Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Allow me to force you to relax.
How’s that sound. I am pleased to offer
you sedation while I poke around your mouth.

Who likes a stranger’s fingers
sliding along their gums. Well, I’m still
going in there, but wouldn’t you rather not

remember it. What I am offering
to you is dulled sensation, watered-down
consciousness and an unpleasant experience

made palatable. You’ll hear the ping
of the floss freeing itself from between
your teeth, the squeak of my gloves on enamel.

Whose teeth. Whose blood and spit.
Yours, but you won’t know it. So many
discomforts can be avoided with sedation.

Lie back in your body as if it were
a hammock. Accept this gift on behalf
of dentists for the terror we’ve caused you.


  1. I recently heard an ad for sedation dentistry. What a bill of goods! Your poem captures the experience so well.

  2. It used to be standard actually, getting the laughing gas. Until there were all of those unfortunate "accidents."

  3. Allow me to force you... like that.

    Well, I said I would come by, and I did. And it's an odd coincidence, but I happen to have a toothache.

    Shall come back again...

  4. That last stanza is magnificent.

  5. OK. You had me at

    "Who likes a stranger’s fingers
    sliding along their gums."

    The ewwww factor runs high in this, it's perfect, really (and I'm glad my next trip to the dentist isn't for another few months!).

  6. Gosh. Who doesn't dislike, (hate is a strong word) dentists. Mine is good, but the poems I could write... Sedation helps, but oh my. Nice poem.

  7. Through the modern miracles of sedation dentistry, dentists can now safely treat anxious patients and often accomplish all dental work in one visit that may have required many more visits without it.

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