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david… and no, I am not talking about my friend Gay David.

Although he is the beneficiary of store-bought teeth … and insisted that his picture here be taken with a pink sparkly tiara.

No, in this case I am referring to my dentist … Dr. Good Tooth … obviously an alias.

To understand my relationship with Dentists, it bears telling the story of the Shiney Bear patches which were given to us in Elementary School growing up.

The Dentist would come visit the school … look into our mouths … and if we had no cavities, we would get a round felt patch … maroon, I think … with a smiling bear on it.

I always got one. I didn’t get a cavity until my late teens.

Then I moved here to the End of the World in my twenties … here where they consider fluoridated water a communist plot and most everyone walks around with missing teeth from an early age.

But I digress.

My first two cavities … lower left molars … were filled by the dentist in my teens without benefit of Novocaine.  I had very few cavities since.

My four wisdom teeth were extracted … one at age 25, one at 35, one at 45 and one at 55. Not a plan … just worked out that way.

Long horrible story of the first wisdom tooth extraction … a story best left for another day … but it planted the seed of fear of Dentists.

So much so that for the last ten years or so, I have gone to the dentist literally shaking in my boots.

He remembered.

A third molar.

A third molar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, last night yours truly chipped off a huge piece of that first filled molar … lower left back … by chomping on some popcorn a bit too enthusiastically. 

In all fairness, I think the crack started several months ago since it often twinged when I bit straight down on something.

But last night was the final twinge.

And I found myself web messaging … and phone messaging … and text messaging … my Dentist who had in the last year or so made the jump to hyper-technology.

How fortunate.

Dr. Good Tooth has Emergency Walk-In Hours for Existing Patients … Tuesday Morning at 8:30 AM.

One babbling email and text mail and voicemail saying I’d be camped on his doorstep at the break of dawn Tuesday … and ten minutes later, I got the reply.


Then the second thoughts began …

What if he wants to pull the tooth? I haven’t had any teeth pulled.
What if he wants to cap the tooth? I don’t have lots of extra money for caps.
What if I start acting like a hyperactive five-year-old? I hate acting like a hyperactive five-year-old. I was acting like a hyperactive five-year-old.

So I went to sleep instead.

Early this morning I bounded out of bed … as much as you can bound without benefit of coffee … and headed for Dr. Tooth.

Determined to be as calm as possible I came prepared with a small tin, full of the “relax me” pills I have on hand … just in case.

Welcomed warmly by Super Staff, the gal who serves as Office Staff, Dental Tech and All Around Good Gal, I said Hi.

Holly stops breathing.

“Fill this update sheet out and we will get you back right away.”

Holly starts breathing and fills out the form.

“Well, ha ha, that’s the last time I have popcorn, ha ha” Holly says nervously.

“Come on to the back.”

Holly stops breathing.

“Have a seat here. Doctor wants a set of x-rays.”

Holly starts breathing again.

I can do x-rays. They don’t hurt.

“I brought some pills in case you decide to do some dental work today. You might remember that I get … a little nervous.” Holly says.

Looking at chart. “Oh, I see. How old are your pills?”

Holly stops breathing.

“Well, they are pretty old. I just have them in the sock drawer just in case.” Who knew that all drug addicts worth their salt know to look in the sock drawer? And I thought I was being so smart not having them in the medicine cabinet.

“Well, you might as well throw them out. They won’t work anymore. I guess we will just put temporary fillings in and schedule you for the real work later.”

Holly starts breathing again.

“Doctor Good Tooth will probably want to give me something when we go to have the work done.” Notice the pretend comfortable “We” I used.

Super Staff fills the gaping holes … there was a missing filling in the neighboring tooth, too.

Several x-rays and two temporary fillings later, Doctor Good Tooth walks in.

Holly stops breathing.

“Hello. It’s good to see you again. Understand you were eating popcorn.” he said.

“And I never will again” I vow.

“Oh that’s a shame. I really like popcorn.” he says.

I’ll bet he does. Probably has stock in the popcorn company.

He looks intently at my mouth … my teeth … and utters a few words and numbers … none of which I understand.

I’m not sure but I think it is loosely translated to “Doctor needs a new addition to the house.”

He leaves the room, promising a prescription for pills to relax me when the time comes.

Holly starts breathing again.

“Okay, let’s schedule this work so you don’t have to walk around with temporary fillings. Do you need to call someone to arrange a ride for when we do the work? ” Super Staff says.

Holly stops breathing. An idea forms.

“Oh, my friend is retired and will be glad to help anytime” I say, promising my friend Linda in her absence. “But next week is out. She has some eye surgery and will not be allowed to drive.”

It’s true. Fortunate timing, and true.

“Oh. Well Doctor is out-of-town the following week. And busy after that. Will the last day of the month be all right?”

Holly starts breathing again.

“That will be fine.”

Should give me time to get up the nerve for it all.

That and the prescription they gave me for two pills to take before the dental work begins.

I’m not sure, but I think they are used for elephant tranquilizers. That will work.