Itís an ordinary office on an ordinary street in a
dignified brick office
building. On the door is a brass plaque with a name on it and
the word "Dentist". Inside is a regular dentistís
waiting room with leather chairs, outdated magazines, and a
sign-in pad on the ledge of the receptionistís window. Nothing
unusual here, except maybe the nicer than normal Oriental rug
that covers the hardwood floor.
Setting in the office waiting to be called, the patient has
no clue that behind the inner door is not an ordinary dental
office at all, but something different. Once you walk through
the door to the inner office, you are in a different dimension.
You have entered the office of the humor dentist.
Things seem exactly the same at first. Ordinary gray walls, a
long hall. The dental assistant shows you to the chair and puts
the dreaded napkin around your neck. You know what comes next,
30 minutes of torture, needles the size of jackhammers and
drills remarkably similar to those used by construction workers.
You are an adult, but your mind races backward to every bad
experience you have ever had with dentistry. You become a child
again, reliving pain from years before, shrinking in size until
you are almost too small for the dental chair and feel as if you
need a booster seat.
Modern dentistry is nothing like that of the tortured past,
you think in your rational mind. Newer techniques and
recognition of patientís apprehension have come a long way.
But the irrational fears remain, making you tense, though you
try to remain calm and not to entertain the thoughts in your
Is there a person in the world that enjoys going to the
dentist, you wonder? Probably more dental appointments are
"forgotten" than for any other profession. People put
things they dread in the back of their consciousness. We
"forget" so we donít have to face our fears.
But this is no ordinary dental office, remember; this is the
office of the humor dentist. Does he sedate patients with
laughing gas to relax them, you wonder? Does he wear a red nose
and juggle like Robin Williams? Now thatís a thought, although
juggling dental picks, mirrors, and drill bits does not seem
like a very good idea.
Then the dental assistant leans your dental chair backwards
and you look up the ceiling. You stare at it in disbelief..
Painted on the ceiling in childrenís art is a picture of a
large smiling clown complete with a big red nose. You smile in
spite of yourself. And next to it is another clown in full clown
attire, painted by yet a different child.
As you sneak a peak out the door into the hall, you see more
ceiling clowns that you didnít notice before, happy clowns
with big smiling faces, balloons and flowers adorning them. This
is definitely a doctor with a sense of humor.
By the time the dentist comes in with his green medical
attire, you are burning with curiosity. He is used to the
questions and explains that a teacher let her students paint
them and then ordinary ceiling tiles were replaced with clown
tiles. He is not childrenís dentist. These clowns are there
It is hard to be afraid with the brave, bright-colored clowns
smiling down at you. You feel the past slip away as you grow
larger, back to adult size. There are clowns on the ceiling of
every examination room, something cheerful to look at and focus
on while he is working, instead of just an ordinary white
He is professional and everything else is ordinary - Except
the clowns, whose smiles give away the secret behind the doctorís
You are in the office of the humor
AUTHORS NOTE: Yes, this is a true story. The humor dentist
practices dentistry in the Nashville vicinity and he is my