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ISSUE 17 ARCHIVE - DIVING DENTIST

Celehte Fortuin

Why Moving Home is Like Pulling Teeth

Following the thread of my personal musings in these articles and trying not to disappoint my fan (come on Mom, stand up and take a bow), I will attempt to briefly expand on my article heading.

Firstly: you know itís going to be painful. How pain- ful depends on the severity of what needs to be removed (1 tooth, 2 teeth, shoes, clothes) and how long youíve had a relationship with the offending arti- cle (baby teeth, less than 6 years or that 15 year old jumper, unravelling at the seams and a bit ďholeyĒ).

Secondly: what technique are we going to employ to remove things? Are we going to go softly, wob- ble the tooth a bit, tease it out or am I to stand on the chair, knee on the patientís chest and pull that baby out (joking). Am I going to fight tooth and nail to keep my moth-eaten jumper and have it wrenched from my bleeding fingers in my final death throws or simply hand it over?

Thirdly: what to do with the separated article? Does it go into Clinical Waste or to the Tooth Fairy? Do

those shoes ship, stay, get dumped or recycled?

Fourthly: what do we do with the space left behind? Do we leave the gap, bridge the gap, wear a denture or place an implant? Maybe I will bask in the glory that is a lightened load, travel light for a while, or more sensibly, go shopping to fill the void.

Finally: How long do I wait before I can dive again? Simple answer would be to wait until healing is com- plete. Following the procedure and then depending on the difficulty of it, about 2-4 weeks. On the otherhand, if youíve just sold your dry suit that had rotten wrist seals, UK diving is no-no. That leaves us with about 8-10 weeks to allow for shipping, 2 weeks for unpacking and, if customs have not seized or burnt all your belongings, 2 days following disembarkation at destination.

For this edition and in keeping with the competitive spirit that surrounds us in the wake of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I have decided to present you with a few multiple choice questions. This is an open book test and your answers can be forwarded to the editor who will decide randomly who the winner is and whose name will be published in the online edition of Tanked Up.

Q1: My tooth has just fallen out whilst doing the site briefing on the day boat at Shark and Yolanda Reef. Do I:

a) Abort the dive, itís not called Shark Reef for no

reason.

b) Check the bleeding, don my gear and continue

the dive and feed the sharks.

c) Go see a dentist.

d) Get the bends.

Q2: Your buddy has a cold sore, and although youíve read the articles and know you will share air if you have to, what other options do you have:

a) Continue the dive.

b) Ask the dive guide inappropriate questions and

abort the dive.

c) Go diving with him, but refuse to buddy breathe,

even though you have an octopus, you just never

know.

d) Rinse him in bleach, abort the dive and insist on

his removal from the group.

Q3: You have had a reverse sinus block for the last few dives with pain associated with the top teeth. Do you:

a) Abort the dives, wait for the cold to clear, stop all medication and try again.

b) Continue the decongestant sprays and pills and risk it.

c) Donít tell anyone of the pain, stop using the meds and hope for the best.

d) Use the meds, it stops working at depth, you refuse to surface due to excruciating facial pain and tooth ache, your guide is making increasingly threatening signals under water and you get the bends.

Q4: You have had a tooth removed the day before your liveaboard at Hurghada. Your first dive ends in throbbing jaw pain. Do you:

a) Wish you had listened to the dentist and had the

tooth out 5 weeks ago.

b) Take as much medication as you can and continue diving.

c) Abort the dive trip.

d) Claim on your insurance stating falsified information about a misadventure on board, beg the team to take you back to base on the RIB, abuse the locals and continue to get raucously drunk until your return flight home.

Q5: Your tooth has cracked on a day boat trip from Falmouth and a portion has fallen out. You are in no pain. Do you:

a) Do a shallow check dive, you have no pain, con-

tinue diving.

b) Proudly show the group your tooth, ignoring the

disgusted looks and funny smell emanating from

your mouth.

c) Abort all diving, just in case.

d) Decide on going snorkeling, but insist on a guide, demanding they point out the different types of silt and floating things, all the while shouting abuse at them for the poor visibility and lack of marine life.

Well done! This concludes our MCQs, now letís see how youíve done:

If you have answered mostly As, congratulations. Youíre a bit square, but weíll buddy with you any day.

If you have answered mostly Bs youíre a diver who likes living on the edge. You know your limits (kind of) but youíre the type to make the dive guides a tiny bit jumpy.

If you are in the mostly C category, Iíll go diving with you at Shark and Yolanda any day and watch the awesome display of savagery from the most beautiful and misunderstood predator of the oceans. Other than that, the dive community frowns at you.

If you have answered mostly Ds, we all look forward to bidding for your gear on eBay soon. Seriously buddy, give it up!

Safe Diving and Happy Flossing everyone!

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