For several years now I've taken S to see my excellent dentist (I've been going to him for over 25 years). She lost faith in the one she'd had for a while.
My dentist has always been brilliant and we had no problems until last year. Then S kept closing her mouth. She has a small mouth and had never liked having it 'open wide' for long but last year the dentist couldn't see very much at all. She wasn't refusing to open her mouth and was perfectly calm. I should probably have suggested that he could be more assertive but we left it there and he hardly charged her for what was hardly a check-up.
During the year since, I've thought about it a bit. When she had settled down on the chair I asked if he would mind my holding her mouth open. He had no objection but warned me that I might get bitten. He was able to do a bit like this - more than last year - but I did have the teeth clamping down on my nails a few times. I asked if he could try the clamps that they use and he found the smallest size and inserted it sideways. S was O.K. with this and he was able to see a bit more round the back. He said they looked pretty good and that I'd done well in my cleaning of them.
I dread to think what it would be like if she had to have treatment.