Thursday, March 12, 2009

Smile a little smile for me!

Today was a good day, mostly because I had a root canal. That's alot coming from someone who has always stated that I'd prefer natural childbirth to a root canal any day. I Hate Going to the Dentist - at least I did until today.
I have quite a history with dentists. I recall 1959 - 5 yrs. old in the dentist's office, scared to death of everything, especially "Mr. Buzz-Buzz". At age 5 I had 5 cavities. One of my siblings has a theory that the #1 sibling has great teeth - the rest of us got crap for teeth. As a minor, my parents made certain we saw the dentist regularly. "They don't fix themselves" mom would say about teeth. Dad swore that he put all of Dr. Fitsimmons' kids through college.
When I was 16, I chipped a front tooth. "Wait until you are 18" Dr. Fitz recommended, "then your teeth will be fully grown." Little would we know that 10 years later, I'd chip the OTHER front tooth, forming a near perfect inverted "V". In my 20s, I didn't have money for dentists, but did manage to keep up my teeth regularly. Even to the point of being in Coral Gables in the late 70's and some renegade dentist let the drill slip and cut the muscle on the under-side of my tongue.
"They don't fix themselves" I knew.
After moving to Ft.Myers Beach and working for Gannett at the News-Press, I had good insurance, which included dental. I took a co-worker's recommendation and began seeing a local dentist. I remember a few weeks before my wedding (Oct 1985), sitting in his chair, and he said, "well, we'll get you all polished up for your big day." He retired in 1995. Over those 13 years, I'd had a great deal of dental work.
After my dentist retired, I was reluctant to visit the dentist who took over the practice. Various reasons, most of them stemming from the changes in my personal life. Several years passed, and I was a diligent brusher and flosser, but hadn't had a cleaning.
I don't recall the reason, but around 1998 or so, I chose to go to a new dentist for a checkup. The best way I can equate that experience is to compare it to auto repair. Let's suppose you have an antique car. All you want to do is get it running. You take it to a mechanic and body shop and they want to restore it to collectors' standards. I had teeth that all I wanted was to keep'm healthy, but this dentist wanted to redo all the work my dentist had done over the past 15 years. I left that office and never went back.
I left that office and never went to another dentist.
Until this week.
As I said, I have always had good oral hygiene. I have also been embarrassed about my teeth for the past 6 or so years. Oh, they are all there, but the front teeth are "bonded fillings" that discolor at a greater rate than the real tooth. And I hadn't had a cleaning in many years. Then there was all the dental work: I probably have a half-dozen crowns, or teeth with crater-sized fillings. A few months ago, one of those huge fillings fell out. The tooth was an upper tooth, in my "smile line" . The filling fell out, but there was no discomfort. Then the shell of the tooth split in half, with the back half falling away.
I still had my "smile line".
Until this past sunday night.
Munching on some cold chicken wings, that front shell of a tooth met the chicken bone in a destroying manner, and the remaining shell of a tooth fell away.
I now officially had a hillbilly grin.
Sunday evening I opened the phone book and scanned dentists. I saw an ad for an "emergency repair shop" boasting that they fix and replace teeth - a "one stop shop." I wrote down the name , number and location.
That night I dreamt that an ostrich stood on my head - several times.
I realized I was not facing reality, as I lay in bed Monday morning contemplating my work day.
As I was entering the office building, a co-worker was coming up the stairs behind me. I stopped and asked her who she used for a dentist. We talked, and on my lunch hour I called the office. They can see me the next day.
I went in Tuesday and they X-rayed the tooth in trouble. I was surprised to know there had never been a root canal done. They were surprised that I had no discomfort. They could fit me in Thursday afternoon.
Dentistry has certainly come a long way. In under 50 minutes, I had a temporary cap that matched my teeth perfectly. (Back in the "old day", I got a 'tin can' for a temporary tooth).
The beauty of today, though, is more than that I had dental work. I now have a dentist. My dental work is 15 and 20 years old. We talked about "giving me a beautiful smile".
A fan of the "law of attraction', my "mantra" included "whiter teeth". I now have the means to achieve my desire. Oh it'll cost a pretty sum, but, it is an abundant universe!
Today has been a great day, because I now have a means to achieve a dream!

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