Dr. Gilberto Debelian, DMD, PhD, Oslo, Norway

CYRIL HOROWITZ is a cartoon artist and illustrator, likes to sing sweet tunes, and, in his free time, is a loving husband and father of three children. Because of the nature of his work, he spends a lot of time in front of a computer screen or with a telephone in his hand. He often works at night with a pot of black coffee and a plate of pastries and sweets of all shapes and sizes at his elbow. His favorite is vanilla croissants. After a stressful night “shift”, he calms down and gathers his thoughts by having yet another cup of coffee with his friend Sonya. His work place is far from a paragon of order and cleanliness, though from long practice, he knows exactly where everything is. His dietary habits are irregular and unhealthy so it is no surprise that, sooner or later, they would have an impact on his teeth. Thank goodness he has such a kind and caring dentist!
MRS. MARTA HOROWITZ likes to keep an orderly household, which, with a husband who has no sense of order and three children, is total science fiction. She is gentle, patient, and gives her husband loving support, but when she loses all hope that her husband will actively participate in family life and the arrangement of domestic matters, she resorts to the age-old methods of pressure and threats.
THE CHILDREN Omar (8), Isaac (4), and Jacob (2), are fans of blocks and drawing. They wish their father had more time to play with them and that he would stop singing.

DR. GRETA PERCHA, DDS is a dentist in a small town with a busy general practice. Because she is both diligent and kind, her patients are very fond of her (that is until she sends them a bill!). She spends more time in her office than she does with her husband. She gets him to accept this state of affairs by taking him to tango lessons in the evening that always end with a glass (or two) of wine. As a result, she often wakes up with a headache and she cannot start the day without her morning coffee with her friend, Ciril, and her assistant, Noah.
ASSISTANT NOAH is a medical technician and paramedic who, after working in an ambulance for four years, wanted a more peaceful life and took a job working for Dr. Gerta Percha. But he was somewhat mistaken in this decision because working in a dental practice with a dentist as diligent and popular as Dr. Percha is not exactly tranquil. He relaxes in his free time by playing bass guitar in a punk and death-metal band for which he also occasionally sings. Because he doesn’t earn a very large salary as a dental assistant, he sometimes fantasizes about opening an auto-mechanic workshop. The diligence, precision, and cleanliness demanded by Dr. Gerta Percha would certainly come in handy in such an enterprise.

DR. RICKY ROOTMAN, DDS, PhD, SPECIALIST IN ENDODONTICS is a dentist and a specialist in root canal surgery who works in a university health center. He is a man with many years of experience and great theoretical knowledge. He knows that it is essential to not only listen to patients, but to actually hear them. That’s why he talks loudly and a lot. He works in a clinic that specializes in endodontics. He often represents the last hope for patients who have already sought help from dentists in general practices. Drawing on his reserves of goodwill, endurance, and knowledge, he is able to deal with even the most complicated tooth problems. “If I were twenty years younger,” he likes to say, “I would open up my own private practice.” But the upside of working in the university health center is that he often has his afternoons free and can go hunting. He is an enthusiastic sportsman and an advocate of unspoiled nature. During the most recent elections, he was voted onto the city council where he enjoys the banquets and the women’s quota.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this comic strip is to provide to the lay public an educational but entertaining presentation of endodontics, root canal surgery, and the dental problems that necessitate such treatment. It is in no way intended as required literature in the study of dental medicine (though it might help!). Likewise, it should not be viewed as a do-it-yourself manual (that book has yet to be written!).
The symptoms, development of the condition, and treatment process described in the comic strip are the kind that might be encountered every day in a general dental or a specialized endodontic practice. The professional claims presented in the strip are based on facts published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Any similarity between the characters in the strip and actual people is a coincidence that was not intended by the artist or the author.

Copyright 2016 by Rok Jurič and Ciril Horjak. All rights reserved.