Photo by Daniel Frank on

by Pat Wurmli

The decision to give up toffee, when one realises that what we thought was a nut, is in fact a tooth, can mean one less visit to the dentist.

To become a dentist takes careful thought, the qualities needed are bravery–think of a lion tamer putting his head in a lion’s mouth, so the dentist must put his fingers in a patient’s mouth–should self-same patient suddenly sneeze, then the dentist may be incapacitated; although one doesn’t see many three-fingered ones around.

Also, he must be very confident, not taking it personally when no one is happy to see him, even visibly shaking as they sit in the chair.

One should always respect one’s dentist.  Cleaning and flossing one’s teeth are a must, also refraining from eating garlic before a visit.

If one is lucky to have a really good dentist, who will overlook the nervous ticks, it is advisable to close one’s eyes when he is peering in your mouth–the view up his nostril can then be avoided.

Certain dentists are highly qualified and are skilled at inserting implants.  These are easily recognized as they invariably drive Rolls Royces…

When using a drill inside a patient’s mouth, it is imperative not to swallow, as the dentist might drill a hole in ones tongue and he is not registered for piercing (one should go to a tattoo parlour for this).   

Many dentists have the tendency to ask their patients questions; this is very difficult when one has a hose pipe squirting water, down one’s throat. But for politeness’s sake, one can emit an AAAH or raise an eyebrow in acknowledgement, which may be difficult when wearing goggles.

A good dentist will do everything to save teeth and one will grovel in gratitude for this and kiss his feet–a mean-spirited patient might think that the dentist wishes to keep the teeth–or lose the patient, as a patient without teeth means no business.

The adhesives now used in dentistry, have improved considerably and in the right hands, can refix a crown, and restore a smile. If they still stay fixed when a mould is taken of one’s teeth, and one still has the same amount of teeth when it is dramatically removed with a powerful suction, then one is extremely lucky.

Considering the advances made in dentistry in this century, one must feel very fortunate not to have to wear wooden dentures. Whilst the odd splinter may be handy as a toothpick, wood does have a habit of warping in the damp, and let’s face it, the inside of a mouth is very damp.

Also the practice of using teeth extracted from convicts was not always practicable as they were not noted for their hygiene and one could be suddenly overcome with the desire to rob a bank’, due to the inherent vestige of villainy still lurking inside them (meaning the teeth–the convicts were usually dead!).

The practice of being fitted with braces to straighten teeth was very distressing for girls, who suffered considerable embarrassment during this time. However, when some pop singers started to adopt the wearing of braces on their teeth, usually studied with diamonds, they were suddenly in vogue and  the girls begged their dentists not to remove them ,the braces, not the pop star, but asked for updates in different colours.  However this soon went out of fashion when body piercing became popular and girls started having plugs in their ears instead.   

However to return to braces, dentists still employ the use of them with beneficial results and are rarely asked for coloured ones.

It is common knowledge that one can be identified by one’s teeth if one’s body has been found in suspicious circumstances, usually dead. Dental records are extremely important.

If one is found toothless, however, this proves more difficult.

I reiterate that it is a daunting experience, to look inside a mouth. How many are pristine with a full, perfect set of molars? Nowadays dentists don’t remove teeth willy-hilly, as used to be the case, but are experts with the latest materials to prevent cavities etc. They carefully numb the gums to prevent their patients from distress–the dentist no longer has to wear ear plugs.

Would I wish to be a dentist? Never in a thousand years!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s