Life & Culture

A trip to see my dentist, Dr Kavity

Peter Rosengard needs a new dentist. Will Dr Kavity fill the gap?


As soon as Lockdown Number One ended I went for my long overdue check-up with a new dentist.

I waited for 20 minutes in the huge, deserted waiting room. Finally the receptionist came in. “Mr Rosenblum, he’s ready for you now.”

I looked round the room. “I don’t think Mr Rosenblum is here”, I said.

“You aren’t Mr Rosenblum?”

“No, I am Mr Rosengard, I’m an entirely different Jewish person. Names are important in life… and in death! If you’re an undertaker, just one wrong name on one coffin and you’re out of business,” I said.

“Mr Rosenberg, I’m a dental receptionist, we don’t do dead people’s teeth. Please take the lift to the third floor.”

As I got out of the lift into the corridor my way was barred by the masked dentist and his masked nurse. He held a clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other.

“Mr Rosenkrantz, we first need to do your Covid pre-screening”, he said.

“Can’t we do this sitting down in your surgery?” I asked.

“No, I’m afraid not”, he said.

“OK… but you’re too… too close.”

“I‘m a metre away,”, he said.

“I don’t think so!” I said and, putting my hand into my coat pocket, I whipped out my extendable metal tape measure.

“Don’t move!” I said, unfurling it towards him.

“Hah! Just as I thought … 32 INCHES! OK… BACK OFF! Four more inches please.”

I’m on to a big money maker here, I thought — the latest indispensable gadget, the Extendable ‘COVID BACK OFF!’ Social Distancing Tape Measure. OK, I might have to work on the name a little.

After ten more minutes of questions I cracked and confessed that I’d had measles when I was seven, but we were only half way through the longest questionnaire in medical history.

“I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. I’ve got hallux rigidus in my big toe. I can’t stand up any longer! I’m going — goodbye!”

I turned round, got back in the lift and went home.


Last Wednesday

I go to my new new dentist to have a molar extracted. I don’t really need to have it out but Lockdown Two has just ended — I’ll do anything for a bit of company.

“It’s the second on the left from the back — on the bottom row,” I tell him as I’m lowered into a horizontal position. I like to make sure. Whenever I get on a plane — let’s say to New York — in the cabin doorway I always stop and ask, “Captain is this the flight to New York? New York in the USA?” If he says he hasn’t made up his mind yet I turn round and go home. I’d once read about a man flying home to Melbourne who ended up in Melbourne, Florida.

My new dentist’s name is Kavity. Trust me on this.

“You had to be a dentist, didn’t you, Kavity?” I say. “You really didn’t have any choice in the matter. Accountancy just wouldn’t have worked for you.”

OK, so his name is Kavit — but who could resist it?

I tell him that my longtime dentist (recently retired) once told me that when he had his own molar out he’d opted for a general anaesthetic. “I’m a wuss!” he’d said. “Me too,” I say to Kavity and book myself an anaesthetist.

The very next day he sends me his invoice, to be paid up front.

“Have you ever heard of a doctor who charges you before you see him? Wouldn’t that be like a restaurant where you pay before you eat?” I ask my friend Howard on the phone.

“Anaesthetists aren’t stupid. He’s going to put you to sleep, so he wants the dosh up front just in case you don’t wake up afterwards. Of course then you could always sue him.”

“How does that work Howard? I’d be dead. Dead men don’t sue.”

“Kavity, how long will it take you to get it out?” I ask as he prepares his drill. “ Forty-five minutes”, he said.

Forty-five minutes!

“Please don’t talk, Mr Rosengard. You almost removed my finger.”

I closed my eyes and tried not to clench my teeth.

Five minutes later there was total silence.

I opened my eyes. “What’s happened?”

“It’s out”, he said.

“You’re kidding me Kavity! I didn’t feel a thing. Hey — you really are ‘King Kavity’… Look, while you’re at it, I’ve got some time to kill. Help yourself, take some more out… feel free.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive