Humor Column: Dentally Challengedon April 9, 2010 at 1:00 am
People, for the most part, do not like going to the dentist. Yet, most people do not want to have rotting teeth falling out of their head. Strange…
But going to the dentist is a necessity, not a preference. Nobody would pose the question “Would you rather A) go to the dentist, or B) go to Knott’s Berry Farms?” We can safely assume that the majority of folks prefer to keep their teeth and going to the dentist is a most-often painfully uncomfortable way to satisfy that preference.
Perhaps I’m sensitive to the dental issue due to some work I recently had done. While I was reclined in that big vinyl-lined easy chair, I got to thinking: Why DO we not like going to the dentist? I believe it is simply due to fear, or, in my mind, three fears.
The first and greatest fear is manifested through the alien-abduction-like atmosphere. Seemingly non-hostile people take you into a sterile environment, lay you on your back, shine a bright light in your face then proceed to probe an orifice with tools that resemble medieval implements of torture. And don’t even think about speaking up about it.
Coming in a close second would be the intrinsic fear of the aforementioned orifice probing with sharp, metallic tools. Our orifices are very private, personal places. They’re sensitive portals into the innards of our bodies. Stainless steel pointy hook-like devices just don’t seem to make for a welcome guest. Not in the mouth or any other orifice for that matter.
The third (and, admittedly, this may solely be my own) fear is that the dentist’s hand will slip and somehow manage to loosen every single one of my teeth at the root. Then all my teeth would fall out and I, in shock, would inhale and choke upon them. There are many ways to die and I would prefer not to go in this particular manner. What’s worse is, at my funeral, they couldn’t show pictures of me smiling because that would just seem wrong.
Lucky for me my dentist makes the visit as pleasant as possible. They have pasted wall paper of serene natural settings upon their walls. And the staff are polite women who are easy on the eye. Plus they engage me in conversation:
Dental Hygienist Lady: “Are you doing ok?”
Me with her hand in my mouth: [Affirmative grunt]
Dental Hygienist Lady: “Would you like music?”
Me: [Negative grunt]
Dental Hygienist Lady: “You need to floss more.”
Me: [Remorseful grunt]