About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dentistry - Then and Now

I'm finally home after 3 hours in the dentist's chair. And I'm a bit tired. Now mind you, that's a miracle! And I didn't even have to take an Atavan before going.

Those of you in my generation can probably remember the days when dentists were referred to as "butchers." And rightly so! Thank goodness we at least had freezing then, however painful is was to have it injected. However, sometimes the dentist wouldn't wait long enough for the freezing to take its full effect and would blithely start drilling away, ignoring the arm waving madly in the air and the gasping gurgles emanating from our throats. Remember when the dentist would stop for a moment and tell you to "Spit!" You'd take the little paper cup of water, swish it around in your mouth, lean in towards the sucking sink and try - just drool, drool, and more drool hanging from your mouth to the sink. You'd take your shaking hand and try to wipe it away, but it just stuck and wouldn't let go of your trembling lips.

I remember one time when I was in my early 20s getting my teeth cleaned. As my teeth and gums have always been a bit sensitive, I would flinch when the hygienist would pick at my gums - it HURT, damn it!!! Suddenly, she stopped, looked me straight in the eye and said, "If you don't stop that, you're going to get an instrument up your nose!" Well, I was already on the verge of tears from the pain and to have her say that was just too much.

My late husband used to crack us up with his dentist jokes. He'd say that he had the perfect remedy for pain at the dentist's - carry a big stick and with a straight face, say to the dentist, "You hurt me, I hurt you!" Then he'd go on to imitate the "drool process" until we'd be almost wetting ourselves.

When I was a child, there was no such thing as a dental plan, let alone braces. So all my life I've been self-conscious about one of my front teeth that grew in a bit behind the others. When my kids got braces, I asked their orthodontist about getting my own teeth fixed. He could do it, but I'd have to have at least two teeth pulled and go through about 3 years of painful braces. Never mind the cost! Well, with two kids needing orthodontics, needless to say that I never got my own fixed.

Thankfully, I've found a wonderful young woman dentist who made top grades in her years at university, including her dentistry courses. She's up on all the top new procedures, is calm, relaxed, sensitive to her patients, and gives us time to take a breath if necessary. Today, she pulled the tooth out (no pain) and put in a new tooth that makes my smile so much better. Not only does it look better, but it also makes my bite straight. Next week she's giving me (at no charge) a whitening procedure on my front teeth so that every tooth will match. I am so happy I could smile, except that the freezing makes me look like I've had a stroke! LOL Maybe tomorrow I'll get a new photo taken with my beautiful straight smile.

Back then, I was so afraid of the dentist, I once actually fainted in the chair. I progressed to being able to go by taking an Atavan. Now I can go and actually look forward to my visit, knowing it will be pain free and I will look and feel better by having gone.

So what are some of your horror stories from dentistry then? What do you appreciate the most in your dentist today?

A SMILE LIKE YOURS
sung by Natalie Cole

Hmm, thought I’d seen everything there was to see in this world
Now I’m not so sure I’ve really seen anything at all
I thought life could show me no surprises
And then you came and showed me I was wrong
I have seen the bluest skies, rainbows that would make you cry
I have seen miracles that moved my soul, days that changed my life
I have seen the brightest stars shine like diamonds in the dark
Seen all the wonders of the world, but I’ve never seen a smile
As beautiful as yours, ooh, ooh, ooh, oh, I thought Id been everywhere
I’ve climbed a mountain so high, sailed the sea, crossed the sky
And still I was nowhere at all, until that day, oh, you came to my senses
And your smile, it made sense out of it all, (I have seen the bluest skies)
Rainbows that would make you cry, I have seen miracles
(miracles that moved me soul) that moved my soul, days that changed my life,
I have seen the brightest stars shine like diamonds in the dark
Seen all the wonders of the world, but I’ve never seen a smile as beautiful as yours
(smile so beautiful) so beautiful, comes one time in a lifetime
A smile this beautiful, (a smile this beautiful) I’ve never dreamed Id ever see, oh
(I have seen the bluest skies) I have seen it, (rainbows that would make you cry)
That would make you cry, I’ve seen miracles (miracles) moved my soul,
(days that changed my life) and days that changed my life
I have seen the brightest stars shine like diamonds in the dark
Oh, I’ve seen the wonders of this world (wonders of the world)
But I’ve never seen a smile (never seen a smile before as beautiful as yours)
Oh, I’ve never seen a smile before, (never seen a smile before as beautiful)
As beautiful as yours.

9 comments:

Marty said...

