Tears and Laughter: The ghost of dentistry's past...
December 1, 2018 | View PDF
I cracked-up in the middle of a root canal a few days ago.
I didn’t just giggle. No. I went all out. I laughed until the dental assistant, the dentist, and an assistant in training who was just observing this fine spectacle all laughed too.
This of course from my perspective and angle – at that moment – was hilarious.
Things have sure changed.
When I was a kid, my mom came home from work one day and announced that there was a new dentist in Grove Hill and she had made us appointments.
My brother was always more agreeable about literally everything than I was, so he wasn’t bothered by the idea, but I was leery from the start.
The office was not an office in the way anyone would ever think an office would look, mainly because it was not an office building.
It was an old house. Somebody had done a terrible job of converting a portion of it to function as a dentist office. It had an old haunted dental museum feel to it. It would have made an ideal setting for a horror movie.
We were waiting in a room that was once a parlor, I was flipping through the blue hardcover Bible story book found in every dentist and doctor’s office everywhere since forever, when a girl in the other room, the room where the dentist was, started screaming.
Not just a single scream, but long torturous screams with intermittent
crying…and there I was on deck to be next – counting all the little pairs of
animals with faith enough to load up on the ark with Noah.
I haven’t been overly comfortable with dentists since.
That is why I go to a dentist who advertises using the key words gentle,
understanding, and most importantly, sedation.
This means that if one of the friendly office associates sees any of their
patients pacing around outside in the parking lot looking like they may get back in their car and drive away, then they will go out and extend a polite invitation to lure them inside the office – which is an actual office.
They say things like, “Come on,” and they offer coffee and water and they have several magazines and one of those blue hardcover Bible story books.
Plus they can administer medication that will help people like me, who could potentially break and run, become agreeable to procedures like root canals within minutes.
The dentist asked afterwards if I could remember what I had been laughing about, and I did. I was laughing at the realization that I was laughing.
I guess I’ve come a long way.
Dentistry has too.
And just think about the lasting positive impression we may have made if there was a young kid out in the waiting room listening.