I'm guessing that I'm not alone in getting a little nervous about dentist visits! Don't get me wrong, I have the best dentist in the world (I only go to see him once every two years, after all!) How bad can he be? [Jerry or Cindy, if you're reading this, don't take it personally]
So what is it about the dentist that touches a nerve in me? (other than he is one of the few people in my life who could literally touch a nerve in me) After all, Jesus himself included dental pain as one description of hell, "Where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth..." (Mt. 13:42) For me it's a couple of things. First, when I was growing up I had terribly crooked teeth. Apparently the Kidd gene included coding for being slow, preferring bananna pudding, and having the same bite pattern as a saber-tooth tiger. So I had four "canine incisors" pulled when I was an impressionable 12-year old. I can still feel that needle and the novacaine going into my gums, all the while the dentist telling me it wouldn't hurt a bit. I wanted to jab him in the knee with a sharp implement.
Second, I really didn't feel like I needed the dentist thing. After all the mess of braces (and yes, I lost my retainer in Jr. High and had to dig through the trash...it was a rite of passage!) I made it through my childhood and entire adult life without a cavity. Of course, being the proud human being that I am, I took my strong enamel as a commentary on my moral superiority. Who needs a dentist? All they do is get me down in the mouth.
During my last visit to the dentist, they warned me that one spot on a tooth looked weak, and put it on a "Watch list." (Sort of like North Korea?) But that didn't slow me down. Sure of my superior dention, I ignored the warning for two full years. But two weeks ago my fantasy of dental perfection was shattered. "Dr. J" let me know that decay had penetrated the outer wall of enamel in one tooth, and he was going to have to repair it. That's where I'm headed today... to have a hole in my head filled. I'm dreading it...
So it made me wonder, what other warnings are we ignoring? What other weak spots in my life have I received notice on, but haven't done anything other than schedule a visit to de-nial? Going to the dentist, of course, is a good thing. It is part of being a well person, to respond to the inevitable problems that plaque and Double stuff Oreo's bring my way. Today, I'm going to get my fill of dentists. What weak areas need filling in your life?