Dentists get a bad rap in the movies and on television. In reality dentists are really nice people who spend their lives helping you smile brighter and maintain good health. So why can’t we ever get a dentist in a movie who isn’t trying to torture or scare us half to death? Well, we’ve gone and found at least a few of our favourite portrayals of dentists in the movies, the ones that will make you smile.
5. Thumbsucker (2005) Rated 14-A
Thumbsucker was a ‘mumblecore’ movie from a few years back that featured a teenage character with a unique quirk; he couldn’t kick his childhood thumb sucking habit. In the movie, he meets a rather unorthodox dentist played by Keanu Reeves, who shares his wisdom with the young protagonist in the above scene. The movie was well received, but it’s not exactly a classic.
4. Finding Nemo (2003) Rated G
Everyone knows Finding Nemo, and to be fair a lot of people think of the Dentist in this film as the villain, because he is going to give Nemo away to his abusive niece. The truth is the dentist is just a normal, nice guy who wants to do a nice thing for a young girl. It’s really quite sweet, when you think about it. In this scene, he’s handing over Nemo to his niece when the fish and their Pelican friend make a scene in the dental clinic, with hilarious repercussions.
3. The Secret Lives of Dentists (2002) Rated 18-A
One of the few very real and well-received films on this list is the award winning drama, The Secret Lives of Dentists. The star of this film is a dentist who is dealing with marital and professional problems in the small town he calls home. Unlike the other films on this list, Secret Lives portrays a real person with real every day challenges. It’s refreshing to see a dentist get the three-dimensional treatment, even if the character has a few flaws.
2. Ghost Town (2008) Rated PG
In Ghost Town, Ricky Gervais can see dead people. When the film starts, Ricky isn’t quite so nice a guy. He’s a good Dentist with terrible bedside manner and a strong dislike for people in general. Then his unique gift causes him to open up and see the world and the people around him differently. He evolves like so many great screen heroes; into a character we can root for and identify with.
1. Eversmile, New Jersey (1989) Rated PG
Eversmile was not a particularly well-received film, but we love Daniel Day-Lewis and there is no better example of a positive and well-meaning dentist on screen than the doctor who travels to rural Argentina to offer free dental care to those in need. Sure, the character is a little wacky as you can see in the trailer, but his intentions and his passion show a side of dentistry in film you can’t find anywhere else.
Stay tuned for more exciting lists of dentists in the media and let us know if there are other dentists would like to see on this list, we’re all ears!