So today I paid a huge black man to stick his hot tool into my cavity.

Yes, my dentist is from Nigeria (no queues around the block to register at his South London surgery) and seeing him is always quite an experience.

There is an adorable chuckling big mama of a receptionist.

A couple of skinny teenage nieces who assist him but clearly would rather be somewhere else.

And a radio blasting Christian-themed phone-ins and talk shows. Today’s theme: “Is the devil as evil as we portray it?” – the answer to which, during root canal work, can only be “Bloody hell, yes. Yes, yes YES!”.

Already not the most relaxed of patients, how could I not feel alarmed every time he shouts orders in his African language interspersed with English words? I am sorry, but hearing “N’xuloo djamé phwatee 4-inch needle” does not exactly put me in the most optimistic of moods.

While we’re talking gnashers, I’ve got a question: if your teenage son came back from a final session to the dentist brandishing a set of three fruit-flavoured toothbrushes and announced proudly: “Dad, I am going to do all I can to keep my set of teeth as long as I can”, would you:

  1. Congratulate him on his good intentions and do all you can to encourage him to keep them up? or
  2. Laugh in his face and tell him to get real?

Dear old dad. Class of 1919. God bless his ill-fitting dentures.