Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Learning the Dental Vocabulary

Last evening I was talking to a friend who has worked as a dental assistant for over 30 years.  I mentioned to her that my last extraction had been a "snap".  There was a quick inhalation of breath on her part and then she informed me that when you are talking about dental work you do not use the word "snap" to describe anything good.  "Snap" is a word in the dental office that means a tooth has literally snapped off at the root, or that the root itself has snapped in the process of being extracted.  This is not a good thing.

The other word that I do not want to hear when I am part way through a dental procedure is the word "crumble".  Apparently "crumble" means I may be in even more dire straits as a patient than when I hear "snap"!  Now I understand my dentist's agitation during the first extraction when she told her assistant that she felt the crown was about to crumble and received no response other than a big sigh.

Fortunately for me there has been no snapping nor crumbling of late.

So glad I spoke with my knowledgeable friend.  When I am talking to anyone now in the dental office I will be careful to watch my language!

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