Friday, June 01, 2007


Toothaches are part of growing up, but after Sage's visit to the dentist I was in shock. The dentist told us that my 5 year old needed two root canals.

ME: What?

ME (thought balloon): E di ba milk teeth lang yan? Di ba hindi pa permanent tooth yan? Bakit hindi nalang bunutin? Why save a milk tooth? Bakit nung panahon ko hindi ganyan? Kawawa naman ang anak ko. Di ba masakit yan? At magkano naman yan?

Nikki told me that the reason was to prevent future misalignment of permanent teeth, so that Sage would not need braces. Also that we had two options: first, the "traditional way" which costs P8,100. And second, the "painless way" which involves general anesthesia and an additional P17,000.

ME: What?

ME (thought balloon): Ha? Grabe naman! Para namang joke na hindi nakakatawa. Baka raket yan? P24k para sa root canal ng bata?

Nikki got a second opinion and the opinion was the same.

ME: What?

ME (thought balloon): Siguro sindikato itong mga dentista na ito.

Nikki says with the second dentist, the cost is lower - P5000.

ME: What?

ME (thought balloon): .... Sige.

Being the dentally-traumatized part of the Alfar couple (my youth involved kicking a dentist, punching a dentist, shouting at a dentist - all of which bring me deep deep shame), I stayed back while Nikki held Sage's hand. Later, she told me it was good that I didn't see the blood collecting in Sage's mouth (Nikki was so tense with her maternal instincts on fire, wanting to punch the dentist for "hurting" our daughter).

But it was lionhearted Sage who was the hero of the day, braving the injections into her gums and comporting herself with more dignity than I ever had in a dentist's chair. She's a courageous little girl, I tell you.

Later, she told me how painful it was but how she knew she needed it, before telling me with a smile how her mouth was still numb.

SAGE: Dad, look! My mouth doesn't remember how to close right!

ME: What?

ME (thought balloon): Aba! Ididimanda ko ang dentista na yan! Sasampa tayo ng sakdal! Mga kapitbahay! Naparalyze ang anak ko!

NIKKI: It's just the topical anesthetic, husband.

SAGE: Numb, snumb, shnumb!



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