October 31st, 2008

newlips

Memory Shards 2: What Terrifies the Horror Author

Dentists. They have been the bane of my existence since I was eight years old. Zombies? No problem. Vampires? What a laugh. Clowns? Creepy but livable. Dentists? No way, no how. After high school it took me almost seven years to gather the courage to go to a dentist again.

I remember I chose this dentist because a friend, also terrified of dentists, recommended him to me as someone understanding of nervous patients. For the life of me, I can't remember this dentist's name. It was eight years ago, back in California. I remember telling the receptionist upfront that I was terrified of dentists and it had been 'many years' since I had seen one. She assured me that I would be all right.

Dentist chairs have ever been torture for me. They make me feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. I sat in this one with trepidation, waiting to see what my torturer would be like. He was a small Asian man with a kind demeanor. Our first meeting cured me of my fear. He asked me to open my mouth to see what time had done to my teeth.

I have never had a dentist rear back from me before.

"You've had military dentists," he declared, looking at the carnage of metal fillings in my mouth. "Every one of those fillings has to go. No wonder you're terrified of dentists." He took his glasses off and looked me in the eye. "Jennifer, I promise you, I am not like a military dentist and I won't put you in the pain that they did."

I must admit, I felt a certain sense of vindication at the vehement distaste in my civilian dentist's voice. I wasn't the only one who thought of military dentists as torturers and it wasn't just my imagination.

koga -- Teeth, dentist, Carnage