Dental Portions of the Unexamined Life

I have taken to changing dentists who do not please me. After all, there are so many. I am suspicious of them since they spend all their day listening to pop music and fiddling inside people’s mouths. Sometimes they keep me waiting, and this does not please me.

Nor does it please me when they carry on as if they are important. This grave and insidious error is not to be tolerated. What? Must I wait and moreover scrape when the money is going from me to you? By no means.

What, then, besides the indignity of having a body into which others reach and tinker must be borne in a dentist?

This is my considered opinion:

First, the efficient receptionist who is flexible though she is somewhat effuse in her concluding statements and who has the odd habit of staring at a point slightly to the side of your face, as though making eye contact in the letter but not the spirit of the law. She may be variously pierced to highlight other portions of her features than the evasive eyes that refuse all contact. She has this great virtue: one does not need to announce oneself, she makes it her business to let you know she knows you are present and waiting, and even provides updates when the inevitable delays appear.

Last, the main chief large dental expert who does the tough jobs, inspects what others have done, has impossibly large thick hands, is often perfunctory in examination to the point of brusqueness, wears no mask and has faintly bad breath, and who tells everybody he has done some excruciating work on, regardless of age, “good job” as if he’d missed his calling to teach kindergarten and been obliged to be a dentist instead.

That is the range I will tolerate, from first to last. The thing that pleases me most about this dental place is that they sometimes tell me to close my mouth a bit. Much unlike those who when I have it as wide as it will go ask for more. Not to be tolerated, the latter.


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