Comparing Modern Dentistry to The Vintage Home made "Do-it-yourself" Dentistry

Tooth extraction: A dreadful foe to face

(Writer’s note: During a comment on my hub, “How I Screwed-up a Dream Job: Being a Tour Guide,” a cherished-follower, Homeplace Series made a great statement that “this” hub was a bit long, and he was right. On some pieces, I do get carried-away, but not with this one. I am starting a new experiment: Shorter, More-Enjoyable Hubs. And I thank you sincerely, Homeplace Series. Kenneth).

To my knowledge, one of the most-dreaded, fearful events to face mankind is not being eaten alive by a giant stingray, cut-down by a Martian ray gun, or captured by an unknown species called, Giant Ant Creatures. No. These are childish-fears. Things seen in comic books. But the fear I am referring to is: Having to have a tooth extracted, or in my rural terms, pulled. The fear is real. And very adult.

Dentist's office circa 1950--girl getting tooth extracted with no anesthesia

Harsh drugs were once used to numb the pain of tool extraction

"I" have met dental pain and it is not fun

This pain I should know well. About five years ago, I had seven teeth pulled at one sitting. I didn’t know much about the actual pulling thanks to all of the anesthetic-gas and some powerful little green pill my dentist gave me that put me somewhere outside our universe. But when all of the anesthetic-gas and effects from the little green pill wore off, my wife laughed until she cried and said that “I” was a real one-man show lying in the dentist’s chair.

She named a few comical statements I made, but if it is all the same to you, I had just as soon to forget that event.

Reasons vary why a tooth should be extracted. From having an abscessed tooth to a tooth that cannot be capped or crowned. But with today’s painless-dentistry, there is hardly any pain to speak of while the tooth is being extracted. So kids, do not fear going to the dentist for your yearly-check-up. By getting this annual once-over by your family dentist, you can avoid extractions later.

A look at "Gradma D.D.D."

Dental Medicine: The journey

People in the olden days did not have powerful anesthetics to kill the pain of tooth-pullings. No, sir. These folks were tough as Oak trees. In fact, I have a photo to the right of a small girl circa 1950 allowing a dentist to pull her tooth without any pain-killer. You read it right. No pain-killer. And this was in the “modern” ‘50’s.

I can make an educated guess that the only anesthetic the folks of olden times had was liquor or moonshine. Speaking of that. These people, tough as nails, knew how to distill a liquor that with a few sips, a man, woman or child didn’t care if their entire set of teeth were being pulled. This whiskey was that strong.

So what happened? Did he just out-grow or just get too civilized to use our own “hands-on” methods of pulling teeth? I would think that it had something to do with infection and the death rate getting higher with these vintage dental methods.

Dentistry seen in olden days

"Homemade Dentistry": Worth a second look

I think that we would have already went back to “home-made dentistry,” with everyone being so sensitive about the cracking Ozone layer and air pollution because even with a mask over the face, a certain, unseen amount of this “laughing gas,” some dentists call it, can escape into our valuable air causing a certain amount of air pollution and adding to the breaking-up of our Ozone layer. I for one do not want to be at blame for committing either transgression.

Before you read my “Do-it-yourself” tooth-pulling, maybe this dental-economic fact will get your attention: We have 32 teeth. Among these teeth are 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars (including 4 wisdom teeth). Now just what if all of your teeth were to be extracted, do you realize how much it would cost you? At $75.00 per tooth, that adds up to: $2,400.00 (ior more depending on the dentist. And even with ObamaCare, you are still going to “fork out,” some of your own bucks, so that is just something to think about.

Now, take a look at these unorthodox methods of extracting teeth and see if it wouldn’t be safer to pull teeth using one of these ways than endangering the air that we breathe or even worse, causing our Ozone layer to vanish.

Traditional teeth-pulling with a string

A tooth can hurt so much that people resort to tools found in their homes to extract the tooth

Using a motorbike to pull a friend's tooth may be fun, but is not recommened

Pulling teeth with a bow and arrow

Casual tooth extracting

There's more to tooth-extraction than meets the hand

Traditional String Teeth-Pulling – is when you tie a piece of string around the aching tooth, attach the other end of the string around a doorknob and when the door is slammed, out comes the bad tooth. Yay! No more pain! Your gums might bleed just a little, but look at the savings. And you haven’t polluted the air or hurt the Ozone layer.

Dare-Devil Teeth-Pulling – tie the string (or piece of yarn) around the tooth, then tie the other end to a small tree. Then jump off this high bank and you can act like a paratrooper as you fall to the ground and then be free of the bad tooth once you land. What fun to save big bucks on pulling your teeth.

Animal Involvement Tooth-Extraction – oh, this one is big fun. Stand perfectly-still as your friends or parents tie the loose end of the string that is attached to your tooth to the tail of your family mule who is content to stand and eat from a bag of feed attached to his head. Then count to three and lovingly-slap the rump of the mule and yell, “Hyaaaa,” and as soon as the frightened-mule takes off like a Saturn Five rocket, your tooth will be out of your gums and out of your life. What a great way to make tooth-pulling a family-affair.

Crank-The-Lawnmower – an easy-but-fun way to pull an irritated tooth. Let your sibling or siblings take turns yanking the piece of string as if cranking a lawnmower to pull the tooth that has caused you much pain. Not as exciting as allowing the family mule to do the pulling, but still, your siblings will feel a part of this historical-moment in your life.

The George Foreman Method – go up to a street bully and intentionally make fun of him in front of his gang members. Dare him to hit you on the side of the face where the tooth needs pulling. When he lays you out with a great right cross, you will awaken with no bad tooth and a gang of hoodlums laughing at you. But you will not be irritated by that painful tooth.

