Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Better You Than Me

I have a love/hate relationship with dentists. I just love to hate them. I suppose that they feel that in their own way, they are preventing suffering and pain. But the way I see it, they cause quite a bit of that suffering themselves. Sure, we need them, but I liked it better in the old days when they were big guys with hairy fingers who were prone to suicide. Now, I have Dr. Julie who is one of the nicest people you would want to meet. She is thoughtful, considerate, gentle and one hell of a good dentist. It is really hard to hate her, but she chose her profession, not me.
Yesterday, I found out that my daughter-in-law broke a tooth. Uh-oh! That means an emergency trip to the dentist to get the repair done. It is bad enough when you have six months to get used to the idea that there will be needles, grinding, the smell of burning teeth, choking on a mixture of blood and saliva in the back of your throat and trying to answer questions with at least two hands, a suction tube and any number of tools in your mouth.
I have had more than my fair share of dental work in my life. I’m convinced it is because of a poor genetic makeup and a laissez faire attitude towards preventative dental care. I have four bridges in my mouth which translates to seven or eight root canals. I have several teeth that are just roots and posts with a pretend tooth coloured to match my yellowed natural ones. There have been several oral surgeries. I have had more fillings than I can count, and most of them have been replaced two or three times. I am a “grinder” so my teeth are really just stubs anyways, but with all of that I still prefer to keep what I have left. My dad and brother both opted to have all of their teeth pulled. I just couldn’t do that. I don’t like the thought of how permanent it is.

My kids have all had good dental health for most of their lives, racking up just a couple of fillings each in their first 30 years. Well, except for Brendan who did a header off of his bike and landed mouth first onto a steel bar. I felt so bad for him when it happened, but in a way I was happy that now I would have someone I could talk to about horrendous dental work. I am happy for the kids and I attribute their good dental health to the city adding fluoride to the water supply. There is the other argument that they shouldn’t put the chemical in the water, but for me, results just don’t lie and every dentist that I have ever asked about it is in favour of fluoride.
Anyways, back to Tara. She had her own nightmare in the chair today. I guess the tooth needed to be pulled and it didn’t come willingly. My dad’s teeth were like that, when they needed to pull a tooth they found that the roots had wrapped themselves around the jaw bone and had to be chipped out. Maybe that’s why he had them pulled, but that would be reason enough for me to keep them in my mouth for as long as possible. I loved dad, but in some ways he was an idiot. I haven’t talked to Tara since her appointment, but I imagine there will be follow up appointments and just a few more needles, not too mention very little talking tonight. I wish her well and good dental health.

Better you than me! Better anyone than me!

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