It’s the dental work that’s horrible, not the dentist

At least if you have a good dentist.

My father is the ultimate example of dental terror. He didn’t go to the dentist once for 15 years.

Of course, that just puts off the torment. Eventually, it’s go to the dentist, or lose your teeth, or possibly die from infection.

My mother dragged him off to get worked on, kicking, screaming, and gouging all the way. It was hideously expensive as well as excruciating, but at least the dentist, Dr. Sheridan, was a pleasant fellow, and the nitrous oxide flowed freely.

One day after his dental health had somewhat improved, he needed to go in to have a crown replaced or something. He always joked around when nervous.

“I would have just done it myself with a pair of pliers and some superglue, but I hadn’t seen you for a while and wanted to stop in and say hi,” he said.

Dr. Sheridan just stared at him, for a moment, picked up his tray of tools, and left the room. He returned a minute later with a new tray, set it down, and walked out.

On the tray were a pair of pliers and a package of super glue.

After a few minutes he returned. “Still didn’t want to do it yourself?” he asked.

“I would have,” replied my father, “but I couldn’t open the package of glue.”

“That’s why I spent those years in dental school,” the doctor deadpanned. “To learn how to open the superglue.”

He also has a special tray of rusty dental tools he sometimes sets out as a joke. At least I hope it’s a joke.

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