Dentists are unpopular, it’s just a fact. It could be that their magazine collection is out of date (Ricky Martin is gay?!). It could be that their dental assistant is not hot. Or it could be that they charge a week’s wages for what basically amounts to legalised torture when I have a neighbour who says he’ll poke around in my mouth for free! He’s a scout leader.
There are a few articles out at the moment saying that dentists are at an all-time popularity low and that it’s not much fun being a tooth-jockey (that sounds like something they’d say) right now. Apparently dentists in the UK are crying FML because they are too heavily regulated by the government. Yeah that’s probably fine, I know that I like my medical professionals to have a bit of flexibility in their practices. Maybe mix up some knee surgery with a bit of beer pong just so things don’t get tedious.
So dentists are the least popular kids in the playground right now and I think I know why because I was in for a checkup last week and it sucked.
Things that ACTUALLY HAPPENED in my dental checkup last week:
– The dental assistant pulled up the wrong patient file and my dentist was confused as to how my wisdom teeth had grown back. For 5 whole minutes!
– My dentist dropped the drill onto my face.
– He started to drill the wrong tooth before saying, “Oops. Don’t worry that one’s free.”
– He actually sweated onto my face. It dripped off his chin and onto my face. For real.
Forgive me for not being the biggest fan of dentists right now but I get the impression that I’m not alone. I know people don’t like going because it’s expensive and it can be painful but there are more subtle factors at play here; things that subconsciously lead us to dislike dentists full stop.
For instance have you ever been in a situation where it was actually appropriate to yell “Is there a doctor in the house?!” (i.e. NOT when I dropped my phone on my foot at my cousin’s funeral and the screen cracked). Maybe someone was choking on some food in a restaurant, maybe someone was having a heart attack, or maybe someone tried to sit through an entire movie featuring Rob Schneider. In all of these scenarios a dentist is technically a doctor but also fundamentally useless.
Because unless you’re dying of “tooth AIDS” (it’s a thing probably) a dentist isn’t going to be a great help in these scenarios. Chiropractors are in the same boat and we always hear how they love to be considered “doctors” because they went to “medical school” but when push comes to shove I know I’d rather have someone who knows their Bradykinesia from their Choledocholithiasis. Am I right?!
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a “doctor in the house” make sure he’s legally allowed to probe stuff with his finger.
Now I don’t want to take anything away from dentists because, let’s face it, they did get pretty close to being a full doctor. They’re like the security guards of the medical community. Doctors are police. And House is Batman.
Plus there are some pretty positive facts out there in favour of dentists. According to a 1997 Gallup Poll, dentistry is the fifth most trusted profession in America. This seems impressive until you find out that the other four jobs that beat it in the votes were: “Jedi warrior”, “prison inmate”, “my Mom”, and “other”.
Have you heard the long standing rumour that Dentistry has the highest suicide rate of any profession? Yeah me too! I always thought the most depressing job in the world would be “being Perez Hilton’s face”. But apparently it’s kind of true and dentists can suffer from something called “Dysthymia“.
Dysthymia is characterized by loss of appetite, low levels of energy, desperation, excessive anger, social withdrawal and working long hours to compensate for declining performance, troubles in concentration, guilt and suicidal thoughts.
Seems like a bit of a rough deal and I would have more sympathy but I was at my dentist last week and he actually dropped the drill onto my face. On my face!!! Thank God I was wearing those stupid indoor 3D goggles they make you wear (they really make the pain more vivid). And the response I got was a very dry “Oops. That’ll be $400”. I’m just glad that I can, in my own small way, put my dentist’s children through university. I suppose it was the least I could do for the guy who dropped a mini Black and Decker onto my face.
On the plus side there are some totally awesome pros to being a dentist!
You get to literally use power tools inside someone’s head, when someone asks you the time you can tell them it’s “tooth hurty”, and you get to say “rinse and spit” to people multiple times a day and nobody thinks it’s creepy!
But at the end of the day dentists just are never going to be that popular. In the table of “Medical Profession Popularities” it goes:
1. Thai massage
2. Swedish massage
3. Foot Rubs
4. Family Doctor
See?! People would rather have Tom Cruise fiddling around in their mouths than a dentist.
It doesn’t make any difference though because I’m done with dentists. No more I say! I’m sick of the cost, I’m sick of the pain, and I’m sick of waking up in the middle of the night screaming while I vividly remember the taste of dentist-sweat (it’s kind of like a mixture of listerine and regret). I think I’m gonna get my neighbour, Scout Leader Eric, to do my checkups from now on. The kids seem to love him.