Fear of the dentist is real, may be referred to as dentophobia, and is something that people go through on an annual basis when their next appointment rolls back around. One of the main elements that perpetuates the fear of the dentist is the fictional television and movie content that makes it seem so evil. By breaking down a selection of popular dentists in the movies, you can overcome your fears by separating myth from fact. Understanding the differences between the following movies and a real dentist office will help you ease fears, relax a little, and know what to expect at your next appointment.
Little Shop of Horrors
Some relaxing music is nice, but Steve Martin's evil dentist in "Little Shop of Horrors" takes things one step further by singing as he conducts business. Not only does this evil dentist sing, but he uses way too much laughing gas on his patients and enjoys inflicting pain with large dental tools.
During your appointment, any type of pain numbing medication is carefully measured based on your height and weight. A dentist office also conducts a personal health history to ensure that any type of medication will not interfere with personal allergies you may have.
The tools that Martin's character uses in the film are also comically larger than traditional tools. Upon request, your dentist can show you all the tools and explain how they work.
A dentist goes crazy after he discovers his wife was cheating on him. For anyone with dentophobia, this is a movie to skip. The title character in this film uses a lot of weapons as torture devices, creates all types of blood, and leaves patients with mouths full of cuts and missing teeth. Similar movies like "Marathon Man" also take the evil dentist gig to the next level.
A lot of the movie features the dentist performing work on a patient's mouth without consent. When you visit the dentist, you are in control. If you are uncomfortable with any type of procedure, you can explain this to the dentist. Before the appointment begins, the dentist can explain the complete procedure for the cleaning or another process that you will have. Avoiding surprises is a good way to calm anxiety.
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Tim Burton's remake of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory expanded on Willy's back story and features scenes with his father. Wonka's father was actually a dentist who placed his child on a strict diet that involved eating no sugar or candy. Of course, Wonka couldn't resist the candy urges, had to go through multiple cleanings and scoldings, and was put in a full face mask contraption to correct his teeth.
Dentists care about the health of your teeth, but they won't treat you the same way that Wonka's dad did. If there are any problems with your mouth, a dentist will highlight them in a polite and informative way. Dental product samples and pamphlets will often be given to help highlight the problems in your mouth. Instead of giving a lecture, a dentist tries to be proactive about proper dental care. Every patient is different and they will give you the help you need to keep healthy teeth and gums.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
In the holiday classic, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," Hermey the Elf seeks to become a professional dentist instead of a toy-making elf. One of his first jobs involves pulling the teeth of a giant snow monster. It may be a cartoon, but the quick and painful pulling of the monster's teeth is an idea that many dental patients have. While pulling teeth is needed for extreme cases, dentists have a set procedure to complete the process.
The first step is to numb the area with an optical solution and then to inject some Novocaine. By using this process, you will not feel the pain of a tooth getting pulled. The most you will feel is a little pressure in your mouth. By closing your eyes and relaxing, the tooth will be pulled from your mouth in no time.
While watching films or TV shows with dentist scenes, it's important to suspend disbelief and understand that it is just a work of fiction. Communicating with a real dentist is the best way to ensure that you are comfortable during a visit. For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Arrowhead Family Dentistry.