True Confessions

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Recently, while submitting to the fond attentions of a dental surgeon, I found myself musing idly, in an opiated haze, about the symbolic weight of teeth—musings disturbed only by the surgeon’s resolute yanking on the offending tooth, a yanking that came to me only distantly, as a not entirely unpleasant tugging, punctuated by the occasional squeak, reminiscent of the sound of a nail being pried out of a floorboard. Maybe it was the Novocain, but I found myself wondering if the widespread fear of dentists is at least in part a subconscious, perhaps even archetypal, fear of teeth, or if that’s just the perspective of someone whose dental history is written in anxiety and agony (and all the requisite drama-queen hysterics that go with them).

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