Monday, December 8, 2014

Dentistry and Forgiveness

So, I'm having a root canal on Wednesday.

Please, PLEASE don't tell me your root canal horror story. I've heard enough of them in the last seven days to last me a lifetime.

So - if you're even remotely human, when you go to the dentist, what you hear sounds something like this:

"You've got some plaque building up on these teeth."
"You don't get this part of your mouth very well when you brush."
"You need to floss more."
"Try not to eat so much sticky food. We'll need to replace this filling if you aren't careful."

There's no point in lying to your dentist. She knows. She knows exactly how often you aren't brushing your teeth twice a day, and forgetting to floss, and eating hundreds of sticky Milk Duds besides.

And there isn't really much point in trying to pull the wool over your hygienist's eyes either. They spend their days looking at people's teeth, too, and they know what it looks like when teeth aren't being cared for properly. They sit down with you before the dentist gets there, and tortures you, um, I mean, cleans your teeth so that they look their best when the dentist sees you. She points out the places where your brushing is weak, and gives you your first lecture of the day about flossing. And she talks with you about where you can improve your habits so that your teeth will be healthier in the future.

The dentist then comes in, examines your teeth. Tells you a lot of the same things the hygienist said, and makes a plan for fixing any problems - fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals. The dentist is the one who fixes the problems. Then, hopefully, after you've had a filling, your resolution to improve your habits actually leads to making some changes.

Does this sound like going to confession to anybody else?
(Besides you, Daniel. This was your idea to begin with!)

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