Four-hour trip to the dentist well worth it

Four-hour trip to the dentist well worth it

I'm a baby when it comes to the dentist.

I know I shouldn't be. I'm 30 years old. I should be well past my fear of the dentist. But every time I sit in that chair I know that somewhere – lurking evilly in the office – is a dental drill, and it is hoping beyond hope that it gets the chance to bore holes in my teeth. It is a malicious implement of dental horror.

This is also why I am incredibly reluctant to change dentists. Once I find one that can keep me somewhat calm during the appointment, that dentist is my new best friend for life. Which is how I found myself driving two hours to Sycamore and two hours from Sycamore on Thursday.

While no one would fault me for choosing a new dentist with my move to Chicago rather than driving out to the far, far western suburbs on a weekday afternoon, the key to continual dental appointments for me is finding a dentist I like and sticking with that person. I know. The last time I tried to switch dentists from my Sycamore one to one closer to where I lived, I ended up having a bad experience and not going back to the dentist for two years. That is not a wise amount of time between trips to the dentist.

Finally, six months ago, I decided to switch back to the dentist I liked, and then I kept my follow-up appointment on Thursday, a small miracle in itself. (I hate to admit it, but I've gotten so anxious before a dental appointment a few times that I've called to reschedule them.)

Happily, the appointment went well, my dentist was nice as usual and – even better – the malicious implement of dental horror kept to itself.

All in all, a four-hour trip well worth it.

• Joe Grace is a writer who lives in Chicago with his wife. It's 9 p.m. and he's too sleepy to write anything witty in this place tonight. You can write to him at And remember to like the Going for Gusto page on Facebook!

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