Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Dentist Chair

I was sitting in my dentist's chair today and thinking.  We have come a long way.  I remember the absolute terror, fear that could turn my blood to icy water, when as a youngster I would have to go to the dentist for my half year check up.  He always hurt me. There was always "work" that needed to be done. The shooting pain of the drill hitting a nerve (injections of dental anesthetics were unheard of, at least by our dentist back in Africa), the smell of his Dentyne chewing gum, the waiting room at his offices on that steep road going down to town are all etched in my memory. I get shivers just thinking of them.  What is amazing is that I'm not scarred for life with debilitating dentophobia (it's real just look on Wikipedia).

My dentist today is wonderful.  He is sort of a family member (my sister-in-law's brother), a mench and a really good dentist.  No pain.  He is gentle and kind.  Patient and skilled.  I sat back while waiting for the numbing injection to take hold, amazed that the stuff he rubbed on my gums meant I could feel not a pin prick, and thought of that chair I so hated all those years ago.  The office today was quite busy and he kept up a conversation with a number of people, including the nurse, his daughter the receptionist, two patients in the waiting room and me (although I could just umm and arrrh with his fingers in my mouth).  The whole office had the relaxed efficiency that seems a hallmark of Israel when it works. This was all so different from the formal, starched and stiff dentist of my youth wearing his light blue safari suit.

So I ended up with one more filling. He says I have only a single untouched tooth left. After he was done we chatted about growing up in PE while he waited for his next patient, and soon I was on my way. I had spent a few hours in the early morning covering some online course requirements for my new job.  At one point I was instructed to spend a few minutes and come up with my own set of core values.  I have thought about these a lot over the last few years so the task was not a burden. Excellence has always been on the list. I try appreciate it in any form. My dentist is excellent.  What more can you ask?


oliviao said...

I am basking in reflected glory!!He is also an excellent brother!

Rene' Sevilya said...

I had the same childhood experiences as you and as soon as my Mom drove that road I started yes... listen for it.... stripping and then when she eventually got me inside I was then threatened that my Mom would leave if I didnt stop crying - which made me cry more - I know if I lived in Israel this special Guy would be my choice - my husband went to him a year ago while visiting in Israel and was suffering and in terrible pain and he says he felt no pain sitting on the dentists chair - so gentle and so professional -wel done PE Cuz - you make us proud