The clientele of the Grove Tavern witness the historic unveiling of the new hand-painted inn sign. A mix up with Blogger prevented me from including this picture in yesterday's post. But that an event of such importance occurs so seldom in our quiet village area of Tunbridge Wells, has encouraged me to persist, as indeed has Barrett Bonden's lament for the disappearing pubs of his county of Herefordshire See yesterday's comments).
Dentists have not, until recently, been drawn into a search for new customers or had to use the techniques known for want of a better word as "marketing". But what is marketing if it is not the message outside the dental practice in the High Street? The name, for example, Gentle Dental is an immediate challenge to those who fear the drill more than the toothache. Additional words appeal to the other attraction of dentistry apart from freedom from pain - vanity. "Dentistry to make you smile", it says and reinforces the assertion with the words: "Inspirational smiles Inspirational dentistry. Step inside to make an appointment."
Now is the season when the prolific and energetic clematis montana rubens, having flowered in the spring, begins to grow, sending its tendrils out on missions of aggression and conquest. We usually see it clambering over walls and fences and up trees, but today, I encounter one that has nowhere to climb and instead creeps along some paving looking frantically for an upright support to help it up to the sun.
There is, of course, another painful aspect of dentistry that appears to have been overlooked in this blaze of self-regard. Cost. Mrs BB and I are on a Denplan scheme that comes to just under £500 a year. In a country that claims to provide Welfare State, goddamn socialistic sperm-to-worm care. In the years when I had a rental TV a breakdown was almost a gratifying occurrence; one felt one was getting value. Alas, the same (illusory) pleasure does not hold true for tooth care.
Offering pain-free dentistry is surely a risky business. My quarterly hygiene visits are bearable but cannot be described as devoid of pain. Tunbridge Wells is a place where middle-class quiescence cannot be relied upon (Remember the Poll Tax riots!). Could a lawsuit be imminent?
I attend the same dentist in Sevenoaks who has managed my teeth for the last 30 years. He is a New Zealander. I was originally a National Health patient but he gave up the National Health on account of his success and the tedium of paper work. So I now pay him. I know nothing about the place in the High Street but like you view its enticements with suspicion. I have a neighbour, a retired surgeon, who had structural changes made to his teeth in Poland, which he found less expensive than any he could find here and, he maintains, as good.
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