I’m just going to say it: I don’t like the dentist. It always smells a little too clean, and drilling sounds from other rooms aren’t very reassuring. I just want to lean back in the chair and get it over with. And the one thing that makes the process go slower is something ALL dentists do.

They talk.

Now normally, talking on the job wouldn’t be such a big deal. Some jobs need it to get done. But when your job is to scrape plaque off teeth by sticking your hand in someone’s mouth, it isn’t very fair trying to get a reply out of the patient.

For instance, I had an appointment last week. I said a friendly hello to the dentist, we chatted for a minute, and then the chair began to move. I adjusted myself for the silence that should come when your mouth is wide open and being prodded, but as the shiny metal objects poked my teeth, the dentist started asking questions. Many questions.

As someone with sharp, pointy metal objects in her mouth, I attempted to smile or make a sound of agreement. And my dentist looked confused. Like “Why aren’t you answering my questions in full coherent sentences? Did I insult you?”

So here, I ask of all you dentists or those who plan to become them, please avoid these awkward one-sided-but-should-be-two-sided conversations by learning the art of a peaceful silence.

Or, you can always put on a movie to distract us. I’m partial to “Elf” in this situation myself.

Does anyone have any crazy dentist stories they’re willing to share? Mine started talking about the Ice Age and Switzerland once. Leave a comment and let me know!

Attempting to avoid awkward situations since 1994,