Harold Nunn, Dr. Rux's Grandfather
Those Quality of Life Decisions
My grandfather was a very wise man. I always say he lived through the most exciting
time in history from the turn of the century to nearly 100 years later. He saw more
changes in his lifetime than at any other era of history before. Perhaps that was what
made him so smart, or maybe that in the midst of all those changes he was able to keep
in mind what was really important. When he was 83, he came to my office for what he
called an “overhaul”. He had broken a few teeth, lost a couple more over the years and
was in need of a comprehensive rehabilitation. We fixed him up with some crowns and a
couple bridges and he was happy as can be. He looked better, functioned better and
stayed that way until he passed away at 97 years old. When he was 96, I had a chance to
spend some time with him and asked him how he felt about his teeth and the project we had
done together. He said, “You know, I’m 96 years old. I don’t have a lot going on in my
life. I do the crossword puzzle and I watch the Cubs, but there’s not much else going on.
I do like to eat though and I’m about the only person in this place that doesn’t have to
blend my meal. So I guess it was a good idea to fix my teeth.”
The more I have thought about those comments over the years, the more wisdom I find in them.
As we age, I notice that the length of time we have becomes less important and the quality of
life we enjoy becomes more significant. In the big picture, our teeth and the ability they
provide us to smile, eat and interact with those around us becomes increasingly valuable.
In that light, I like to think of dental care as an investment in our future quality of life.
After all, how many things can you buy, use 24 hours a day for decades and have no problems?
You just can’t hardly amortize that kind of return on investment. The next time you are faced
with a decision on where to invest your time, energy and resources, step back and ask how it will
affect your long term quality of life. It will help bring clarity to those tough choices we all face.