Back in 1960 I was serving aboard the submarine Taciturn as a 21 year old Able Seaman rp3 Whilst at sea I had a bad tooth ache and on the weekend the Jimmy arranged for me to see a dentist on Saturday morning at Dolphin. It wasn’t his concern for my pain so much as sailing on Monday short handed. The sick bay as best I remember it was located on the left just outside Blockhouse. I arrived at 10.00hrs and was directed to the chair by a amazon type Wren. The dentist was an over weight Commander, he was pissed because I had spoiled his weekend. He did a very cursory inspection and said right, that tooth has to come out. My mouth was sore for a couple of days after the extraction, we were back at sea before I realized I still had the same tooth ache. The following weekend, same routine, arrived at the sick bay, same Wren, same pissed off dentist. No apology offered just another quick inspection and out came my second tooth. At the time I was naïve, young and although this dentist was either lazy or incompetent, probably both, I was too scared to complain. I had just lost two perfectly good teeth. There is no doubt in my mine all that was required was a filling, but that would have taken this lazy bugger too long, pulling a tooth was quick and he was out of there fast. At the time I respected the fact he was an officer, however he had no respect for me. Today, I have only a few teeth remaining and thinking back to the loss of those two perfectly good teeth makes me mad. If this happened today I’d have that dentist’s license. Alas. its too late now and the sod is probably dead anyway. If the meat is tough to chew I will just have to remember that fat Naval Commander (Dental) and use a few choice words. Yours Aye Irishrover!
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