Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Open Wide...

Pictured above the wide mouth frog is a small mouth bass. The wide mouth frog gets a lot more attention and coverage out in the world due to all the children’s stories but anglers do fish for the smallmouth bass.

And, I happen to have more in common with the bass, specifically relative to mouth size. This is particularly apparent at dental visits when I’m continually admonished as a patient not just to “open” but “open wide.”

Actually, dentists tell me to “open really wide.” Really is added for emphasis because wide, for the smallmouth bass (and me), is simply not possible.

I’ve been somewhat oblivious over the years to my condition except at the dentist’s office when I’m told repetitively to open my mouth as wide as I possibly can.

A few years ago Peg Johnson needed some lab patients for dental hygiene practice and I was somehow recruited as a guinea pig. When I went in for x-rays Peg found certain slide inserts so massive for my inner mouth she had to borrow smaller ones from the pediatric dental supplies at her trade school.

Now, I am not a small person. Generally I’m average. Average height. Average weight. Okay, maybe a little less than average height and more than average weight. Overall, I wouldn’t even be considered petite, except in the category of mouth size.

So, when I needed a root canal on Monday the poor endodontist really had to work hard for his money. I held my mouth open as wide as possible for as long as possible but the infection was under the farthest tooth on my lower right side, hence Dr. Krupp had a very tiny area to work within.

The root canal wasn’t pleasant but I felt validated after my appointment. It was just nice to have an endodontist who wasn’t completely annoyed but understanding of my plight. And, my dentists, Team Hoover (Rex & Andy) are always kindhearted too. I just don’t like the fact I’m a high maintenance case for dentists. I feel bad about it, but what can I do?