The War for Tooth and Justice

LIGHTLY

GOING to the dentist is not a fun topic, maybe, but since it comes into the experience of most people it should be worth a few lines. What is hard for me to understand is that I rather like my dentist even though he is far too cheerful a person to be in the business. His only fault is a tendency to ask questions when he has two hands and a lot of machinery in my mouth. Also, occasionally he gasps in horror when he looks toothward and cries out to his assistant, ``Good heavens, come here and look at this!'' The reason for ``this'' may be that since going to the dentist fills me with stark terror, I don't go very often.

My latest dental trip had some strange results. His attractive assistant, who is far too nice a girl to be what I call a drill sergeant, put a temporary aluminum cap on a tooth and when I got home I discovered whenever I closed my mouth I got an electric shock. As a result I've had to go around town with my mouth open.

Friend wife, who usually has her mouth open more than I do, has been making unnecessary remarks, such as, ``You look like a walking Venus flytrap'' or ``If you are gong to say something, go ahead and say it!'' I realized that the only way I was going to prove the condition I was in was to hold a light bult in each hand and clamp my jaws shut.

I lost my nerve at the last minute.

Fortunately I'm not as bad off as a friend of mine. Many years ago he claimed he got radio signals in his teeth, including a bit of opera music now and then. But he had to keep his mouth shut because he thought other people might be distracted by the high notes. The worst that happened to me is that my teeth whistle whenever I face into the wind and my mouth fills up with gnats.

It will all come to an end soon, I am told, when I get the aluminum cap replaced with a permanent one. I certainly hope so. I'm beginning to feel like Odd Job of Goldfinger fame.

Really, it's almost enough to drive a person to extraction.

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