You Weak Little Man

Posted by Danny

It’s almost time for braces in the Tanner household.  Teeth have the potential to become a significant focus in the months and years to come.

Our orthodontist called me a few weeks ago and said, “If DJ doesn’t want to be wearing braces in the 12th grade, she probably should get her last three baby teeth extracted.”  Since she was headed to resident camp for four weeks, I quickly made an appointment with our dentist.

So last Thursday, at 3 pm, we slinked in to the office waiting room, DJ understandably nervous.  Me, a wreck.

I’ve never had a cavity.  I floss without ceasing.  When Lisa and I were first dating we went to the mountains for the weekend.  On the top of Grandfather mountain, I looked out at the sights around us.  It was beautiful.  I then pulled out my dental floss – and went to town.  Why not merge the three things I liked most in my life at that time?  Hiking, Lisa and flossing.  It’s amazing she continued our relationship.

My love for a pure mouth and my squeamish stomach hinder my ability to be of  significant support to my children in an oral surgery situation.

With the permission of the dentist, I entered the examining room with DJ.  The nurse on one side of her, the dentist on the other.  Me on a round, backless, rolling stool at the base of her chair.

It started out simple enough – a mirror and cleaning pick.  That did not last long.

Her nervousness drew him to offer the laughing gas.  She began to inhale – she calmed a bit.

I, on the other hand, needed some too.  I became light headed as he pulled out the needle, longer than my forearm.  With a circular handle on the end, it reminded me of a small caulking gun.

The shots began – I looked out the window.  I could hear him shake her jaw – the sound of lips, spit and teeth, like a horse eating dinner.

“One tooth is out DJ.” 

Whew!  Relief.

“I’m just going to clean up the socket.”

How long can it take?  Is that the drill he’s pulled out?  Something is wrong.

“Are you OK DJ?”  the doctor asked with concern.

“Are you OK Mr. Tanner?” he asked with a grin.

My tan skin was white, my pits sweating profusely.  I need a chair with a back, I’m going to pass out.

I moved to the nurse’s computer with a more solid seat.  I held my head down as the blood rushed back in. 

Think happy thoughts Danny – the Christmas parade last year.

I was right in my thinking – something had indeed gone wrong.  Two roots broke off in her gums – he dug and he dug – like an archeologist searching for King Tutankhamun’s tomb. 

“I couldn’t get them all but I think they will resorb.”

Resorb, resorb, what exactly does that mean?   A cousin of absorb?  We can’t come back for more. 

You are such a wimp – you weak little man.  Lisa could have taken the teeth out with tweezers and peroxide.  You’ve got to buck up – this is your job now.

Dentist

Posted by Danny

It’s pathetic, but I had never taken our kids to the dentist; in fact, I didn’t know who they went to see.  I knew that the office was on Fairview Road, but other than that, I was clueless.

One day I got the reminder call – your appointment is next Tuesday.  Tuesday was piano day!  I had the carpool all set.  How in the heck was I going to get three kids to the dentist at 3:15 and still make the 4 and 4:30 piano lessons.   Why would we have an appointment on the same day as piano?  I called the piano teacher let her know we might not make it and headed over to the office, not quite sure how this would pan out.

I walked up to the desk, they were expecting us.

“Mr. Tanner, we’ll get Stephanie right in the chair, she has piano at 4, correct?”

“How did you know?”

“We do this twice a year!”

“What about Michelle?”

“You take Stephanie to piano, it’s right around the corner, we’ll have Michelle ready when you get back.  Drop Michelle off, pick up Stephanie and come back for DJ.”

“So you’ve done this before?”

“Twice a year Mr. Tanner.”

Why couldn’t I figure that out?

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