I am a wimp. Six feet tall, strong, professional athlete but sometimes I can act like a little girl. Trips to the dentist always bring out the especially squeamish side of me.
I know not many people like the dentist, but whenever I think about it my palms start sweating. This fear all started when I was little. Dr. A had the biggest hands I have ever seen. I think God gave him the desire to become a dentist as some kind of sick joke. Anyways, despite popular belief, I have a small mouth and I’d shy away from his reach like a baby from a spoonful of mashed peas. It never helped that my sister had perfect teeth. He’d always praise her and shake his head at my choppers: “such a beautiful girl, too bad we can’t do something about your teeth.” Comments like those and the squeaky sound of tooth on tooth as it’s being yanked from perfectly healthy gums really turned me off from those appointments.
I’ve been to the dentist a few times in Germany, too, and I’m not a big fan of the art here either! Today I had my second wisdom tooth pulled in this country and so far so good yet still it worries me. I really think dentists far and wide take joy in their ability to induce fear in their patients. I mean, why else would they place all of their torture tools on a white platter in front of your chest? I realized today how twisted that is; there is plenty of room for your needles and pokers behind the chair, sir.
Usually when you are afraid of something you try to avoid it but there are some things you have to do regardless; and the “tooth doctor,” as it’s translated from German, is one of those things. And actually, I’d much rather face that fear in Germany. Remember how much that Thanksgiving turkey cost? (about $75 for 16 pounds). It was only about $13 to get that tooth out, the rest was paid by my insurance (which includes dental!) Score one for Germany.
My mom tells me I’m brave for going through dental pain in another country, I just think it’s practical. If she’d see me and my white knuckles, sweating in that reclining seat she might just have to agree!