Friday, November 13, 2009

Totally dental

My mom and I made a curious discovery about half an hour ago on the corner of 30th St. and University Ave. in North Park: three-dozen heavy boxes containing hundreds of plaster molds of peoples' teeth.

The boxes were the discarded records of Western Dental, located just a few steps away at 2948 University Ave. Along with the dental molds were several binders containing detailed patient records--names, birth dates, social security numbers, and all. 

As we stood there examining the dental molds, a pickup truck pulled up and three guys started hauling the boxes into the cargo bed. 

Feel free to put aside some boxes for yourselves, one of them told us. 

"Where are you taking this stuff?" I asked.

"Dump," he replied. 

Quite a few questions linger: What were all these molds and records doing sitting on the street? Why take it away so late at night? And is it all really headed for the dump? 

But one thing is certain: I won't be getting my next checkup at Western Dental.  

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