Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Trip To The Dentist

I sat in this chair yesterday during my dental check-up with Dr. McDermaid, whose offical title for this blog is The Best Dentist I've Ever Had. This is a significant judgement on my part. When I was growing up, I dreaded dental appointments for days in advance, feeling such fear I couldn't think of anything else. To help me, my mother let me wear her lovely polished rock charm bracelet every day during the week before my appointment. We called it The Courage Bracelet and it helped me cope.

So, now, I've grown up and it is actually fun to go to the dentist. Dr. McDermaid has the latest technology, all computerized, and I like finding out how everything works. For example, yesterday, it was time for x-rays. A scope with a camera was positioned in my mouth and photos taken from four different locations were transmitted directly to the computer screen. This was amazing! Dr. McDermaid could use the mouse to zoom in on a specific tooth, add more light to view something better, move quickly from photo to photo, and more. All very interesting.

Perhaps my mother understood my fear of the dentist because of her own. Most of her life, she, too, had trepidations prior to appointments. But, now, she has a wonderful dentist who has even become a friend, stopping by for breakfast and lively political discussion with my parents.

To end this post, I'll leave you with an abstract (but maybe representational, don't you think?) intaglio print created by my mother, Marian Shuff, about her early dental experiences.

My Trip to the Dentist, 1994
Marian Shuff


  1. How wise your mother is.

  2. Yes, she is. The Courage Bracelet has developed quite a long history. I needed it a lot as a kid, because I was very timid. When I grew out of my timidness, Mom gave it to me to keep as a permanent gift. I sent it back to her when she had breast cancer. Later, as a survivor, she returned it. Then, it was stolen with my other jewelry during a house robbery. On the following Christmas, I opened a present from my Mother - a gorgeous polished rock charm bracelet. I knew immediately what it was: the new Courage Bracelet!