The dentist was a man in love with his work. So many other professionals might say such a thing, but for the dentist it was really true. So much so that, after a few strange looks or otherwise disapproving social reactions, he realized that he should stop expressing it with any level of passion.
But passion for teeth was his nature. Since first being viciously reprimanded for performing improvised tooth removal from his younger sister’s mouth with toy pliers, the dentist realized he might be alone in this. He was the only child he knew who preferred retaining his lost teeth to trading them to some stranger for mere coins. Why get money when one could have the eternal satisfaction of having the teeth to pore over lovingly ad infinitum?
From the days of hiding under his covers, gently stroking their surfaces made pearly by flashlight, to his career of touching teeth under the harsh glare of surgical bulbs, the dentist kept a tooth or two in a small pants pocket usually reserved for coins. Touching them, just to make sure they were there, brought him a wash of great comfort a few dozen times a day.
As a dental professional, he was torn between warring impulses. To pull a tooth to inspect its intricacies more closely, or to leave it in its natural housing to preserve its intended beauty? To engineer a smile to the ideal dictated by society, or to avoid marring its beautiful enamel surface with the biting grip of corrective wiring?
These were questions the dentist could only ask and answer himself, working alone as he always did, unless it were absolutely requisite that an assistant be present for a procedure. He found it possible to enjoy the appearance and feel of another’s teeth when that person were unconscious and there were no spectators to judge the ecstasy on his face as he felt a warm rush of pleasure. No one to note his hand’s frequent dashes to the teeth in his own pants, increasing in frequency and intensity as he neared the completion of a procedure.
Dentistry was more than his profession. It was his sole true source of pleasure.