Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Open Wide!

I love celebrating odd holidays.

They always seem to provide
an opportunity to indulge in something
or entertaining.

I participated willingly
in National Chocolate Week,
Jose Cuervo Month,
and Wear Your Pajamas All Day Day.

I guess I'm just loyal like that.
I figure it's just my duty to support
important causes like those.

But, I cringed today
when I peeked at my calendar.

I was anticipating something like
Cheesecake Day
or Bubble Bath Week.

But, no.

It is Root Canal Appreciation Day.

You might as well celebrate
Stick A Needle In My Eye Week
or Fun With Paper Cuts Day.
There is no way that a trip to
the dentist can be enjoyable.

I decided to look further
into this holiday
to better understand the
obviously troubled soul who
proclaimed this odd celebration.

Dr. Chris Kammer of Madison, Wisconsin
may not have originally started the idea
of Root Canal Appreciation Day,
but he is one dentist who has promoted
the holiday by publicly speaking out
about the dreaded dental procedure.

A few years ago, he actually performed
a live root canal at a baseball stadium in Wisconsin,
accompanied by 5,991 fans
singing out the rock and roll toothbrush anthem-
"Get Out The Brush".

"If dentists don't relate the message of modern dentistry to the public,
we can expect root canals and dental visits to remain the punch line of jokes,
perpetuating negative, false images of important health care,"

Kammer explains of his eclectic antics.

Discussions about the stereotypical dental experience
are antiquated because dental treatment has gone
far beyond tolerable, advancing to an enjoyable experience
that is a major health benefit according to Kammer.
"It's too bad the world hasn't caught up with
the progress made by the dental profession."

Back up a minute.

No, he didn't.

Did he really say it is "an enjoyable experience"?
Is he running some kind of weirdo torture chamber?
How can large hands inside your mouth
with a 18 horse power drill,
twelve inch pliers
and gargantuan-sized needles
ever be enjoyable?

But the good dentist says that root canals
save 42 million teeth every year.

By my calculations,
that would be 1,312,500 entire sets of choppers...
Saved! By this totally misunderstood and
feared dental procedure.

Maybe we should be more open
-(no pun intended)-
to the health benefits of
good oral hygiene.
Perhaps we should set our fears aside
in order to preserve our pearly whites.

I mean,
he is a doctor.
You have to believe him
when he says that a root canal
has become an enjoyable experience.

I think I'd rather
slide naked down a giant razor blade
into a pool of alcohol.

But, to all of you who may possibly
be excited about the prospect
of a root canal,
let me know if they could
hear your screams in the next state.

And for those of you like me,
here is a little video that may reduce
the fear of the unknown.

We must educate ourselves,
no matter how torturous.