I just had an epiphany… No, I did not meet 3 wise men, but I had a sudden revelation; a kind of out of body experience.


I had been going to the same dentist for a long time… maybe 15 years. During that time, I became accustomed to his tiny office, to his equipment, to his methods and his personnel.

Then one day, after a medical emergency, he suddenly retired. I had to look for another “arracheur de dents” (tooth puller). After a bit of googling, I settled for a new practitioner conveniently located close to my home.

On my first visit to his office, Shazam! In a flash, I realized what a modern dentist office should look. It was like stepping into another world. Computers, gizmos, lights everywhere… Everything was gleaming… including the two young ladies at the front desk.

After some greetings, I was asked to fill up a lengthy questionnaire… with an iPad. An excellent idea to prevent errors I thought, especially when dealing with email addresses.

There were so many questions on that questionnaire that I wondered for a moment if this was a job application or a security clearance. I also routinely signed a bunch of documents without bothering to read any of them. What the use?

Then the dentist’s assistant took me to another gleaming cubicle for a series of X-rays and pictures. Unlike my old dentist’s antiquated equipment, she used state of the art devices to do that.

My blood pressure was also checked with a small wrist bracelet, and pictures of my teeth, my face (smiling and non-smiling) were routinely captured.

I was additionally quizzed about my life and personal habits. Was I really in a dental office or in a CIA black site? And what will happen to my “private” data?

I now better understand why in the movies, the police always rush to question the dentist about a “person of interest”.

Most of the people feel comfortable with the familiar and a little apprehensive about the unknown. If not introduced to the latest technology, they will continue to use or accept the equipment they are familiar with.

My former dentist was an elderly gentleman, who probably kept using the same equipment he started with. And not knowing any better, I went along without any questions.

In a way, it is like your car… Over the years, you came to accept and ignore its groans and its quirks. But if you inadvertently sit in a new car, you will immediately realize that your old vehicle is a clunker. And being only human, you will want a new automobile, right away…

Of course, I expect to pay more for all these glitzy lights and gizmos, but can you blame me for wanting to enjoy a bit of fancy dentistry before I meet my maker?

I know that you will understand.


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