Why do we hate dental visits so much? Modern technology makes the trip nearly painless. The hygienist, our first line of defense, is invariably chatty, friendly and competent. X-rays don't hurt. Freezing and a choice of relaxants usually take care of any discomfort during procedures. Most dental clinics even have TVs and headphones to keep our minds distracted.
So why do we hate dentists? It could be loss of control. Someone else has taken over a part of our body and we can't see what they're doing with it. It's a bit like calling IT at work and watching in apprehension and ignorance as our cursor flicks madly about our screen without any assistance from us.
It might be an atavistic fear handed down from our great-greats who really had a reason to fear dental care. Have you ever taken a tour of a dental museum? I thought not. No one in their right mind would want to vicariously feel that pain.
Then again, some of it might be hype to get a little TLC from our family. A little moan, a little touch of hand to cheek, might just get an offer of some delicious treat.
Whatever the reasons, there is little similarity between the head-bowed, leaden-footed creature who enters the dental clinic and the joyous creature that exits it.
I'm still reeling from the heady joy of completing yesterday's visit. Total freedom! Well, almost total. Now if only they wouldn't hand out those little cards with notices of my next appointment written on them.