Neil, a friend of mine had asked me about what dentist I use.
He said the one he had been using moved and he recently went to see a new one.
He told me that the guy kind of made him nervous.
So, after refering him to my dentist, Dr. Crespi in New York, I got to thinking about why seeing the dentist make people so nervous.
The dentist is probably among the most feared, yet underappreciated professional this side of the known galaxy. Usually appearing dignified, he/she handles the most unglamorous job next to garbage hauling.
With razor sharp, pristine instruments in hand, he/she can rival the most intimidating school principal yet the dentist is expected to make the patients feel comfortable as they undergo checkups or worse, corrective dental surgery.
Since they're technically doctors, dentists are supposed to appear immaculate and friendly, yet to innocent children dentists may just as well be towering, menacing giants whose seemingly open smiles hide a nasty, malicious glint in the eyes.
And yet with a few notable exceptions the dentist is about as harmless and even as caring as your next door neighbor-provided of course that you live in a friendly neighborhood.
And those dreaded checkups turn out to be alright. Heck you even get a lollipop for your troubles. The idea of a sinister and maniacal dentist as foisted upon by ignorant friends and bully siblings is nothing more than a hoax.
In fact it is a parenting technique used to frighten children into swearing off candy, eating their veggies and brushing their teeth regularly. Whether that's intended to cut down the dentist population is anyone's guess.
If it is, it's not working. According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, the job prospects for dentists are good on the average since there is a need to replace retiring dental practitioners.
The same statistics also show that like lawyers-who enjoy a less than savoury reputation---dentists have a relatively easy workload of 35 to 40 hours a week and can even practice their profession well past the retirement age.
So your friendly dentist isn't going anywhere soon. At least until they get robots to do the work for them. Now that's a frightening thought. Good luck Neil!