Friday, October 23, 2009

Thoughts from the dental chair

Best things about living in Modern Times:

1) Air travel – hit its stride in the 1930s. But honestly, who would have thought that we could sit in a chair, sipping a cup of coffee and be in a different part of the world in a few hours. Hear Louie C. K.'s thoughts as he speaks to Conan O'Brien about appreciating how good we have it today).

2) iPods – Launched ON THIS DAY (!) in 2001. You mean I can hear whatever song I want wherever and whenever? Wait, I get free Podcasts too?

3) Novocaine – discovered by Alfred Einhord, German chemist, 1905

It was this last invention I was particularly grateful for yesterday as I sat in the dentist chair trying to look on the bright side of things. The root canal was quite hard core the jaw still aches. (I was even commended me for my patience -- a first coming from a dentist.)

How did people ever cope before? Dentistry used to be practiced by the people who cut your hair!

Who knows how they did it, but people have been getting by .... somehow. The first drills were allegedly "Bow Drills." Smaller versions of the bows popular with Boy Scouts trying to start a fire. Not a joke. After that people used all sorts of contraptions with wires, pliers, hooks, pins and other shudder-inducing implements. But for me it's the Novocaine that I'm a big fan of. In fact, I think the fear of old-style dental procedures would be the primary thing keeping me out of a time machine if I ever came across one.

I know I’m not the only one lately who has been seeing a lot of the dentist chair. As a few offerings:

How to Manage Dental Costs, With or Without Insurance: NY Times article about managing without dental coverage)

A Pictorial History of Dentistry: takes you from the Bow Drill to Cosmetic Dentistry

Guidelines about taking care of your teeth and gums: also from the NY Times – we know this stuff, we just need to follow it

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