I am still scared of the dentist - My dog should be too!


Does mentioning the dentist to me still bring up images of Lawrence Oliver and Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man?

I suspect my generation are the last of those truly frightened of dentists as we grew up in the white heat of torture during the 1960’s. Back then my dentist thought you were a cissy if you wanted novocaine for a filling, and scrapped tartar of my teeth with a grouting tool. Even now in Malta, with a fabulous dentist who has not inflicted even a tickle during a visit, I still get cold sweats as I go through the doors. I swear he has cloven hoofs and a tail poking out from under his white garment.

...and another thing

My French bulldog however, seems impervious to a tooth ache. A week ago we noticed a slight cut above his gum line. The vet promptly put him on antibiotics and gabapentin for a week as he was in pain as he flinched when the vet examined him. The pooch then spent a week in a drug infused haze, begging me with his eyes to play Pink Floyd on the stereo.

I took him back and this little cut had blown up into a mini mountain. The vet immediately operated and it seemed the poor fellow had an infection in his jaw and promptly had to have five teeth pulled out. Now our canine friends are blessed with 42 teeth as opposed to our 32 and such is his appetite he could gum down a whole chicken if he had no teeth. Still, he did give me a pretty dirty look when I collected him. Maybe he wanted to give me a nip but his teeth hurt, so he couldn’t.

...and another thing

Of course our ancestors had it far worse. The only reason you sought out a dentist was for them to use a pair of pliers and pull out a tooth. I understand Tutankhamun had abysmal teeth and no sugar or coca-cola to rot them. Queen Elizabeth I was similarly blighted as of course was George Washington.

However, we do owe the dentists one huge thank you. No doubt terrified some huge cowpoke would punch his lights out as he tried to extract a tooth, it was a dentist who discovered anaesthetic. Who says fear of violence does not produce results!

Stay safe.

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