There’s not enough spotlight on dentists in movies and TV. Most medical shows, as you may have noticed, revolve around hospital doctors and EMT’s since they generally deal with more life-threatening cases – which apparently makes for great plotlines.
So I scoured the internet for the most popular shows and movies that featured professionals from the dental industry, and to my non-surprise, there weren’t a lot. Many Hollywood dentists are portrayed as antagonists or even hellish, as with the case of Dr. Wonka from the widely popular film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Interestingly enough, some well-researched shows have given justice to dentists in terms of how dental offices operate, and how dentists are as people. They are not the demonic and cold robots that people should fear. Without further ado, here are the truths behind popular dentist scenes in our beloved shows and movies:
Dental Offices are Medically Cleaned
In the popular cop series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sterling K. Brown portrays the murderous Dr. Philip Davidson, a dentist who is supposedly amazing at his line of work. However, the medically interesting bit is how the main detectives could not find any evidence from the kill site – the surgical suite that was scrubbed clean.
True enough, dental offices are like any medical office, and these offices are cleaned with medical-grade cleaning solutions to ensure not a smidgen of bacteria or virus can pass from patient to patient. We tend to see dental offices as less hygienic than hospitals, but the matter of fact is that a dental office is just as clean as any medical office, maybe even cleaner!
In fact, your local dental office probably relies on a dental office cleaning checklist to ensure that all areas of the office are thoroughly cleaned, especially those that come in contact with bodily fluids and dental tools.
So be assured during your next dental appointment that your dentist’s office has been professionally scrubbed clean, and is free from orally-spreading germs and pathogens. Most dentists take pride in how sterilized their offices are, and there are strict standards for cleaning dental offices that mirror the standards set for medical offices.
Dentists have Other Hobbies
Older shows and movies would have shown dentists are monsters, as we have societally developed a fear of medical professionals over the years. However, it is important to highlight that dentists, like everybody else, are human too, and they have their own families, hobbies, and lives outside of their line of work.
- Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney sounds familiar to you? It’s the name and address of Dr. Sherman, of Finding Nemo, the dentist and uncle to Darla who loves nothing more than spending his days off scuba diving. While acting as a supporting antagonist, the choice for his occupation is interesting at the very least.
Dental Care is Just as Important as Medical Care
Dental experts have been promoting the importance of proper dental care for years, especially towards children. True enough, many of the shows that place a positive spin on dental care I noticed are geared towards a younger audience, as dentists say it’s always better to start proper dental hygiene while you’re young.
Popular kids’ shows like iCarly, Daniel Tiger, and Peppa Pig typically work with the American Dental Association to help kids overcome their fear of dentists, as well as teaching kids to start on a proper dental hygiene routine while they’re still young. Dental health refers to more than just teeth, and is as important to keep healthy as we do the rest of our bodies.
Dentists can Identify People by their Teeth
You would have heard of this from true crime podcasts, detective shows, and some medical shows – dentists can be called on to identify people based on their teeth, especially if the dental work was done by them.
In the late 1980s show Seinfeld, one of the protagonists attends a dinner with dentists present, bringing a chewed pencil in hopes that one of the medical professionals can identify the bite marks on them. While the concept may seem far-fetched, dental experts can identify people based on their teeth formation, or by extracting the amelogenin gene.
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