Model Airplane Dentistry – tie the string to a remote-control plane and as the plane takes off, so will your tooth. And the plane’s owner just might let you play with his plane for a moment. Isn’t “Home-made Dentistry” fun?

The Bret Favre Tooth-Pulling System – retired NFL super-star, Bret Favre who quarterbacked the Green Bay Packers and later, The Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets, lives in a plush area of Gulfport, Miss. All you do is find where he lives. Get an appointment to talk to him. Tell him how great his arm was at Lambeau Field. His ego will take over and he will be “putty in your hands.” Then with the film crew of ESPN and Stuart Scott hosting this historical-event of you getting your tooth pulled by Bret Favre, you tie the string around your annoying tooth and the other end around a regulation-size football. Have Bret to throw a bomb like he did in his glory days and then get ready to pose with him on camera as Stuart Scott interviews Favre first as the first retired NFL quarterback ever, to throw a bomb and pull someone’s tooth at the same time. Scott will ask you, “How do you feel?” You smile and open wide showing the empty space where the painful tooth once sat. What a great day to have a tooth pulled.

Note: Kids, do not try any of these tooth-pulling methods without parental supervision. And adults, do not try any of these methods without a licensed D.D. M. present.

And needless to say, this piece is all comedy—not intended to make light of the American Dental Association.

On Deck . . . “Harmless Pranks We Pulled at The Ford Drive-In"

This man used channel locks to pull his teeth

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Comments 23 comments

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Darla Dollman 2 years ago

Eww! I think this is disgusting! So I shared it with all my friends...

Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

Ah, I remember the days... another gem... images are priceless, both pictures and the word! ;-)

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

Ohmyouch! I had py of teeth pulled by the dentist when I was a child. These methods might have been more fun. By the way, you are a tease to not share your commical statements. ;)

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Darla Dollman 2 years ago

My son used to tie a string around my daughter's teeth, then tie the other end of the string around the doorknob, then slam the door. Of course they'd do this while I was cooking dinner or out of the room. They thought it was funny--still gives me chills!

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Darla,

I like the way you say, Ewww! Oh, you are sharing this with friends? You are a super-nice writer, friend, and follower.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

@ Darla again,

Ahhh, sons and the adventures they have. Do you think that I covered this subject enough?

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author


Thanks for your sweet comment.

Me? A tease? Well, my dear. I might put those comments in a "Note" at the bottom of a future hub and name you in the reason I am writing the note to begin with.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Homeplace Series,

"Thank you sincerely for your very kind remarks. I do so appreciate what you say about my brand of bringing common things in life to light.

I appreciate All of my Cherished Followers/Friends.

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Darla Dollman 2 years ago

Kenneth, I think you did just fine. In my opinion, an article should be as long as it needs to be to thoroughly cover the topic. When I work as an editor I do not tell writers their work should be shorter because readers prefer short articles because that's not true. I don't tell them to write longer articles because that's the new trend. I tell them to thoroughly explain the topic in a way that will entertain the reader and keep that reader coming back for more. I think you do just fine. :-)

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Darla,

No, thank you for this intelligent advice. I am beholding to you, my dear friend.

I am going to experiment with my next project . . .ooops, cannot say too much. Have to keep the "lid on it" for now.

Talk to you later.

Be sane. Be cool.

carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Funny and interesting hub ! :). It is amazing how so much gas changed. Thank you for sharing.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 years ago from Texas

LOL. Sure, why not?

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Just disgusting -- I loved it!

carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

I meant to say its amazing how much has changed :)

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear carrie,

My mind easily deciphered your encrypted comment. Thank you for the input and I cherish your comments as well as those made by all of my beloved followers.

Take care and come again.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, shanmarie,

Well, let's see . . .I have a piece coming out soon about "How Not to Act at Arts, Crafts and Music Festivals," so I can post them at the bottom.

That is if you will remind me.

Thanks so much for the warm visit.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author


That is the second usage of the word "disgusting," so now we have a mystery to solve; Disgusting: What did Eric Mean? Time for Don Diamond to investigate.

No, seriously. Thanks so much for stopping by. See you all soon.

belleart profile image

belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

Holy cow this brought back some unpleasant memories. I always hated the dentist, I had two teeth removed via string attached to the door handle when I was about 12.....also used string to get rid of a mole though, so obviously my parents thought string was the answer to everything!

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, bellart,

LOL. Mine did too. And the worse a medicine tasted, the better it worked. Thank you, dear friend, for the lovely comment. You made me smile and today, I needed one.

God bless you richly and please keep in touch with me.

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sheilamyers 2 years ago

ROFL!!!! The only time I remember using the "string method" is when I was a little kid. That was the way my mom always yanked out the loose teeth that seemed too stubborn to just fall out by themselves. As for the other methods for other tooth problems ... I'm all for protecting the environment, but if I ever need a tooth pulled, I don't care how big the ozone hole gets. Give me the gas!

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear sheilamyers,

LOL. You got it. And honestly, I am with you. Give it the gas. I remember well when I was a boy when a tooth would get loose. I dreaded that time when my dad would tie sewing thread around it and say, "Close your eyes and count to three," when I made it to TWO, he would yank and the tooth would fly out of my mouth.

I did make fifty-cents.

Thank you for the kind comment.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I can remember once my sisters and I tried the string-tooth-pull act. It didn't work but it kept us entertained and busy for the morning. If only my mom had known! Your post is filled with great humor and enjoyable to read.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Dear teaches12345,

I am so glad that you enjoyed this piece. That makes me very happy. I confess. With every hub I write, as I am hitting the keyboard one thought runs through my mind continually . . ."I wonder if my followers will like this one?"

And when you do, I am so happy.

God bless you in all areas of your life and come back anytime.

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