday I was enjoying one of Mr Bluebirds treacle toffees when I too felt an ominous crunch. I discovered that I had broken a tooth.

I went to my dentist dentist this morning because the jagged stub was irritating my tongue. She said she could fit me with a crown for £250 on the NHS. This is 1 1/2 weeks Old Age Pension for me! I am not on any benefits (not for want of trying!) and that is my only income, so I told her that it wouldn't be possible for me to come up with that sort of money, so she just smoothed off the rough bit and charged me £20. £20 for 5 minutes work with the grinder!

I think I'll be a dentist in my next life.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

"Don't you think society is becoming more polarised, with the rich getting
richer and the poor getting poorer?"

It was ever thus, I'm afraid.

And I agree with you that it is scandalous to charge OAPs £198+ for dental work. I used to be so proud of our country and how we looked after the poor and needy.

We need a new leader and party with socialist and realistic vision. I shan't be holding my breath....

6:05 PM  
Blogger Kimber said...

Holy moley! That is a lot, but being in the insurance industry, I'd say that's pretty standard for a crown. Maybe you should stick to good old, clean, pesticided veggies!

9:33 AM  
Blogger justin said...

I think it's time the scale of dental charges was changed ... reduced to zero, except for purely cosmetic work ... whitening someone's teeth, for example.
We waste millions of pounds on nuclear weaponry, which does nothing to prevent terrorist activities here or abroad ... millions which could be better spent on a whole range of areas, such as health, education and better pensions for the elderly.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Kevin 'In Salford' said...

Justin, I absolutely totally agree with that last comment of yours.

To me the cost of that tooth crown of Keith's would have been acceptable at £250 private care to the likes of Simon Cowell, but should have been only £50 max on the NHS to the rest of us as it was an essential but nowadays an easy and cheap repair.

The cost of dentistry has exploded over the years. If opticians were charging equivalent rates we would probably now have a £200 standard NHS eye test cost, and NHS spectacles costing from £500 minimum upwards.

Something has gone so terribly wrong somewhere.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I'll tell you what has gone wrong Kevin. It's called GREED!

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Oh Justin, £180, you are so lucky.
Last time I broke a tooth in Ireland it cost €1,200 to get the crown. In France, next week I am having one done for €500. A snip as far as I am concerned.

7:42 AM  

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