Karmic Angel Dentist Hunt

Dixon, NM

Not winter, obviously! Photo from May, 2009.

A few miles from the scene above we bagged a dentist at the bottom of a canyon. He’s been there for almost forty years, across the road from a mountain with a cross on top.

We had to divorce our old dentist after fourteen years. It was surprisingly difficult for me, although my wife was hot to bolt. I loved my hygienist and hated to leave; after all, your hygienist is the true face of the operation as the one you see most often. But whenever she had to summon the boss to check an x-ray or look at a tooth, I’d hear the shark theme from “Jaws” and my guts would turn ice-cold…

[Daa-DUM, daa-DUM, daa-DUM]

Less like a patient, more like prey.

I’m very fixed and loyal, though, and stuck it out. Also maybe scared to change: the devil you know, etc. Besides, sometimes I’d get away without another root canal and crown, and these little triumphs kept me going. My wife would get her teeth cleaned and nothing ever seemed to happen. I’d curse my luck and sob and dump another couple thousand on the Visa card. The money was outrageous. Not that I didn’t need the work, but it makes you wonder, and there were mistakes. And then my honey drew the short straw—and she decided she’d had enough. Primal fear about the cost, but more the lack of empathy. We had to take control. She also needed treatment right away.

A friend who doesn’t live here now remembered being saved once by an unnamed dentist down the road, but no one I knew had a clue. I searched the Internet—it took a while—and came up with a photo. Identity confirmed! Thirty minutes away, but we got an appointment and checked him out. You get there by plunging deep into the canyon of the Rio Grande, a thrilling, gorgeous ride. It’s a different world at this guy’s place, all calm and competent and human. (He gave my wife a root canal today and changed to classical music for the pianist in his chair.) We’ll pay about a third less, too, but you know what?

We busted out. Now this will set the tone.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Rita January 25, 2014, 11:56 AM

    Interesting. Divorcing my dentist was actually part of my decision to sell my house and leave town! It was the only way to extract myself gracefully. Pun intended.

    • JHF January 25, 2014, 12:14 PM

      If you weren’t married to the dentist, that sounds rather drastic. 🙂

  • Marti Fenton January 25, 2014, 2:03 PM

    Where is this dentist? Can’t afford any work right now, but need some soon. I went to a dentist in Santa Fe 7 years ago and paid a lot of money for incompetent work. Probably was paying for his computerized equipment.

    • JHF January 25, 2014, 2:22 PM

      Nothing wrong with computerized equipment, but some people are just plain greedy. My old dentist approached my mouth like she was on a treasure hunt, I swear, or lacks the confidence to keep from giving that impression. As for the new dentist, try this. I added the link to the article, too.

  • Rita January 25, 2014, 2:36 PM

    I love the photo of him! And a music lover! Another reason this region attracts me. Now if my grandchildren lived there, I would start packing immediately.

    • JHF January 25, 2014, 2:50 PM

      This place is off-the-charts hard sometimes, but being here is like an America-fast. Quite astounding how that helps sometimes.

      The guy plays bass and a red Gibson Les Paul guitar in a band called the Arroyo Kings! As a dentist, he simply exudes calm. Couldn’t be more unlike our old one.

  • dar January 25, 2014, 3:04 PM

    Root Canal
    Censored medical news
    I have mixed feelings about people in the medical profession.
    There are definitely some skilled and dedicated people practicing medicine,
    but there are also a whole lot of “good Germans”
    i.e. people who go along with whatever the “norm” is even when common sense (and science) shows they are injuring people.
    Doctors and dentists as a general rule have two serious mental disorders
    1) they believe they “know it all” and
    2) they never admit to mistakes.
    This is a very dangerous state of affairs when it comes to your health.
    Everyone who wants to be healthy and reasonably safe from physician-induced illness
    (a very, very common malady) must become their own doctor in this sense:
    If you’ve got a medical problem of any kind, trivial or serious,
    and you’ve received a diagnosis and a recommended treatment,
    you must do your own research as to the safety of the proposed drug(s) and/or procedure.
    Dig deep because, guaranteed,
    your physician or dentist will not take the time to inform you of risks,
    assuming he’s even able to…
    Multiply this story by millions
    and you’ve got the state of medicine and what happens
    when you blindly accept the advice of a doctor without doing your own detailed research.
    It’s your body. No one is going to ever care more or work harder to heal it than you.
    Do not abdicate responsibility for your health to anyone.
    – See more at:
    More from this speaker here:
    There Is Hope!
    Many people have been told their health problems are all in their head
    because their symptoms or diseases have no medically known cause or treatment.
    Dr. Huggins has discovered that dental toxicity due to mercury in amalgam fillings
    is the cause of many of these unexplained diseases and symptoms.
    Other standard dental practices, such as root canals,
    have also been shown to contribute to many health issues
    for which the medical community has no explanation…

    • JHF January 25, 2014, 7:13 PM

      Hey dar, hanks for the BUFFALO LIGHTS review! Just so you know, WordPress automatically holds back for approval any comment with more than two links. That’s why your comment didn’t post right away.

      And for the record, I agree that we ought to take personal responsibility for our health and not be so accepting of conventional medical practices. Along those lines, here’s a song for you. One of my favorites. 🙂

  • Mike Walsh January 25, 2014, 5:18 PM
    • JHF January 25, 2014, 7:01 PM

      Oh that’s wonderful. Thanks! I can’t remember the name of the actor who plays the dentist, but he used to be on something called “SCTV” (Second City TV). I love that guy. What a hoot.

      • christian ienni January 28, 2014, 1:49 AM

        Joe Flaherty

        • JHF January 29, 2014, 12:35 AM

          I might have guessed you’d know! Yes, of course. Joe Flaherty. He has that focus of crazy that makes anything work. There’s a lesson there.

          • christian ienni January 29, 2014, 1:00 AM

            heh, what can i say? raised on too much tv, terminal media junkie! 🙂

            “The Focus of Crazy”… that should be the title of your next book! 😉

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