{ Year of the Tooth }


Root canal, anklyose, braces,

The evidence shows on our faces.

Our teeth have been busy,

The bills make us dizzy,

(But we’d rather have teeth than blank spaces.)


I guess it’s worth a few tears

To maintain these choppers for years,

A quality smile

Should last for a while,

Ignore teeth and they’ll disappear.


“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

~Mother Teresa


Photo Credit: unsplash-logoErick Tang

{Root Canal & Cucumbers}

These are called gutta-percha points.  They are approximately 28 mm long & used as root filling material in dental treatments.

I recline in the chair, hazy and apprehensive.

“So…what will happen today?” I ask on this third visit to tackle my wayward tooth.

“So, Dr. Mike will check the tooth, and if it looks good, he will insert one of these — obviously without the handle.”

It looks like a toothpick with a small bulb at the end.  Surely the bulb goes IN and the toothpick part is the handle?

Nope.  The toothpick-like structure is the part that gets slipped into the tube-like canal behind the tooth.

I am sitting in a dentist chair, mouth gaping, praying that the numbing agent doesn’t wear off.

It’s a solitary moment in one’s life.

Bantering dental jargon flies over my head.

My thoughts swing like a pendulum between those prayers and the plans I have to process buckets of cucumbers from the garden later today.

I’ll be chopping and slicing cukes and filling the refrigerator with pickle jars.

For lunch we will eat cukes and dip, and other finger foods. Without toothpicks.




{ Root Canal Therapy, Anyone? }

A euphemistic portrayal of dental visits.

I am scheduled for a root canal tomorrow.  If you ever look up “root canal” you’ll find that it’s called “root canal therapy,” which sounds like I’m headed for a dental spa where I will be relaxed and pampered.

Root canal therapy, web definition: Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy is a sequence of treatment for the infected pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion.

My definition:

The infected tooth is gutted.  If all goes well, it’s scraped, it’s cleaned, shaped, filled and sealed.

All this is done by faith in local anesthesia – that my tissues and nerves will be sufficiently knocked out, so I don’t feel the sharp dental tools on my sensitive nerve endings.

Additional concerns:

  • I will be gripped by pain so sudden and fierce that I will scream aloud as my white knuckles grip the chair.
  • I will involuntarily flinch, twitch or jerk, which will cause my dentist to scrape his implement across my face, resulting in permanent scarring.

That said, it will probably go just fine.

All the same, I am taking one last long look in the mirror tonight and labeling all my pantry goods so my family will know “what’s what” after I’m incapacitated.

See you soon…I hope.