Dr. Teddy was an angel of a dentist, one of a kind
| Dr. Teddy was a pediatric dentist who served special needs children. My older son, who was a teenager at the time, was a lucky patient of his, and we were all fortunate to benefit from his kindness and patience. My sons are both autistic, but my younger son is high-functioning and we were able to take him to a local dentist in the small Ga town where we lived. But my older son needed to see a special dentist like Dr. Teddy and his office was over an hour drive to Atlanta. Since my husband and I both wanted to be at the visits, occasionally we had to take our younger son with us. Sometimes the appt. was late morning and we were afraid we wouldn't get back in time to meet his afternoon school bus. Those times, my younger son would be given toys or crayons from the toy basket by one of the friendly hygienists to keep him busy .
After our initial visit, I had gone from being nervous to elated. Since I never know how my son is going to react to new people, I wasn't sure what to think at first. But seeing how my son reacted to Dr. Teddy's caring manner, I was put at ease.
Dr. Teddy's devotion to his job was obvious. He was quite elderly, so I'm sure it wasn't an easy task for him to get up each morning to go to work. His motivation was to help children who simply weren't able to see just any dentist. Any parent of a special needs child knows how rare and important it is to find a provider who will show an interest in providing excellent care for their child and make them feel special and important. He thought of what a child would want a dentist office to look like and on our first visit we were taken aback by the amount of teddy bears that he had on his shelves. My son could cuddle one of the office teddy bears during his visits if he wanted and it helped soothe him. But the most wonderful part of the visit was Dr. Teddy himself, who would talk to my son in the most calming way, lulling him into a confident comfort that was rare and amazing. He even managed to administer novocaine and pull one of his teeth with no problem. He did it so smoothly it was like he was applying a band-aid instead of yanking a tooth.
While we were in Atlanta to visit Dr. Teddy we would go out to eat at the Piccadilly's cafeteria nearby. Cafeterias are getting few and far between, so it makes the memories especially bittersweet; thinking of days gone by and special places that might go extinct or already have.
Like most things that are way too good to be true, our time with Dr. Teddy was short. Eventually we had to move a few states away to be closer to my family. I found out soon after we moved in 2012 that Dr. Teddy had retired, and two years ago he received his angel wings. He was always an angel, but now he is an angel looking from above, glowing in the satisfaction of a life well-lived.