Mom’s six-year molar suddenly started to hurt. Gently tapping her teeth together sent an eye-scrunching zing through the molar. “It started to hurt a couple of days ago,” she explained. “I’ve been chewing only on one side.” The next morning, I saw her moving around earlier than usual. “The dentist office said they could see me at 9:30,” and off she drove in her treasured Subaru. Mom texted me later in the day, “I am without a tooth!” The early molar, with deep amalgam fillings and a crown, had cracked in half and was not reparable. “It’s got to go,” the dentist declared. As he pulled the tooth, it came free of its roots and shattered, so he had to find and pull the roots one at a time. But Mom was not unhappy. She told me how gentle and kind her dentist always is. I do not know anyone else who would come home from a tooth extraction praising, “I love my dentist.” I think it is Mom who is gentle and kind, grateful for her dentist even as he sent her home toothless (well, without a tooth). In the evening, with her face fully back to life, and the gap stuffed with gauze, Mom was pleased to tell me she felt no pain.