Friday, October 08, 2004

Nomadic Academic Life and My Teeth

If I end up as one of those anonymous dead bodies (like you see on the cop shows on TV), then my family had better hope that the DNA is recoverable because I'm skeptical that I could be identified by my dental records. For one, no one would even know which dentist to contact!

Changes in job situation, with the related changes in income, insurance, and location have caused me to have five different dentists over the past seven years. Dr. Abraham Romanowsky of La Jolla, CA is the best dentist I have ever seen -- so good that I am contemplating making an appointment with him in January 2008. Once I lost my good insurance and had to go with a dentist on a restricted list, I drove to Carlsbad to see Dr. Rabinowitz, a dentist so excellent that he had a long waiting list for appointments. Even with those fabulous dentists (I haven't had as much luck finding dentists outside of San Diego County), I have never been back to any of them on anything approximating a regular basis. Once they've fixed the problem at hand, I'm out of there; it's easy to ignore the 6 month reminder when you've moved several states away. So I go in when I have a problem: the big filling in #18 is cracked; there's pain between #30 and #31; something's wrong with the gum around #14. But then I never go back.

It doesn't help that I'm one of those people with a fear of dentistry (thank you, Dr. C. for doing the drill-and-fill routine on me when I was seven years old without any novacaine or any other anesthetic). Said one dentist to me, "Math? I always hated math." I responded, "I could say the same about dentistry."

Unless someone tells me that it's normal for a tooth with a crown to suddenly become very sensitive to cold, I'm now looking for another dentist. But if I turn up missing, you should probably tell the cops that there's a hairbrush in my desk.