April 8, 2010

A Solution

...or, Dentist # 2

Above: Looking out over the city from the top of Point Loma. Below: Toothless, Spring, 2010.

Himself: Held my hand. Was Mr. Humor. Then the kind Geezer took me to Amvets and didn’t buy a thing on the 50% off day.

Herself: Saw the Tooth Fairy. Cost will be 2/5th of yesterdays prices. Replaced two worn out black sweaters with two not worn and updated ones. Worked on two pieces for the chapbook.

Reading: “The Only Way To Cross.” Fascinating history.

New: I added a link to the United States Naval Institute under Watery Blogs, and there is a new "Decked" entry on Peter Knego's blog.

Gratitude: G, the tooth fairy, and Amvets.

Sometimes I disagree with my friend MB. She suggests that there are no innocents only ignorants. After yesterday’s exposure to the new dentist, the Geezer suggested not that I was ignorant but that my brain runs a 486 processor while the rest of the world has moved on to Quad Core. I admit I’m slow, but I also believe some part of me is an innocent.

Perhaps I prefer to think kindly of others. Think the best. Believe what they say. Sometimes I seem unable to see beyond the surface. That’s me. I’ve always been like that. As I get older, I get worse.

I was totally knocked out when yesterday’s dentist suggested only three alternatives. She could pull the remaining tooth, remove the two crowns next to it and insert a bridge. She could pull the tooth and give me a partial using new materials. She would refer me to a specialist to have an implant….after pulling the tooth. All the costs….way, way, way beyond my budget or any budget I ever heard of for just one tooth.

My thinking got stuck there in that office. I was unable to see that there was no other alternative than these three, very expensive, solutions. No post and crown? No using my very good root to rebuild the front of my mouth? I became very frustrated.

Today I am better. After seeing our tooth fairy Dr. Luke, who x-rayed the tooth and made me an appointment to have a root canal, post, and a new crown, we sat for a while and talked in the waiting room. His wife is the receptionist, and she kept shaking her head and saying that now she had heard it all. “I’d hope the new dentist wouldn’t rip you off,” she told me while Dr. Luke and G discussed severance packages.

I laughed to myself. How can anyone rip off someone who can’t understand what you offer and also refuses to spent huge amounts of money. Oh, once long ago, I got suckered into believing the promises of a big man while my brain was fried on drugs. In the end, I only lost a little sanity not money. Once only twenty years or so ago, a nurse in Uganda asked for some money for his hospital. Against everyone’s advice, and after doing research, I sent him some money. Today I wouldn’t. Even I can learn from these experiences.

Yesterday’s Dentist just didn’t want me in her office. Her alternative to fixing my broken tooth was to suggest high end repairs. Her suggestions worked. I’m not her client. But I couldn’t see this manipulation until today. Today’s dentist welcomed me home.


  1. I am so happy you've found a more reasonable solution.

    Once, when we were young and in the military, we got ripped off really bad on some dental work for our son. I will always believe that dentist saw us as a quick way to big money because we would be long gone before we realized what he'd done.

    Like you , I continue to believe the best in people until they give me reason to believe the worst.

  2. There is a slow food movement so what is wrong with a slow thinking movement?

  3. I like Tabor's suggestion.

    I don't know whether your dentist yesterday was really trying to rip you off, or maybe she was just naive or ignorant herself. If she does not ascertaining whether her customers/patients welcome or can pay for her recommended treatment than that is just not smart.

  4. Dentists BITE!
    Oh Yeah, 8086 processor here.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...