p15 Trusting your dentist.

Some people call us odonto-stomatologists - it's a bit harder

to say over the telephone, though. And if people called me that

I might get charged more in restaurants. (More of that strange

Scottish humour!)

Dentists are good people. They are often portrayed as bad guys - not fair! You simply could not do the job if you didn't like people. And if you like people, you find it impossible not to be as gentle as you possibly can.

Occasionally, someone has made me very cross for some reason. You think to yourself: "I'm not going to be so caring here." You know what? You just can't change the way you are! You're as gentle as always.

Your nursing staff say to you: "We cannot understand how you can be so calm after what that man said to you."

You can never lose your temper with a difficult tooth repair, or a challenging bit of oral surgery, or with a person whose mouth is small and so it's difficult to see what you are trying to do, but of course it's got to work or the patient will be back for you to have another go!

You just have to stay calm all of the time. How many people can do that in their jobs at all times?

Of course, the tension must be there, all bottled up, ready to take home with you at night!

I don't take the tension home - I've got a trick - I travel home through the some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen - I never tire of it. Scotland's full of fabulous scenery.

So trust your dentist - he's a good guy - or she's a good lady!

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