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Any of you remember the dentist played by Lawrence Olivier in Marathon Man? Remember his hapless victim, Babe, played by Dustin Hoffman?

Well, let me tell you I thought of poor Babe a few times during my four one-hour visits to the dentist.

Zemir asked me if I wanted Novocaine and I thought, “Nobody else in this country uses it, why should I? Besides, he might think I’m a coward or a sissy.” So I went without.

He started working on my bad, old, metal fillings. He replaced them with enamel. The first one wasn’t so bad, only a couple of tender moments. Right after I left the office I was able to eat, even hot and cold. It was great!

Next day the same.

It went so well I gave him permission to replace all my old fillings. I don’t know how much fillings cost in the US but here I only payed $22.00 for the whole tooth. Some of my back teeth had two or three fillings!

I wonder how much mercury I ingested during the whole process. The suction device was a little weak and it kept getting clogged up. So I ended up swallowing some of the matter from my old fillings.

Now, the last day was harrowing. That day I felt like Babe in the Marathon Man. As soon as he started drilling he found a nerve. He was cool about it. When I reacted he would move to another spot and work on it for a while and briefly return to the sore spot.

But I knew he had to return to the spot, and I knew it hurt. As I anticipated the return of the drill to that spot the sweat began to pour and when he hit the spot a tear would well up in my eye. WAHHHH!

It’s finished. I’m no sissy. Hopefully these will last me another 20 years!

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