The miracle of dental care


I think I’ll just sit here (in one of those big adjustable lounge type of chairs in the dentist’s office) and meditate about body parts wearing out. I said no thanks to the offer of a magazine though I knew the wait would be longer than if it was a normal appointment, and I scrambled out of the house without a book of my own. I haven’t touched a magazine in a waiting room since I heard on some television program how filthy with germs these magazines are – possible only second to restaurant menus – unless the restaurant staff automatically sprays the menus between customers. (I’ve never seen any who did this, but have heard it is a possibility.)

I pondered the wall paper which looked like an earthquake had broken down classic ruins, parts and chunks toppled sideways and otherwise askew, bits that looked like handles of teapots or tureens, maybe a heavy but elegant cup, the lower case letter i, a grid of stones or bricks some suggested might be teeth (considering it is a dentist’s office). I looked into the lovely photo on the wall of a small row boat on the edge of a lake. No doubt from somewhere up in Cape Cod where the dentist’s in-laws live and he takes his family up there every year for family gatherings and to get some sailing in.

Ah well, in time the assistant came along and the dentist had a look at the disaster in my mouth (I had bitten on a piece of hard candy on Saturday afternoon on my way into church for the vigil Mass and the front of the right front tooth simply broke off) and in his usual cheerful manner said they would send me home looking much better. Of course in my own mind as I lived out the weekend, I imagined the absolute worst scenario so I was most grateful when he said there was enough tooth left to build on and he and his assistant proceeded to prepare a temporary crown and he even said the permanent (whatever that means in this lifetime) one would be ready in two weeks. I said thank you to them both several times, I was so enormously relieved.

My weakness for sweets and in turn my lifelong battle with poor teeth and the arthritis are some of my genetic gifts from my father’s side of our family. I am only forever thankful for the remarkable progress with medicine and dentistry and especially the skill and care of my own dentist and his staff.


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