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How Dentists Are Portrayed In The Media
Dentistry gets a bad rap in general, which is reflected by the number of people who are outright afraid to visit the dentist even when it’s an emergency. There are plenty of factors that go into this perception of dentistry, but the media may be one of the biggest contributors. Whether it’s in movies, on TV, or in print, dentistry is rarely portrayed in a positive light, and that can influence the way people view the field.
How Dentists Appear in the Media
Sometimes dentists are shown as being outwardly sadistic; they cause pain on purpose and may even enjoy it. A prime example is the 1986 musical Little Shop of Horrors. Steve Martin plays a dentist who sings gleefully about inflicting pain on his patients and abuses his girlfriend. Another sadistic dentist appears in the 1976 suspense-thriller Marathon Man; said dentist is a Nazi war criminal who tortures Dustin Hoffman’s character.
Even if they’re not sadistic, dentists can be portrayed as incompetent or naïve. In The Whole Nine Yards, a dentist almost kills a patient by letting them overdose on nitrous oxide. Another example is the Australian dentist ...
... Dr. Sherman from Finding Nemo, who ignores the destructive tendencies of his niece and plans on giving her a fish for a present despite all the signs that she might kill it. At one point, he also accidentally hurts a patient by pulling a tooth too quickly after being startled.
In addition to the way dentists are portrayed, dentistry in general is shown as something that people want to avoid. One sketch on the Abbott and Costello Show in 1952 featured Costello being taken to the dentist when he has an unbearable toothache. When asked if he minds that there’s a patient before him, he replies, “I wouldn’t mind if there were 340 patients before me.”
The Reality of Dentistry
The above portrayals can paint a rather lopsided misconception of what dentists are like. While it’s true that discomfort is often an unavoidable part of some dental procedures, no dentist wants their patients to experience pain. That’s why they use modern techniques and technologies that minimize discomfort, such as local anesthetics that numb the mouth or soft tissue lasers that can painlessly treat the gums.
Furthermore, it takes a significant amount of training and education to become a dentist. To qualify for dental school, they need to already have a bachelor’s degree. Then they must complete a four-year program to earn a DDS or DMD. Even after earning their degree, they’re expected to complete a certain number of continuing education hours every year. As such, when you visit the dentist, your teeth are being cared for by someone who has been thoroughly trained and continues to expand their skills.
Finally, it’s important not to let the reputation of dentistry in the media distract you from how necessary good oral care is. Visiting the dentist twice a year for checkups significantly lowers your risk for cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. It also makes it more likely that problems will be caught while they’re still small and easier to treat.
In short, don’t let what you might have seen in films or on TV shape your idea of what dentistry is really like. You deserve a healthy, dazzling smile, and visiting the dentist is the best way to make that a reality.
To learn more, visit https://www.udpdentistry.com/.
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