Sue Grafton y D de “dentista”
Sue Grafton me
suena a injerto y a juicio, pero bueno, es una escritora norteamericana de
novelas policiales cuyo título incluye siempre una inicial y la palabra
correspondiente a esa letra. En su obra O is for Outlaw tiene un
par de páginas en las que muestra muy bien la mala opinión del público
sobre nuestro ejercicio profesional, aun en un país donde se supone que
hay los mayores adelantos.
trata de una conversación entre la detective estrella y un hombre al que
conduce a su cita con el dentista. El que quiera, puede leer el texto en
inglés a continuación. Quien prefiera no hacerlo, puede imaginar una
charla frecuente sobre temor al torno, al ruido de raspado, transpiración
fría, excusas, “me saco todo”, es una estafa, curro a la O S, etc.
Subrayo la frase que dice que ahora las restauraciones tienen plazo de
vencimiento, como los cartones de leche y que es una obsolescencia
planificada. Y que lo único bueno de ese dentista es que tiene revistas
nuevas en la sala de recepción.
This is great. I really appreciate this," Henry said, his tone completely
glanced over at him, making note of the tension that had tightened his
face. "What are you having done?" "A crown 'ack
'ere," he said, talking with his finger stuck at the back of his
least it's not a root canal."
have to kill myself first. I was hoping you'd be gone
so I could cancel the appointment."
such luck," I said.
and I share an apprehension about dentists that borders
on the comical. While we're both dutiful about checkups,
we agonize over any work that actually has to
be done. Both of us are subject to dry mouth, squirmy stomachs,
clammy hands, and lots of whining. I reached over
and felt his fingers, which were icy and faintly damp.
don't see why he has to do
this. The filling's fine, really not a problem. It doesn't even
hurt. It's a little sensitive to heat, and I've had to give
up anything with ice --"
1942—but there's nothing wrong with it."
point exactly. In those days, dentists knew how to
fill a tooth. Now a filling has a limited shelf life, like a carton
of milk. It's planned obsolescence. You're lucky if it
lasts you long enough to pay the bill." He stuck his finger
in his mouth again, turning his face in my direction.
"See this? Only fifteen years old and the guy's already
talking about replacing it."
kidding! What a scam!"
when they put fluoride in the city water and everybody thought it was a
Communist plot? Dentists spread that rumor."
course they did," I said, chiming in on cue. "They saw
the handwriting on the wall. No more cavities, no more
business." We went through the same duet every time
either one of us had to have something done.
they've cooked up that surgery where they cut half
your gums away. If they can't talk you into that, they claim
you need braces."
a crock, I said I don't know why I can't have my teeth pulled and get it
over with , he said], his mood becoming
made the usual skeptical
response. "I wouldn't go
far, Henry. You have beautiful teeth."
rather keep 'em in a glass. I
can't stand the drilling the noise
drives me crazy. And the scraping when they scale?
I nearly rip the arms off the chair. Sounds like a shovel on a sidewalk, a
pickax on concrete—" "All
right! Cut it out. You're making my
hands sweat." By the time
I pulled into the parking lot, we'd worked ourselves
into such a state of indignation, I was surprised he was
willing to keep the appointment. I sat in the dentist's waiting
room after Henry's name was called. Except for the
receptionist, I had the place to myself, which I thought
was faintly worrisome. How come the dentist only had one patient? I pictured Medicaid fraud: phantom
clients, double-billing, charges for work that would never
be done. Just a typical day in the life of Dr. Dentifrice, federal con
artist and cheater with a large sadistic streak.
I did give the guy points for having recent issues of
all the best magazines.
the other room, over the burbling of the fish tank,
which is meant to mask the shrieks, I could hear the sounds
of a high-speed drill piercing through tooth enamel straight
to the pulsing nerve below. My fingers began to stick
to the pages of People magazine, leaving a series of moist,
round prints. Once in a while, I caught Henry's muffled
protest, a sound suggestive of flinching and lots of blood
gushing out. Just the thought of his suffering made me
hyperventilate. I finally got so light-headed I had to step outside,
where I sat on the mini-porch with my head between
eventually emerged, looking stricken and relieved,
feeling at his numbed lip to see if he was drooling on himself.”