A few weeks of avoidance, finding the most convenient inconvenient time and getting to work late, all to be elevated back in a fancy chair and have random metal tools prodded around your mouth. Does anyone actually like going to the dentist?
No, me neither, especially not when I’m abroad but I thought it was about time I got this chore over and done with, so I finally picked up the phone and booked an appointment. Do you remember language classes when you were at school? Every time I make an appointment or order food at a restaurant, for example, it always takes me back to that time. You know, where you learn those routine sentences for practical situations, “Je voudrais…” “Yo quiero…” “Ich nehme….”? Well, they seem to be coming in handy!
This was my first trip to a German dentist and I was actually feeling a bit nervous…
1) It was well overdue
2) My German skills do not extend as far as advanced dental vocabulary
3) My friend visited from London last week and I have definitely been eating too many of the Percy Pig sweets I asked her to bring me
I even caught myself looking up the word ‘teeth’ as I followed the blue Google Maps man to the surgery. Come on Alisa, pull yourself together!
Anyway, I headed up to reception, filled out the standard first-timers form and tried not to focus on that metallic aftertaste that lingers even after you’ve rinsed your mouth.
I must say that I was actually quite impressed: There’s a framed painting on the ceiling to look at whilst your mouth is being invaded, I got a nice professional clean, and the friendly staff did a great job of explaining everything to me.
I honestly felt relieved. Not because I was actually worried about my teeth, but because I could really see the progress in my language skills. Being abroad puts you in so many new situations where you experience ‘firsts’, forcing you to broaden your vocabulary and make sense of what is being said, even if you haven’t used the words before. By the way, I actually learnt the word ‘teeth’ Zähne when I was about 12 haha! My first trip to the dentist in Germany was definitely a ‘time to step out of your comfort zone, Alisa’ moment and it was almost rewarding.
I left the dentist with a big smile on my face (although it was inconvenient and I was late to work) and I can’t say I’m actually looking forward to going back but it won’t take me as long to book an appointment as it did the first time round.