Top Ten Things Not to Do When You Are in a Dentist’s Chair



Top Ten Things not to doThe inspiration for this list was a routine visit to the dentist. Like all dentist offices, I could hear what was going on in several offices around me.  I heard some funny things, and also I made up some of my own. I hope you enjoy this list

10 If you are in a dentist’s chair, do not try to answer the dentist’s questions while their hand is in your mouth. If you do, at best your answer will be garbled and not understood. At worst, the dentist may come up missing a tool. (Yes, it is strange the dentist asks a question while you are incapable of speech, Elijah. Try to resist since that lost tool may be with you for a long time.)

9 If you are in a dentist’s chair, do not listen to Tiny the WWF champ whimper in the next room. If you do, at best it may unnerve you. At worst, Tiny may catch sight of you as he leaves and will want to make sure you won’t gossip about his lack of fortitude. (That shadow passing over you as you go from the dentist office, Evan, is Tiny coming up from behind. Don’t think. Just drop and roll.)

8 If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not ask about the cost of a procedure while it is underway. If you do, at best you won’t like the answer. At worst, the dentist may decide to give you a discount provided you can endure the procedure with no painkiller. ( You have to wonder, Ezekiel, why he keeps asking, “Is it safe?” from the movie Marathon Man. Yes that is you making all that noise.)

7  If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not try to read your chart when the Dentist leaves. If you do, at best you won’t understand a thing. At worst, the hygienist will walk in just as you are leaning over backward with the chart in your hands. (How do you explain yourself, Edgar? You could have just asked to see your chart.)

6 If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not think about the Italian sub you had for lunch. If you do, at best you won’t open your mouth. At worst, you will try to explain your faux pas all while the hygienist continues to spray mouthwash each time you open your mouth. (You wish the “ew” sound were as a result of a different source huh, Elliott?)

5 If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not fool around with the controls. If you do, at best you won’t get wet. At worst you will cause possible complications from the polishing tool function being replaced by a drilling tool function. (That hole in your front tooth is charming, Emmett. Maybe you can get a diamond to fit in there.)

4 If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not think the dentist will be right in to see you. If you do, at best your waiting time will seem even longer. At worst, you fell asleep and drooled all over that lovely napkin under your chin. (How do you explain the wet spot to the hygienist, Edwin? Try your Quasimodo impersonation. “Here. Take whistle. Only thing I hear. Blow if in trouble.” They will love it.)

3 If you are in the dentist chair, do not remind yourself about that 32-ounce Big Gulp soda you finished on the way over here. If you do, at best you will forgive yourself for not making a restroom stop. At worst, the dental staff will think you are a crack addict given the amount of twitching and jumping you go through as you try to manage the specter of an accident. (Why is that little voice in your head still talking about Niagara Falls, Easton? Pretty self-defeating I would say.)

2 If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not acknowledge the rumbling inside of you. If you do, at best your explanation of the sour kraut and corned beef sandwich will fall on unsympathetic ears. At worst, you may give your body permission to vent off the building pressure. (Nothing pleases people more in a closed room, Edmund.)

1 If you are in the dentist’s chair, do not ask to hold a teddy bear before the procedure. If you do, at best the staff will think you are joking. At worst, you will get the bear and a chart notation to watch for an emotional break in the future. (Ever wonder why everyone talks in a whisper when you visit the office, Ezequiel?)


  1. Gwen Plano · · Reply

    So hilarious, John. I’ve never understood why the hygienist or dentist ask so many questions when they are working on my teeth. Maybe it’s to keep me distracted? Whatever, it’s always an experience I hope not to repeat. 😀

    1. Unfortunately you have to show up every six months. It is like an appointment at a torture chamber. Thanks, Gwen.

  2. do not try ANYTHING and do not breathe 😂😂😂

    1. Ha ha ha. Great advice, Ray. 😀

  3. You make it sound funny, now that I’m out of the chair – jeez it was not a pretty sight when I was in it!!! 🙂

    1. I know. It’s like laughing after a near miss accident except when you are in the chair it is a direct hit. Thanks, GP.

      1. haha, you DO understand!!

  4. This was hilarious, John! I’ll have to remember your tips when I have oral surgery at the end of the month. 😦

    1. OMG, Jill. I’m going to keep you in my thoughts (and prayer) for that time. Let me know when.

  5. This is a great list, John. I have to visit the man in about a monthe – I’ll try to keep this in mind. Why do they ask those questions?

