First British Tooth Cleaning @ The Smile Clinic

This morning I woke up early to head out to The Smile Clinic for a much overdue teeth cleaning. The joys. Ever since a botched wisdom teeth extraction back in the day, I’ve had a certain aversion toward dentists. Luckily, my aunt who now owns her own dentistry, helped me overcome most of the uneasiness. Now that I no longer had anyone to poke or prod me to come in for a cleaning, I waited for about a year and a half until my teeth felt like it needed a good scrubbing. Finally bit the bullet, found a dentist, and made an appointment. £40 for a cleaning? Let’s hope it’s worth it.

I arrived at the clinic 10 minutes before my 9:00am appointment and found the main door locked. I saw the receptionist and staff inside, but the receptionist refused to let me in. At first, I thought she was saying “hold on, be there in a moment,” until I realised several moments later that she was in no hurry to open the door at all.

To make matters more interesting, a couple joined me on the outside in waiting for the doors to open for their 9:00am appointment. Clearly, they weren’t happy with the reception staff there either. Judging from our conversation, they had been patients for years. “Coffee break, I’m sure,” said the Missus sarcastically. “Took a bloomin’ ten o’clock coffee break the last time I was ‘ere as well.”

As we had a little chat, I learned a bit more about British ideals on teeth. They prefer teeth with character, and the Missus even remarked that she disliked sparkly white teeth as they seemed absolutely unnatural. Couldn’t say I agreed though, I love sparkly white teeth. Must be the American in me.

Finally at 9:00am on the dot, the receptionist ever so “graciously” let us in. Dear Smile Clinic, a word of advice. If your clients have scheduled appointments at 9:00am, it makes sense for you to open your doors at least 10 minutes in advance, most especially when your reception staff can see that your clients have arrived. Keeping a heavily pregnant client waiting outside your door isn’t a way to earn respect, and 3 clients waiting for your doors to open is just absurd. At one point, the receptionist even gave us the side-eye. Ugh. Absolutely horrible manners on their part. Apalling, really.

I wasn’t impressed with the cleaning either. The lady was quite charming, but compared to what most Americans are used to, her polishing method was minimalistic; she barely rubbed over my teeth with a fingernail worth of polish for 2 minutes. That’s not a cleaning, it’s a breezing. On the bright side, she was a good conversationalist and I’m glad she rid me of the tiny bit of tartar build up behind my lower front teeth.

Can’t believe I’m saying this, but after today’s experience, I honestly miss American dentistry. It’s certainly much more efficient. In the end, The Smile Clinic left me wanting more to smile about. Shame.