February 21st, 2009

wildthings

The fable of the tooth and the dentist

"Go to the dentist" has been on my to-do-list and on my New Year Resolutions since I came to Switzerland, which is more than a few years ago.

I don't like dentists. I went a lot as a kid, for orthodontics, braces etc. (I had VERY sticky out teeth and a bit gap between my front teeth - nice!) Had a lot of cavities, the first one in primary school, even though I was the good kid who cleaned perfectly. And since then it has just got worse, a task which I quite happily put off doing. I found a dentist in London and got my mouth in order before we came to Switzerland, but then lost it again when we got here.

This week, I was eating a lunch, heard an ominous crack and found a bit of tooth in my chicken nugget :-( This of course meant an emergency trip to the dentists yesterday. In the main railway station, there is a 7-day a week, 355 day a year surgery. And to my surprise, they were very nice.

However, you know you are getting "old" when your dentist is in his mid-twenties and just doesn't look old enough to be qualified to be poking around in mouths. He was very nice and reassured me. I was worried that given the long time, there would be loads of problems. He said that everything looked bascially fine, apart of course from the tooth with the bit missing. He needs to re-do that filling and rebuild the tooth, becuase the bit of the tooth that is missing is the main biting edge. This will cost and will take 2 hours in a few weeks time. I may need to have some older fillings replaced over time, but this is not urgent. He also wants to keep an eye on my wisdom teeth which are partially buried, but as far as I am concerned, they can stay right where they are.

So the moral of this story is, the Dentist isn't that scary and I should have gone earlier. How many things do I put off doing, because I am imaging a much worse, but untrue outcome? As Jack Canfield (american motivational speaker) says, FEAR means "False Expectations Appearing Real"

And now after five years I can finally cross this task off my to-do list!