Thursday, May 21, 2009

Self Dentistry

Even for Homer things work out near perfect some days. This is one of those great days when being a man and having the right tool for the job has all the advantages. Today I broke a tooth – just a little splinter. My tongue is raw and I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Remember my tool post?
A week or so ago I picked up a set of needle files. They were cheap, cheap, cheap - on sale $1.99. They probably couldn’t actually file any metal but for the sharp edge of a tooth they worked just fine on. I am so happy at this moment I can hardly stand it. I am not sure I even need to go to the dentist. My self dentistry work was masterful and took less than 2 minutes; I even impressed myself.
A bunch of years back I had no dental insurance, my income was a lot less than was needed for dental work. And, on the list of priorities, getting a tooth fixed was right below most everything else. A crown had come off and I glued it back on a few times with Crazy Glue. This worked for a few days and then off it would come. Finally the tooth was abscessed. I had done most everything I could using my own dental skills. It now seemed logical that the next step was to pull the tooth. I worked up my courage, got my best needle nose pliers and began a very feeble effort. Needless to say the effort lacked the courage, pain tolerance, and will power needed to get the job done. For the next few days as I drove to work and at times during the day I would push on the tooth. I noticed the tooth now had some movement. The weekend came and I figured it was now loose enough. The thing about pulling your own tooth in today’s society, wives do not get it. I knew she would not support such an activity. Therefore secrecy was required. With the bathroom door locked, quietly I began my self dentistry. I was just getting into it and her intuition must have kicked in. Knock, knock, knock, “what are you doing in there?” D’OH! Pulling the t-shirt out of my mouth – a tooth has to be dry to get a good grip – I gave her, “just taking care of business, do you mind?” Well I am not sure if it was the distraction or if my courage was insufficient, regardless the effort lacked the fortitude necessary. Another week of cleaning, pushing, and gargling with Hydrogen Peroxide went by.
Determination lined my face as I came in from work that night. I greeted no one. I was a man on a mission - straight to my bathroom. Taking my Swiss Army knife I opened the small pliers, wiped the tooth dry, I grabbed that tooth. A quick twist to the left and one to the right and out it came, abscess and all. I felt as good that day as I do today.
There is something very satisfying in fixing something yourself and not giving those thieving dentists any of your dollars.
Homer will sleep with a smile on his face tonight.

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