I can relate to your detal stories, I had the same. I had to go through the three years of braces and man did they hurt. But now I too have a great dentist. I think the technology today is so much better.

I had to have a root canal a couple of weeks ago. The dentist had this big screen infront of me, there was my tooth the size of a TV screen. Then on the upper left corner he had a box with TV on, you could watch what you wanted.
With the gas mask on, by the way my favorite thing in the whole world besides Ben and Jerry-anyway I could still see the screen. So I watch TV and he went about his business-it was wonderful. The three hours flew by. I did feel it later that is for sure and for a couple of days after.

But I for one am grateful for what they have learned or I might not have teeth today LOL

Jewelry Designs of Distinction said...

So what are some of your horror stories from dentistry then? What do you appreciate the most in your dentist today?......... THAT I HAD THE WISDOM TO LEAVE YEARS AGO AND AM NO LONGER MARRIED TO HIM!!!!!! NOT A PLEASANT STORY IN OF ITSELF!!!!! NOT A LOL MATTER!!!!!
HUGS
CHERYL XOXOXOXOXOX
PS.....LOVE AND ENJOY YOUR PHOTOS!!! BLESSED ARE YOU!!
YOU LOOK GREAT!!!!!!!!!! KEEP IT UP!!

Josie said...

Leslie, GOOD FOR YOU...! As soon as you're able, give us a big smile. You must feel wonderful.

Josie

willemina said...

Hi Leslie
This is an interesting subject to talk about...I think everyone has a dental story to tell and it's usually about a bad experience.
Okay, here's mine.
Just before I left Colorado in 1999 I had my wisdon teeth pulled without being put under! What was I thinking? I didn't want my ex to drive me home and the dentist told me that the only way I could drive myself was to be awake during the procedure. I thought it was just minor surgery and I could handle it. It was the worse experience I have ever had...The dentist was virtually on top of me prying my teeth out and I could hear the awful noise of my teeth cracking. I have to admit that when it was all over, I felt fine and drove myself home...I was back at work in 2 days. I should have gone under and called a taxi...stupid me :)

HeiressChild said...

hi leslie,

congratulations on your new smile. looking forward to the pics. smile big!

i don't have any horror dental stories, thank God, but i did have my wisdom teeth taken out about 25 yrs ago. i had to go into the hospital and be put to sleep because they were so impacted. the surgery took almost 2 hrs, and i was home for about 2 wks recuperating where my husband took good care of me. i had a good dentist then, and still do.

will your dentist do a free whitening on my teeth too if i fly up there? no, stop laughing, i'm serious.

opjlqd = ok, please just leave quietly dear

sylvia

leslie said...

Hi all, I'm just going to go to bed feeling a bit wishy washy, but no real pain. Freezing is out but there's still a bit of bleeding from where the old tooth came out. I took some tylenol around 5:00 pm in case I felt any pain when I was totally "thawed." Unfortunately, I hadn't eaten anything since this morning and I got a terrible stomache ache. Have finally managed to get some semi-solid down and am exhausted. Tomorrow will be better, I just know. So goodnight my friends.
mytzj = my tooth's jolly good. :D

Belizegial said...

Leslie,

Saw your post today on Sylvia's blog and stopped by to wish you Happy Birthday! Your smile is so beautiful, worth all the time spent at your dentist, eh?

Enjoy your trip to Europe and let us see your pics when you return.

Bon voyage!
Enid

DesertFlowers said...

Hi Leslie:

Your new smile looks beautiful. If I had of known you were going to do that, I would of said wait and come to California, because my brother-in-law is the most gentle dentist I have ever gone to and he is a perfectionist with veneers. I had him do mine, because I was missing a tooth in the front to the left of the two beaver teeth. LOL I went without that tooth all through my teenage life and was very sensitive about it. He did such a beautiful job on fixing the gap and they look very natural, which is a very big deal to him. I have 8 veneers, expensive but so worth it.

Horror stories, OH yes I remember a hygenist quite like yours. I had told her not to touch two teeth. There were two that were givening me quite alot of pain and the reason I was there. I needed a root canal on one of them. Well after the first time she hit the tooth I jumped just about out of my chair and apologized for jumping and ask her to please stay away from those two teeth. The second time she picked at them - she brought tears to my eyes. The 3rd time I hit her in the nost with my fist and said "Sorry" it was a reflex and then got up up and left the dentist and didn't pay them either. A visit to the dentist office should never be painful and I love your late husbands attitude "You hurt me I hurt you!"

Hugs Suzanne

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