My love affair with a dental technician

A relationship with a dental technician is inherently erotic, writes columnist David Bartal, but it can be hard to maintain when the love has gone.

I have become divorced from my Swedish dental technician. No, we weren’t a conventional married couple, but we enjoyed a stable and pleasant relationship for several years. This relationship was one-sided since she –we can call her Ursula –was the one who always made contact with me.

Some perhaps feel that this sort of relationship is odd or kinky, even for Sweden, which many people who live elsewhere consider to be the global epicenter of sin and lust.

A relationship with a dental technician is inherently erotic. After all, you sit passively in a padded chair with your mouth wide open, while the dental technician leans against you in her starched paper gown and probes and plagues you with sharp instruments.

If you close your eyes, it is easy to imagine that she (females tend to have this job) is a latent sadist, with a whole ensemble of black latex rubber-wear, spiked heels and whips in her closet. My partner in crime Ursula hurt me, but at the same time it felt good to know that she was scraping away ounces of plaque, and freshening up my smile.

I was always in a mellow mood when I left Ursula because my teeth felt perfect and polished when I touched them carefully with the tip of my tongue. Once again I had survived the pain and improved myself as a result. At the end of each session, I promised her like a good boy to floss and brush with religious fervor in the future, in the exact manner she had demonstrated with a handy mirror on a flexible plastic stick.

This pleasant romance is now a memory. Why? I ask myself that question when I recall the feeling of her soft breasts crushing into my shoulder as she leaned passionately towards my open mouth with her various chrome-plated spinning and polishing tools.

The relationship ended, as so many do, because of petty quarrels and tawdry issues of commerce. She kept sending me these love notes by snail mail. It is always pleasant to hear from friends and lovers, and most of Ursula’s notes were about future meetings and reunions.

Each note smelled vaguely of mint but was written with military precision in a similar style. They might sound like this: “Dental technician Ursula has booked a time for you at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17. If that date is inconvenient, please inform us in good time beforehand. Otherwise, we will bill you 300 kronor for failure to keep the appointment.”

These notes were well-intentioned, but they sparked mixed emotions in my love-torn heart. I understood that it was certainly in my interest to appear at the appointed hour to allow Ursula to scrape and polish with her sharp instruments, and I would usually fasten her notes to my refrigerator with small magnets so that I would not forget.

But the idea of love-on-command, with financial penalties for failure to comply, awakened the anarchist and rebel in my soul. Sometimes I forgot to come to her appointments, and was annoyed to receive invoices a few days later that I regarded as malicious and petty. I eventually refused to appear at any future meetings with Ursula, despite attempts by a common friend, a dentist, to act as a mediator.

Consequently the plaque grows grey and ominously in all the hidden places on my teeth, a melancholy reminder of a delightful romance gone sour. I floss, brush and gargle regularly and hope for better fortune in the future.



Sweden to give free dental care for under-23s

Sweden is set to raise the maximum age for free dental care from 19 to 23, following government negotiations with the opposition Left Party.

Sweden to give free dental care for under-23s
Free dental care is currently only free in Sweden up to the age of 19. Photo: TT
“It's very clear today that class is an influence on dental care,” Ulla Andersson, economic spokesperson for the Left Party, told the Aftonbladet newspaper
“This is a step in the broadening of Swedish welfare, and it's very good news for all the young people in Sweden.”
Indeed, the Västra Götaland region has already trialed such a change – offering free dental care for those up to 24 – which saw twice as many 20 and 21-year-olds visiting the dentist compared to before the switch. 
The nationwide change will be made in two stages, seeing the cap raised to the age of 21 by 2017 and then to 23 the year after.
The reform is estimated to cost 223 million kronor ($26.4 million) in 2017 and 463 million kronor in 2018.
“Of course, the earlier we can get this in place the better. But there are many systems that need to be adjusted, meaning that it will be tough to push it through quickly,” Andersson added. 
The Left Party has managed to push through other health care reforms recently, including free mammography scans from the end of next summer and onwards, and free contraceptive pills for women under the age of 20, a move that will be rolled out after summer in 2017.
The Social Democrat-led government's full autumn budget, which will include more details on the dental treatment plans will be presented on September 21st.