Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Good Dentist

The Good Dentist When we were living in CA, I had put off going to a dentist for a long time. There were two reasons for this. One was money, the other was the fact that I am a coward. My past experiences with dentist were never pleasant ones and negative reinforcement kept me away until I had a sudden whim for playing the masochist. Then through a friend, I had heard about Dr. Elise Daggs, a dentist in Pleasanton, CA. With great trepidation, I made an appointment. It was a love match. She and her whole staff were superior to anything I had ever experienced and due to my problems; I went every three months for a cleaning like a trek to Mecca. It did not matter if it took me an hour to get there and close to two hours to drive home due to rush hour traffic, she was worth it. The two most important things I look for in a dentist are trust and no pain. Dr. Daggs could do a root canal on me and I never had to take an aspirin afterwards. When we left CA, I grieved leaving Dr. Daggs and her staff behind. I felt a loss not only for my dental hygiene, but also because they renewed faith in the healthcare profession. When we landed in Hungary, it took some time to find someone by reference. Just by luck, I found ‘Robert Redford’. Okay, that is not his real name, but unless you live here or are coming for dental work, it does not matter. He does look like a young Robert Redford, he speaks English, and his fees are laughably inexpensive. Last week, my gums on the right side of my mouth were swollen like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloon. I went to see Dr. Redford. I have the same trust in him that I did with Dr. Daggs. He took an x-ray and showed me what was happening. There is a gap under one tooth that is WAY below the gum line and at the root. There is no chance for repair and I am going to lose the tooth. Tears formed as I whined, “But I floss five times a day and brush three times, why me?” Partly I am the recipient of wayward dental genes and partly, this is a sin that I am paying for from my teen years when dentists were scarier than sex with females. The fee for the exam and the x-ray was $10.00. Kid you not!!! Dr. Redford, put medicine on it and we made an appointment for the following week, which was today. I was to have it pulled and he would put a false tooth in tomorrow. All this last week, I was suffering with depression. I hate losses, especially those that are in my mouth. All week, I tried ignoring the fact that in a few days time, I would hear that grating, ripping sound of a tooth being pulled from my gums. I have huge roots, so it takes some tugging and the sound effects are spine tingling. At noon, I mustered the courage to go see him. As I cowered in the chair, he asked how I was doing. I said the tooth felt fine since he medicated it. He examined me and said I was lucky. He did not think that the medication would work. Then he said something that almost made me leap us and kiss him. “Do you want to wait to have it pulled until it gives you more problems?” He realize that my running for my coat meant “YES!!”. I did ask him what I owed him for today. He said “Nothing, I did not do anything.” I asked about his time, but he told me to forget it. I love the luck I have had with dentists.

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Anonymous said...

After waiting many years I just had 2 teeth pulled. I got them to put me to sleep for it - no way I was going to stay awake through that. Must admit it wasn't as bad as I feared. Next week I have a root canal and a bunch of fillings. My fault for having an irrational fear of dentists and needles and avoiding them for the last 20 years or so.
~ demonsurfer

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