I like going to the dentist.

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I made my semi-annual pilgrimage to the dentist yesterday, which I didn’t mind at all.  But it wasn’t always so.

There was a point in my adult life during which I didn’t go to the dentist for SEVENTEEN YEARS!  Why?  Because I was scared.  The last time I had gone to the dentist he hurt me, and fear kept me away for all those years.

During that time I would get the occasional bacterial infection from food that got lodged between my molars.  It was a little painful, but I’d tough it our for a few days, taking Tylenol and not eating much.

But this one time, seventeen years later, I got an infection that was so bad, I figured there was nothing the dentist could do that was any worse than what I was going through.

So my wife (the Drakette) called her dentist, who happened to be a friend of ours and our son’s former assistant Scoutmaster.  It was in the evening, and he said he’d open his office right then so he could see me.  Terrified, I accompanied my wife to his office.  He poked around a bit, as I expected he would, and then he said the words I dreaded hearing: “I’m going to numb you up a bit.”  Oh, God, no! I thought.  He’s going to give me a shot of Novocaine!  With a NEEDLE!!!  Aaugh!!

First he had me bite down gently on a stick which I assume had a mild numbing agent on it.  Then, it was time.  Time for the needle.  God, even the word “needle” makes me break out in a cold sweat.  But then the dentist did something I thought was odd.  He started massaging my cheek.  And he kept on doing that.  And I didn’t even feel the needle go in.  Not so much as a pin-prick!

IT WAS A REVELATION!  AND A MIRACLE!  He wasn’t hurting me!

As it turned out, my gums needed a LOT of work.  Over the course of the next year I had the roots of all of my teeth scraped out, which is some pretty serious stuff.  I had three wisdom teeth extracted, one at a time.  And at no time did my new dentist ever hurt me.  He got my whole mouth healthy again, and now I don’t mind seeing him at all.

Funny thing, though.  After those seventeen years, I didn’t have a single cavity!

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