Day 91 Wrapping Around

March 10, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

When I was growing up, my family doctor made house calls during times when I had measles and whooping cough. I guess it is better than sitting in his waiting room, infecting others. Both he and my dentist had their practices in row homes along Belair Road near Clifton Park. My dentist, Dr. Margesen, was a talker. He would wait until he had filled my mouth with cotton and then begin to rant against “Negroes” and liberal politicians. I had no opportunity to answer which, even as a child, I wanted to. However, when I was ready to go, I was in no mood to speak my mind.

You see, Dr. Margesen did not believe in using Novocaine for fillings. He said it was about the patient not feeling what could become more problems after the Novocain wore off. I think he was probably somewhat of a masochist but I have to say that I became a stronger person as a result. During those very painful cavity fills with a loud, hot drill, I learned to take charge of my pain. Rather than trying to forget it—which never worked anyway—I focused on the pain as if it were a peach pit, wrapped my thoughts around it and isolated it in my mind. Although I would never willingly opt for this type of dental work these days, all the psychological practice I had for my many childhood cavities probably helped me go through childbirth with no pain killers, no tubes, nothing but a camera which I held to take photos of my daughter’s birth.

I love my dentist, Dr. Knox, and his predecessor Dr. Mosca. They help keep me healthy and looking good with a mouth that has been around for 70 years and 91 days. Today I had a crown put on a front tooth. Dr. Mosca had put on veneers about ten years ago but, after one cracked off, I opted for what is supposed to be sturdier—a crown. 

I did not know until recently that very early gold crowns were first used by the Etruscans as early as about 700 B.C.  By the 1700s, crowns were made from animal or human teeth but in the mid-1800s, porcelain began to be used. Since then, materials and techniques have improved. I am certainly glad that barbers and blacksmiths no longer practice dentistry on the side. 

Today Dr. Knox installed my permanent crown and, good dentist that he is, it looks just like it belongs there.

My gift today is a new crown.

> DAY 92 Negotiations

National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore

You can read my other posts on this project here:

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