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January 8, 2008 / TildeWill

As You Can See

I went to the dentist on Monday. They didn’t do anything to my teeth. What they did, was show me my teeth. You see, I’m going to a new dentist, Dr. Guido, who incidentally is the father of a fellow fencer I know at IU Bloomington. Anyway, they’ve got LCD screens attached to the patient’s chair. Then they use marvels of modern science to take pictures of my mouth digitally. They can also get x-rays into the computer pretty quickly. So they can show me exactly what the dentist sees, maybe even better with the magnification.

So now instead of the dentist saying “Well there’s some wear on your teeth, and some tooth decay here and there, I can literally see the gaps and holes. I can see the hairline cracks in the tooth where the old school metal filling has expanded and contracted enough to damage the tooth. I can see where the sealant I got as a kid has chipped away and needs replacing. I can see all of that.

Then on top of it, they had a laser that they used to determine density. But it didn’t just crank out a number, it made a noise when it found something hollow. I could “hear” just how bad my teeth are. No longer do I have to trust my dentist on assessing the quality of my teeth, I can see exactly what his concerns are, and judge for myself if it’s worth the cost to fix.

I no longer need faith in my dentist. I like that, it makes me feel comfortable.

I wish that they could find a way to apply this technique to auto shops and eye care places. Places where I have to trust someone else’s visual assessment.

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