Written by: Dr. Christopher Kent
In the dream, I bit into a caramel chocolate, felt a burst of pain, and a crown came off. The tooth was viable, and very sensitive. Wanting the best, I chose a dentist who advertised in a throwaway tabloid, and offered a free exam to anyone who would bring in a can of dog food to be donated to a local animal shelter.
The office was in a strip mall between a liquor store and adult bookstore. I had a can of dog food in one hand, and the crown in the other. Upon entering the facility, I was greeted by a large poster featuring a full color photo of an inflamed, purulent periodontal pocket and the caption, “The silent killer.”
The dog food was tossed into a bin with many other cans, and I was asked to complete a history. The receptionist seemed uninterested in the fact that I came because of the detached crown, and mechanically recited what was obviously a memorized script. I was then ushered into a little room.
I mistakenly thought that this might be to consult with the doctor, but no. I was to watch a video. It talked about the history of dentistry, early skirmishes with medicine, how well trained dentists are, the relative merits of the odontological vs stomatology models of dental education, and research on the relationship between inflamed gums and heart disease.
Finally, I was escorted into an operatory, hoping to see the dentist. No such luck. A hygienist appeared, took a full mouth series of x-rays, and handed me a brochure assuring me that a dentist was a real doctor, with a chart comparing the hours of dental education with hours of medical school. I never had doubts about the education of dentists until then.
They took me back into the little room where I saw the video. The dentist entered the room, vigorously pumped my arm with a two handed handshake, and looked like he might try to hug me if I hadn’t backed away. He threw the x-rays onto a view box, and outlined the need for a full mouth restoration. This would likely last a lifetime, and stave off the silent killer. The cost would be quite affordable, based on monthly payments on a dental care credit card. Little did I know that while the video and x-ray rituals were carried out, I had been qualified for the card.
I mentioned the crown. That would be taken care of in the full mouth restoration, I was assured. Could he just cement the crown back on? I was told that such services were available as a courtesy to people who underwent the full mouth restoration, but were not offered separately. “We want a lifetime relationship with you. If you make a commitment to oral health, we make a commitment to you.” He thrust a contract and pen into my hand. I bolted.
I was now outside, down one can of dog food, and still in pain. There was a dollar store next to the liquor store. I bought a tube of crazy glue for $1 and replaced the crown myself.
Then I woke up.
Christopher Kent is a chiropractor and an attorney. He is the owner of On Purpose, LLC, and president of the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation. A 1973 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, he is a Diplomate and Fellow of the ICA College of Chiropractic Imaging. Dr. Kent is known within the chiropractic profession for his dedication to integrating the science, art, and philosophy of chiropractic for doctors and students of chiropractic. He was awarded Life University’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Dr. Kent is former chair of the United Nations NGO Health Committee, the first chiropractor elected to that office.
To learn more about the On Purpose program and what it can do for you, visit http://www.chiroonpurpose.com. For information concerning the online Advanced Subluxation Training course, visit http://www.claast.com.