My father was a dentist.
His office was very much an extension of our home.
His toy box sits in my entry hall; with the same lid that falls and hits your head when you peek for a prize so you have to hold it up with one hand.
My dad was the most gentle dentist I have ever known. (And with four brothers and 6 next generation in the dental field, I know a lot of dentists!)
Once he gave himself a shot right in the front of his mouth with the needle straight up towards your nostril, just so he could empathize with patients getting one there…
Empathy and compassion was something he did quietly…
His patients loved him.
My dentist is not any of my relatives. I live too far away. It is difficult for me to sit in his chair and not look into drawers, pull out the mirror and hide instruments… just for fun…
My dentist wants to take out all of my amalgam (silver) fillings so my teeth will look “pretty.” There is no need; he just wants to purchase another car. He has walked out of my exams in a huff just because I won’t agree to change out those “unsightly” silver fillings.
They are my dad’s!
Years earlier I sat during different stages in my life with that green napkin around my neck while my dad drilled out black holes invading my teeth and gently replaced the decay with silver. That was the very best offered in the day. He hated to anesthetize me (shot) but he knew one pinch was easier than the other alternative. I remember sitting in “the” chair looking up into his glasses as he focused on my teeth. He looked so serious as I stared up into his face trusting him completely.
He would sit back to pick up an instrument and sometimes squirt the assistant just for fun.
I told my dentist I didn’t want to change any of my silver fillings EVER! They were from my dad and they work just fine. He hates it when I say that.
Yesterday I was forced to change a silver filling because I chipped it. My dentist held up the mirror at the end and gloated, “See how much nicer that looks!”
Yep, it was white alright!
I cried on my way home from the dentist because a piece of my dad that was right there in my mouth that morning was just erased.
I hate going to the dentist now.