Below are 40 questions I typically ask myself at work.
1. Why hasn’t anyone invented coffee that doesn’t stain teeth?
2. Why haven’t I invented coffee that doesn’t stain teeth?
3. What if I conducted all my new patient exams today in a British accent?
4. With all the advancements in dentistry available today, do the British all still have bad teeth?
5. Does Michael Fassbender have bad teeth?
6. Wait, is Michael Fassbender British?
7. Will anyone notice that I’m Googling “Michael Fassbender British Teeth” on my phone during the morning meeting?
8. How is it that I have 12 unread emails from the ADA already and it’s not even 7 a.m.?
9. Why is my inbox full of coupons for body hair removal and weight loss programs?
10. Does the Internet think I’m a fat, hairy troll?
11. Why am I so tired?
12. Why did I think it was a good idea to stay up late watching CNN last night?
13. Why haven’t they found that stupid plane yet?
14. Do you want to build a snowman?
15. Does the first patient on my schedule have to premedicate for his condition?
16. Why can’t I ever remember the antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines?
17. Why do I remember the SAT code for my high school but not the flexural strength of lithium disilicate or my husband’s cell phone number?
18. Where IS my first patient?
19. Why is my NEXT scheduled patient here 40 minutes early?
20. Why do patients always feel the need to remind me when they’re being seated that they hate the dentist?
21. Besides heroin addicts and body art enthusiasts, does anyone actually LIKE needles?
22. You want me to do a hygiene check NOW?
23. Can this patient hear my stomach growling?
24. What thoughts float through my assistant’s head while we’re doing a procedure?
25. Oh God. What if my assistants can hear my thoughts?
26. Do you want to build a snowman?
27. Is it time for my lunch break yet?
28. Hygiene check AGAIN?
29. OK, who left their stinky leftover food in the break room fridge for a week?
30. Is the owner of this stinky old food going to be mad if I throw out their leftovers?
31. Why does this Lean Cuisine taste like Rumplestiltskin?
32. How do I know what Rumplestiltskin tastes like?
33. My next patient is here ALREADY?
34. How did my lunch break go by so quickly?
35. How many patients stand between me and my 90-minute ride home? If I don’t leave exactly on time, I drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get home.
36. Why do so many of my patients have names that sound like “Game of Thrones” characters?
37. What should I have for dinner?
38. Why can’t I stop thinking about food?
39. Was that the last patient?
40. This is what they call “living the dream,” right?
Diana Nguyen, DDS