Friday, April 11, 2014

A bridge across the ...

There were six pillars, neatly anchored to the ground, to allow flow of traffic over them.  Over a period of time, due to various factors, one of them, the one adjacent to the strong extreme right pillar, lost its foundation and began shaking. Despite last minutes efforts to save it, one fine day it just fell off.  Fortunately, the gap created by its fall was small to allow the traffic to still flow above.  But the engineers rightly became concerned and thought it would be in order to perform a thorough inspection of the remaining pillars and take remedial action. 

It was found that the foundation of the remaining three pillars in the middle, to the left of the fallen pillar, had also eroded and the pillars were due to fall any moment.  Alarm bells were sounded.  Arrangements were made to divert traffic for some time.  The three shaking pillars were carefully pulled down and removed from the scene.

A thorough examination of the area revealed that while the two remaining end pillars were strong, they would hold better with a bridge above them, and might weather and fall off if left alone uncared for.  The engineers swung into action.  The outer layer of the both the pillars was skilfully etched away.  Since the interior remained strong, a special full length bridge was designed with pre-engineered slot to accurately cap over the exposed interiors of the two pillars and additional pre-fabricated pillars to bolster support in the middle as before.  The entire bridge was carefully placed over the pillars, in perfect alignment with the structure that existed before, so that traffic as flowed earlier could resume.  Minor adjustments such as chiselling and cementing were done to perfection. Within a period of two weeks, the new bridge was perfectly in place and visitors new to the region could not spot the difference!

The above story is a real life story.  Only, the characters have been changed.  Just replace the fallen pillars with the lower incisor teeth, the two extreme pillars with canine teeth, and traffic with the flow of a slushy mix of food and beverages, hot and cold, this story is a reconstruction of the real tooth bridge that was fitted in my mouth a while ago.

I saw several parallels to the work the dentist does.  It is a mix of engineering, civil, plumbing, electrical and chemist work all combined together, in addition to the medical profession.  The dentist needs to skilfully grind the teeth, apply appropriate medicine before and after the operation, perform repair jobs like preparing the cement, taking impressions, ensuring correct fit of the crown or bridge or implant as the case may be, pumping water while the procedure is on and flushing the water,  blood and saliva out through tubes, arresting bleeding with cotton swabs, adjusting the height and inclination of the patient’s bed-like seat all through the procure, my God… if you keenly observe what he does, I feel it is worth every penny you pay not only for the diagnosis of your problem and the relief he provides at the end, but also for the trouble he takes in doing so!

Only, you should be lucky in getting the right dentist, as I have read several stories of things going badly wrong.  My own experience with the last three dentists has not been good – the procedure was okay, but the results were not lasting.  I hope I have finally found the right dentist in Dr Vijay Anand.


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