When I was a kid, we didn’t go to the dentist much. Only if someone had a really bad toothache, or looked like they might need a filling.
Which was OK with me. Our dentist was Dr Lustig (which is actually pretty funny if you speak German, which we did) and he played Bridge with my dad (so he would entertain me with stories about What Georgie Did At The Table). He had big hairy hands, and he liked to tell us about how HE never used dental anaesthetic on himself and it was easier to have fillings etc done with out it. Usually as he dripped anaesthetic onto my (anaesthetic-resistant) teeth in an attempt to get them numbed up.
My abiding memory is of lying there in the chair, having a wisdom tooth extracted, as the radio played Hurt So Good. Two out of three ain’t bad.
Let’s just say, going to the dentist has never been one of my favourite things. When Dr Lustig retired, my immediate reaction was less “Oh, I had better find a new dentist” and more “OMG! YAY! I DON’T HAVE TO GO TO A DENTIST EVER AGAIN!” which, as it turned out, was both Premature and Irresponsible.
And in the meantime, I have a new dentist who is rather lovely and very understanding of my irrational terror.
And also, they have invented latex gloves so I wouldn’t know even if she DID have hairy hands. And the anaesthetic usually works and I’m not usually in too much pain afterwards. (Except this week. Owwww. And my bank balance. Owwwwowowowow.)
My kids, though, see a specialist pediatric dentist. She’s awesome, and even has pet names for them. And a special chair where I can sit and hold their hands
if I get too scared. They get special kisses from Mr Vacuum and sometimes have to have a visit from Mr Bumpy or his friend Mr Spiky. (It is possible that The Bigster feels she has outgrown some of this). And there are stickers, and nitrous oxide with special scent dispensers (they get to choose from chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, orange, blueberry, …). And a playroom with a giant blackboard.
As it turns out, there IS such a thing as Dentist Envy.
If only her name were Lustig, she would be perfect.