A Gopher in Sunglasses

Dental panagraph with sunglasses
Dental panagraph with sunglasses

When I was growing up, my mom worked for oral surgeon C. W. Littlefield. In the summer, he hired me to mop the floor, sterilize the instruments, take out the trash, develop x-rays, etc. At the same time, he kept an eye on what was going on inside my mouth, and even did some extractions when I got braces, and later when I needed two wisdom teeth removed. It is not widely known, but due in large part to his influence, when I was a young teenager, I wanted to be a dentist when I grew up.

My parents moved to Florida in the late 1980s, but they did not lose touch with Dr. Littlefield. His practice shifted and evolved, and he is now one of southwest Oklahoma’s best dental implant surgeons. In fact, last summer he did Abby’s implants, and they are a complete success.

I thought of all this when, while looking for some photographic prints for my photo class last night, I can across a pile of x-ray panagraphs, which are full-mouth x-rays made with a large, expensive machine with a rotating emitter. I knew how to use this machine at one time.

The panagraph posted on this page, which is only the center of the film since my scanner isn’t large enough for the whole sheet, is my mouth in 1983. Usually they ask you to remove any jewelry, but as you can see, I thought it would be wicked cool to wear shades in my picture.

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