Today's Notable Quote: "Is it safe?" - Dr. Casper Szell, played by the late great Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1976 movie Marathon Man.
I broke a tooth this week, so I went to the dentist to get it fixed. All in all, not a bad experience. Just the same, its always a bit disconcerting to think about sitting in a chair with your mouth open, while someone wearing a mask sticks sharp intruments in your mouth.
On this day 140 years ago, the American Dental Association proposed its very first code of ethics. This strikes me as interesting, since dentistry had been practiced in virtually every civilized culture dating back to nearly 3500 B.C. The earliest dentist of note was an Egyptian fellow by the name of Hesi-Re, who was known as a "doctor of the tooth". Some of the earliest recorded examples of dental tehniques employed by Dr. Re included using a concoction of cumin, incense and onion to aleviate gum swelling in patients.
About today's quote...
In one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, Dr. Szell (Laurence Olivier) uses his dental instruments for sadistic oral surgery in an attempt to torture and extract information from Babe Levy (Dustin Hoffman). Szell is the essence of evil during the entire torture process. He repeatedly asks Babe the question: "Is it safe?".
Despite the fact that it was only a movie...sometimes it's hard for me to forget the riveting image of Dustin Hoffman's character, strapped into a dental chair by the crazed Nazi dentist, Dr. Casper Szell when I'm at the mercy of my own fine dentist.
Watch the movie on video. It's a well-acted, fast-paced suspense in the tradition of Hitchcock. And if you should ever break a tooth--keep an eye on your dentist...