After a seven year hiatus I returned to the dentist’s office this morning to have my teeth evaluated and cleaned. Over the years I have had a fair amount of dentistry done in my mouth, some of it rather painful and traumatic. My mother always said that we were each born with a set amount of dental courage, and that once it was used up, it was gone. My dental courage is long gone.
The last dentist I saw wanted to do several things all at once in my mouth, enough so that I was looking into the concept of “sedation dentistry,” where they knock you out for the duration. She felt that one of my oldest fillings needed to be replaced and, since the surrounding tooth wouldn’t support a new filling, a crown would be necessary. She wanted to have the tooth evaluated by an oral surgeon prior to her removal of the filling to see about a potential root canal. All of this came to a screeching halt when I lost my job (and therefore dental benefits) in May of 2000.
Since that time I have been fearful of going to another dentist since it would mean the removal of that filling, a crown, and maybe a root canal. Imagine, then, my delight in hearing the dentist say this morning that my teeth were in good heath and that as long as the filling was holding he would prefer to leave it alone. No cavities, no need for anything more than a cleaning in six months time.
I nearly levitated off the chair in relief.
As a reward I treated myself to Peanut M&Ms and an orange soda after lunch.