on dentists

First off : Why a guy ( or a girl ) goes into dentistry I’ll never know . Looking into someone’s mouth all day ? Are you kidding ? Doing intricate work while the poor victim writhes and whimpers and tries to hold still !  Really ?

I asked my dentist of twenty years what made him go into dentistry . Was it always his dream to be a dentist from a young age ? He looked out into the hallway , lowered his voice , and  for once in all those years he whispered .

” I was a math teacher , ” he said . He said it conspiratorially , knowing that I , too , was a teacher . He , apparently , didn’t want his technicion to know . He didn’t want his office manager to know . I was okay , I guess , because I was one of them , a teacher .DENTIST

He told me that his wife bugged him about salary . He didn’t have to say : You know what I mean , because I knew what he meant . A dentist makes more than a teacher . Even a math teacher . He went into dentistry for the bucks . So , why not ! He could have done worse .

What’s the name of the dentist who shot Cecil the lion ? It’s been all over the social media . Dentists  !   First off : You have to be a little squirrely  in the cabeza to be a dentist . Looking all day long into people’s mouths for a living , having one -way conversations , piling up your cash and  wondering , perhaps  ,  about the meaning of life ? Is this what it’s all about ?  ” Open wide ! ”

My dentist died a few years ago . Ada called him ” the Nazi ” at first because , in part , he made fun of her Polish dental work . He even called in his fellow dentist  to point it out to him  while making disparaging remarks as if Ada wasn’t right there sitting defenselessly in the chair . I thought the guy was somewhat of a jerk , too , at first , but he was USC trained , and taught at USC , and was highly qualified . I would rather have a talented jerk working on my teeth than a friendly incompetent. After awhile he and I had become friends .

Over the years Ada got to like the guy , and he confided in her . They were dental chair confidants , I suppose . He told his  deep darkest secrets to her , I think , and she probably told him : Doesn’t matter that you’re  a dentist . Life still offers possibilities . There is hope .

To me he talked sports and politics . It was several years before it dawned on him that neither of these topics got him much of a response from me . Dentists love to talk to helpless people who have their mouths propped wide open and full of Novacaine and/or extremely sharp dental instruments . Dentists !   To paraphrase from another context : We can’t live with ’em and we can’t live without ’em !LAWYER

I have a carpenter friend whose ex-girlfriend is a dentist . She dumped my friend and married an ambitious young  corporate lawyer and they bought a house together high up in the Hollywood Hills . My friend built a deck for them so that they could sit out in the warm California  air and enjoy their magnificent view of the city . My friend and the dentist forgot to mention their former romance to the lawyer . She promised dental work in payment for the deck . It sounded , at first , like a good deal but , after his fifth or sixth trip over there to make another alteration for the picky lawyer , my buddy realized that he’d made a bad bargain . One day he put his foot down and refused any more unpaid alterations and was summarily threatened with a lawsuit . Life is complicated sometimes . Mark Twain said if you don’t lie you don’t have to have a good memory . But it all , eventually , worked out. No one sued anyone . The lawyer had no time to enjoy his deck , though , after all . He was on his way to being a partner .

Let’s move on .

When I was a kid my mother took my brothers and my sisters and I to a dentist named Dr. Abercrombie . There was no Fitch . Dr. Abercrombie found two or three cavities every visit and he filled them with silver fillings . The silver affected my brain and , over time , made me an imbecile , moody , and subject to random fits of rage and insanity . I don’t blame Dr. Abercrombie , though . He was only doing what he thought was best , and he had children’s magazines in the waiting room . Maybe he dreamed of killing lions while he poked around in our mouths and poured the metal stuff into out teeth , but he didn’t show it.

Sometimes a guy’s ( or a gal’s ) profession affects them in more ways than might meet the eye . Someone should do a study of dentists to see how the particular stresses of that job are manifested in other parts of a dentist’s life . Maybe a study of this type has already been done but the government has kept the results securely under lock and key . A whole hell of a lot of stuff that probably should not be classified , as we know , is still classified . On the other hand , maybe we just don’t want to know too much about dentists and their fantasy lives of being big game hunters and the like . It would only upset us .


Filed under humor

16 responses to “on dentists

  1. Dentists remind me of the one in “Little Shop of Horrors!”

  2. I can’t imagine being a dentist. I like the one I have now, and I made sure that he’s way younger than me so I don’t have to train a new one on how not to bug me.

    • Mine “died with his boots on” , so to speak . He was probably close to seventy . He was a good guy , after all . I never knew him outside of the twice-a-year visits . He worked at it until he died , so I hope he was content with the work . The guy who took over for him is good , too . That saved me a lot of stress . Ada , however , jumped ship and goes to another guy . Life goes on.

      • My guy took over after our dentist retired. I like him because he talks a lot and explains everything in glorious detail. My wife is not sure if she likes him.

      • Reminds me of when I was about 18 and had all four wisdom teeth pulled . The dentist had two or three graduate student looking in ( literally ) , and he explained every bit in vivid detail . I have to say I was horrified . His descriptions were so good . I would rather have done without .

  3. Silver fillings are actually very useful. Should a werewolf attack, one can effectively bite back.

  4. Joey

    My dentist doubles as a technology geek. His computer makes false teeth and crowns in a matter of minutes. Replicas, actually. Spooky to watch that program blink, blink, engage, then set its servant machine to whirring and carving out my dental doppelgangers. I talk too much when I visit my dentist; I’m sure that’s why he sets my mouth wide open and frozen with a wire and rubber band contraption. I resent not be able to express myself, always have. But then I can’t blame the dentist guy. He’s not of Sicilian persuasion, so I can’t expect him to understand the need to sing whatever’s on my mind. You, sir, Mr. Hen, you I’m sure will understand. I mean to say, you’re not Sicilian, but then the Irish come in a close second when it comes to singing and storytelling. I’ll just bet that you sang to your students.

    • I was married to a Sicilian . Actually , her daddy was Sicilian and mama from Napoli . I managed to survive . Her parents liked me , even not being Italian . She decided to be English and moved over there . Stories ? Yeah . I sing to myself , now . hate to think of the Irish being second at anything —- but I’ll give in on this one .

  5. ‘she had left him some money—not much, but enough to set him up in business; so he had cut loose from the charlatan and had opened his “Dental Parlors” on Polk Street, an “accommodation street” of small shops in the residence quarter of the town. Here he had slowly collected a clientele of butcher boys, shop girls, drug clerks, and car conductors. He made but few acquaintances…When he opened his “Dental Parlors,” he felt that his life was a success, that he could hope for nothing better. In spite of the name, there was but one room. It was a corner room on the second floor over the branch post-office, and faced the street. McTeague made it do for a bedroom as well, sleeping on the big bed-lounge against the wall opposite the window.’
    There’s something atavistic about dentistry; for if we didn’t have teeth, we wouldn’t need dentists. But check McTeague if you’ve never read it. Some interesting history there – dentistry before licensing and regulation and big fees.

  6. I’m not fond of going to the dentist. Not so much of the possible pain, I just spent over $2,000 on dental work, and that was just one root canal and crown on one tooth.

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