Sometimes, even after 30 years in practice, dentists still get new experiences; cases they have not seen before, patients they have yet to encounter.

How often do patients sympathise with their dentists? Not very often. They don’t feel bad when they keep exhaling through their mouths, fogging dentist’s mirror. They may not even try to keep their mouths open for a long procedure. They think it’s the dentist’s problem when they can’t open their mouths.

On a few rare occasions, they say “sorry”. But when a difficult patient (who claims to have a phobia for dentists) says “poor thing” when she sees the dentist struggling, it brings a strange feeling to the poor dentist. Is she being apologetic? Is she mocking? Something to chew on.

Dental Phobia by Chan Joon Yee