Moving back to Northfield after 15 years away, I made an appointment with the same dental office I used to go to. Not the same dentist — he’s retired — but the same practice, although they have a new name, Heritage Dental Care, and a new office south on Jefferson Road.
Are you still on Plum Street? the assistant asked when I made the appointment. No, as it happens, but I was impressed just the same. And better was to come.
Dr. Michael Remes did an initial examination (it was his brother David I used to see, who, Michael said, has been retired eight years now). Michael Remes took x-rays, right there — no walk to a special chair, and no lead aprons needed, either, for the patient or for the staff. The level of radiation is so low it isn’t worth worrying about. No film needed either; the images are digital, and available immediately.
Before David Remes, I used to see Dr. Ronald Geistfeld, who left to teach in the School of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota. After 25 years, I had forgotten his name, though I remembered it began with G, but Remes knew instantly who I meant. Yes, he said, he left the practice the year I started dental school, so he was my teacher. And, Remes continued, he did several of your fillings.
“You can tell?” I said.
Yes, he said, and he brought up the x-rays again. See there? he said. There’s a little slot, he did that (to help with retention, I think he said, but I’m not sure what that means). Just for curiosity, he fetched my chart, and not only was he right that Dr. Geistfeld had done that filling, he did it June 3, 1976.
Pretty remarkable, I thought.