Johnny Carson once famously said, “Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.
That is a great line. I have had almost every dental procedure known to humanity, at least it seems that way. While most are a little scared going to the dentist, I must say that I am not. That is not to suggest that it is always without pain. Today I had a root canal on a tooth that received root canal treatment 10 years ago when I was in Labrador City. That was quite an event in itself. It ranks right up there among my favourite dental stories. I saw a great Scottish dentist named Charlie, and everyone knew him as Charlie. I can’t even remember his last name. There were no dental specialists in Labrador City. Charlie explained to me that this big tooth of mine would have three roots. He would drill them out and fill them with a great rubber product and bingo bango my tooth pain would be gone and I would still have my tooth. Having had six extraction by that time I was pleased to keep a tooth. I went to my appointment, Charlie worked diligently and when finished explained to me that he could only find two roots. “Not u prrrrooooblemmm Kiiven, some tooooths unly ave tuuuu rrrroooooots,” he proclaimed with confidence and I was happy to be free from the chair and home I went. At 10 PM a neighbour turned up to chat about some things happening for him in life. An hour into this fine chap telling me his story, I found the third root, my head almost exploded in pain and I fell to the floor. The neighbour was a little concerned to say the least and somehow put me in touch with Charlie at 11 PM at night. Charlie cheerfully said from the other end of the line, “OOOKAAAY – NOOO PRRRROOOOBLUMMM. MEET ME AT THE CLINIC.” I did just that and that night I became a dental assistant. While Charlie worked diligently I held instruments for him. It was magic! At midnight I was all patched up. Where else on the face of the planet can you get that kind of care? It was awesome and I was so grateful for what he did.
Here we are 10 years later. I have since done a lot of restorative work in my mouth thanks to Drs. Bud Piercell, Dave Anderson and Jim Ghilzon, and I now add to that list Dr. Emon. In Don Quixote I am told there is a line that says “Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.” In my mouth that may very well be true. I jest about the cost of all this work, but in reality I have come to value so much having my teeth. Someone once said that “You don’t have to brush your teeth – just the ones you want to keep.” This is very true. I tell kids all the time, that my poor dental care as a child and teenager was what caused such devastation in my mouth. I am so thankful for the care shown me by the dentists and surgeons that have treated me here in Windsor. They have given me back a smile.
Today I learned what an endodontist is. Dr. Emon who treated me, does root canals all day every day. His specialty is root canals. He drilled into the innards of my #16 with the same enthusiasm with which I dive into a Big Mac! It was amazing really. He managed to find the three roots that Charlie treated over 10 years ago and ….wait for it….he found one more. “Too bad there is no oil in dem der hills!” Next week I get to see a periodontist for the first time and then back to the dentist for a crown on the whole thing. All the while I get ready to complete my third dental implant. The prosthesis is being made as we speak…or write…or read…or whatever! All I can say is – “Just Smile!”
All that drilling has left me a little tender and sore and I can honestly say that while moving a hall is no fun, I will not say – “I’d rather have a root canal than pack and move the hall.” I am so grateful to the whole crew who have been working to get the place ready for work. Jane has been at the church hall almost non-stop since Sunday getting things in order so that she can continue with children’s programming at the same time as having one hand tied behind her back. She has had her elves with her as well and they have been very good to bounce along with all of this inconvenience. I am sure that she might very well say that she would rather have a root canal than go through all of this. In the meantime there have been a dozen or more people come out and pack and move things and they have been tireless in their work as well.
It is sort of like dental work really when you think about it. We have a little work to get done. It is not cheap. When it is done it will look GREAT and will be much more useful. We may have to go through some discomfort and a little pain to get to the final result but when it is complete, we will no doubt forget most of that. And as specialists go, we have the best in Dr. Norm Becker. We just have to care for each other through it all and know that we will be able to smile real big when it is all done.
Tenderly I remain, Smiling on one Side,