News From Terre Haute, Indiana


June 9, 2014

LIZ CIANCONE: Dental gains came with far less pain

TERRE HAUTE — Sometimes I wonder if the “good old days” were all they are cracked up to be. I’ll give you the “old” but the jury is still out on “good.”

All this was going through my mind the other day as I sat in the dental chair awaiting the arrival of the dental hygienist to come in with the tools of her trade and begin the semiannual cleaning process. I can’t honestly claim that I was looking forward to this, but neither did I feel the apprehension of those “good old days.”

For one thing, dental cleaning was all but unknown. A trip to the dentist was to deal with a crisis. You suffered a toothache or lost a filling, and treatment involved sitting there while the dentist ground away with a slow-speed drill which rattled every brain cell in your head.

The drilling process was not cooled with a spray of water either, so the combination of heat and drill inclined a sensitive soul to postpone a dental visit as long as possible. That, of course, could end in an “extraction” which meant a shot of novocaine and, I swear, I could feel the puncture in my gum for several days.

I thought about this as I sat there sporting a bib (in case I drooled) and relaxing (more or less) as I waited. How much less an ordeal a dental appointment is with those good old days relegated to history.

My permanent teeth arrived on schedule but there didn’t seem to be room enough for all of them. Orthodontia was all but unknown, especially if space was the problem. My two front teeth were spaced like TV talk show host Michael Strahan’s, but without his charm. Mom was given a bunch of tiny rubber bands and I was to wear them around those two teeth for as long at a time as I could stand it. This was supposed to pull them together, and it did. Space remained a problem, however, and my eye tooth was pushed forward leaving me looking like a vampire on the hunt. That led to an early extraction.

I needed a lot of dental work when I finished college. The dentist greeted me with a sedative, then the numbing drugs and, finally, the dreaded drill. My wisdom teeth had to come out, too.

Yes, my teeth are original. They are far from starlet standards, but they are mine. I’ve had extractions, fillings, crowns and even a dreaded root canal, all of which hurt less than those early visits to Dr. Dixon.

So you may have the good old days. I’m signing on for progress.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Today in History for July 28th
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010