Knew Better, Did Better: The Dentist

Double Rainbow
Tuesday, I saw a double rainbow that looked a lot like this.

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  — Maya Angelou

It had been awhile since I had been to the dentist.  There were dentist complications in my old congregational setting.  Lesson learned:  No matter how well-meaning, don’t let the church drop dental coverage when a dentist in the congregation offers to “take care of it”  because if that dentist is against gay marriage, and the denomination, not the congregation, passes a “Marriage Equality Resolution” … but that’s another story.

Then I moved.
Then I got busy.
Then I was scared to break in a new dentist.
And then I did make an appointment for a cleaning with a dental office I found through my dental insurance (yes, I have insurance again!).  The first appointment was two months into the future.  Then I broke a tooth.

My new dentist is a wonder!  When I told him during our first visit that I was afraid, he said I had come to the right place.  I didn’t believe him.

My appointment today resulted in a temporary crown, no need for root canal (praise be!), and an appointment in two weeks that I am actually looking forward to.

I asked him how he got to be so good at the “chair side” manner which got an extra-special workout today with this white-knuckled patient. He said he had been taught in dental school that there is a person attached to those teeth.  He sees dental work as simply technique that he has long-ago mastered.  What makes his practice meaningful to him is treating people’s anxiety and fear, and not simply their teeth.  I was in very good hands, after all.

Wow!  Simply WOW!

4 thoughts on “Knew Better, Did Better: The Dentist

  1. Lucky you! I had waaaay to many dentists fiddling in my mouth and shooting me in the gums with novacaine as a kid. I dread going. But you've set a good example. Maybe I'll call and make an appt…maybe…

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