I’ve had an issue with my teeth since I’ve been a little girl. I had what were called “soft teeth” which meant that I was cavity prone. Coupled with the fact that I ate a lot of candy, going to the dentist was an ongoing chore and very unpleasant. My dentist never gave me any type of numbing medicine and I’m certain most of you know they were around fifty years ago. He actually removed a nerve from my tooth which landed me in the emergency room of a local hospital that night because the pain was so excruciating. The one thing I remembered the most about this dentist was the green plastic awnings outside his building. I would shutter the moment I noticed them at each appointment. After I grew up, moved away and used other dentists I was told that based on the work in my mouth, the dentist I used was undeniably a sadist.
I know that I’ve written about the hip replacement I had last December 2014, but I never mentioned that almost immediately after the surgery I needed implants and caps for most of my mouth. I was extremely bummed about it but was determined to find the best dentist for this extensive work. I saw several local professionals but the options weren’t all that great and extremely expensive. One local dentist told me the work would take seven years to complete to which I replied “I’m 64, I could be dead by then”.
I was told of an excellent dentist in Brooklyn in my old neighborhood. The office was actually around the corner from the sadist I used to see. Really? Couldn’t he be someplace else? I decided to grin and bare it (a poor choice of words) so I visited him several times over the course of a few months to have the work completed. (He did an excellent job!)
What I thought I would dread so much turned out to actually be a positive, fun experience because I decided to revisit my childhood on each trip. I visited my old house, elementary and junior high schools, areas I frequented and I found myself looking forward to visiting my dentist, even though it meant driving past those green plastic awnings of my tormentor which miraculously had not changed in over fifty years.
On my last visit a couple of weeks ago I decided to go to Nathan’s in Coney Island, an old favorite of mine. Here I am pigging out, enjoying the moment, feeling like a kid again. You can put a positive spin on almost anything with a little imagination.