We’ve all seen the scene in the 1976 film Marathon Man – it did for dentists what the opening sequence of 1975 horror Jaws did for sharks.
Poor wee Dustin Hoffman is strapped to a chair as Laurence Olivier – playing a diamond-loving Nazi war criminal – really gets to the ‘root’ of the problem in a torture scene unsurpassed until Mr Blonde got busy with his razor in Reservoir Dogs in 1992.
I’ve been scared of dentists ever since my childhood experience at the hands of an evil old blighter – who may or may not have been a Nazi war criminal – who literally touched a nerve.
Pain like that stays in the mind and when I sat up the dentist chair almost came with me too, my buttocks were clenched so tight. Some people say my screams still echo around the Ochils to this very day.
My wife had never had a bad experience with a dentist for the first 40 years of her life. Then a couple of years ago she went in to have a tooth out and the nightmare began.
Whether through incompetence or through some sadistic streak, the dentist – who we no longer let within 20 miles of our family’s mouths – left a piece of the tooth in the mouth and then refused to look at it, fobbing her off with antibiotics.
The deadly dentist then performed root canal work which damaged my wife’s nerves and her sinuses in one fell swoop. She then suffered an allergic reaction to the drugs she was given to combat the resulting infection.
Now, to top it all, the dentist she is now with has to install crowns to repair some of the damage this butcher caused.
At least, with this new dentist, the pain will only be in the pocket this time.