One of the great streaks in dental hygiene was broken today. After 31 years, I got my first fillings. I don't think Dr. Lev grasped the enormity of this. See, when I was a kid my then-dentist, Dr. Audino, used to finish a typical checkup by saying, "Danny [he's the only person who calls me that], you're perfect again. No cavities. You and your brother both. It's amazing. I tell everybody that you guys are my best patients." That's right, the best.
Well, all that's over now.
I wish I could at least wear as a badge of honor the fact that I got these two fillings with no Novocaine, but Dr. Lev said it wasn't a big deal.
--"When I was a boy, nobody got the injections."
--"Where was that?"
--"In Russia. It didn't matter how much you screamed."
Maybe Dr. Lev just has a different bedside manner. While Audino relied on effusive praise and a sense of near-awe, Dr. Lev builds a guy up by dismissing heroism as just everyday strength. No Novocaine? No problem. (Example #2: you don't usually hear a dentist tell you, "Don't mind my brute force.")
And when it was over:
--"That wasn't so bad."
--"I'm glad you enjoyed it."