    1. I have no idea. My dentist is so chatty and all I can say is mumf. Thanks, Dan

  6. I can confirm all of these. 😛

    1. I’ll bet you can. 😀

  7. There is nothing amusing about a trip to the dentist (says she whose anxieties may verge on the pathological). But it is a good list!

    1. Only the brave go there with pathological fear of going there. You are very brave, Linda. 😀

  8. With two in braces, and my wisdom tooth extraction soon, I must laugh. Or I’ll cry…
    Giggle. So true. I spend my life there right now.

    1. Oooooh. I remember my wisdom teeth extraction and it was 50 years ago. Best wishes on that. There’s no crying in dentistry. 😀

      1. Thank you for the well wishes, John.

      2. Yes. Here take this glass of gin as well.

  9. Good morning, John,
    #10 made me think of advice to the dentist: do not put your hand in the patient’s mouth, or you might come up missing a finger! “D
    And my advice for the patient: at the dentist’s, keep your mouth firmly shut all the time. 😀
    That being said, I hope your visit to the dentist went well.
    Have great week,

    1. Thank you, Pit. It did go well.

      1. Good to know. 🙂

  10. Great list, John. Like so many others, I just dread my dental appointments!

    1. Yeah, me too. Brrrrr

  11. Well, if they don’t want you to answer them, how come they ask so many questions?

    1. That’s what i want to know. Thanks Prof Duke.

      1. Probably to make you feel at east. But it’s a lie. That doesn’t help. Only cookies would.

      2. Cookies always make me feel at east. Maybe it’s the yeast.

  12. Lol! There is nothing pleasant about going to the dentist EVER, but you did bring about a few laughs with these. And, can you believe the prices these days? $300 just for a cleaning and x rays. I remember when it was $35.

    1. I know right? Gotta pay for those big cars.

  13. Fantastic list, John! I think most of us can appreciate the angst of being in the dentist’s chair, regardless of whether it’s for a routine cleaning or for something more serious. You’d think modern dentistry would have evolved past all the pain and torture!

    1. You would think. Thanks, Debbie.

  14. You nailed them! Number 10 is my favorite! The dentist asks you an ‘essay-type’ question while your mouth is full of dental junk! Number 5 plagues me as well! Great list, brother John!! ♥

    1. Ha haha. Thanks, Billy Ray

  15. #4 is why I never go without something to read.

  16. Absolutely hilarious, John. The ‘stop drop and roll’ and Quasimodo caused very loud laughing. Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      1. You are welcome! 🙂

  17. D.L Finn, Author · · Reply

    My least favorite place to be…lol. I am determined to answer those questions and will spill out as much as I can in those few moments the tools are removed:) Great list!

    1. Mine too. I stopped answering ten years ago

  18. Brrrr! What a wierd topic, dear John! I liked number 1 most of all! 🙂

    1. Ha ha ha. I do weird topics. You should know that. Thanks, Maria.

      1. I do & I appreciate them, dear John. But the dentist! Oh!!!!!

      2. Open wide. Is it safe?

  19. John,

    Can you imagine the pressure Tiny’s dentist is under? My Lord . . .
    And no Italian subs, big gulps or corned beef sammys. I tend to brush my teeth forever and gargle even longer than that. After which I ask myself . . why the overkill?
    I rather like the thought of getting my own teddy bear though . . .

    Peace and pain free dentist visits

    1. Thank you, Marc. Pain free is not up to me.

  20. Something we all have in common! One feels so vulnerable in a dentist’s chair, reclining helplessly, can’t talk. I’ll probably think of your post when I go in for my next checkup!

    1. I hope you do and I hope it cheers you up.

  21. Yup, I’m in the dental biz so this hits home. 🤣🤣🤣

  22. I was at the eye doctor today. Not quite the same, but you shouldn’t use the huge eyeglass thing to play submarine commander. They don’t like it.

    1. Ha haha. I think I did that one myself. Never gets a laugh.

  23. Wouldn’t you think after all these years there would “really” be “pain-free” procedures? Where is Star Trek’s Bones when you need him? I’m always suspicious when the dentist tells me he’s not going to use novocaine and to tell him if an when I need it after he begins. 🙄 — Suzanne

    1. Yeah. I’m with you. When they ay I’m not going to use it, I say “Then we aren’t doing the procedure.”

  24. robbiecheadle · · Reply

    Hilarious, John, you just have to love the dentist.

    1. Yes. Like loving a scorpion.

      1. robbiecheadle · ·

        Well put.

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