Dentistry in the Brazil-like future

Raymond Chen

I dreamed that I was living in a nursing home in some Brazil-like dystopic future.

In this future, people had become so horribly disfigured that they wore flesh-colored suits under their clothes all the time just so they would look good “naked”. This vanity extended only to people under the age of around 40. The old people in the home were just your average old people, with spotted, wrinkly skin. Nothing particularly ugly about them; just your average old people. In the dream, I was my current age, but I was living in the home anyway, probably because I became prematurely senile.

A dentist spontaneously appeared to give me a futuristic dental procedure. (“Hey, how’d you get here and what is that zappy thing in my mouth?” Did I mention that I was senile?) After she was done, the dentist said, “I fixed your back four teeth.”

“You made them last longer?” I asked.

“No, they’ll fail at about the same time as before. They’ll just fail differently now.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“I’d rather not say. You can look in the mirror.”

With trepidation, I looked in the mirror. My eyes were no good, so I had to ask somebody to tell me what happened.

“Dear God, she installed leeches in your mouth! Mind you, she did a really nice job, getting them to criss-cross like that.”

Bonus details: The dentist and dental assistant were hideously disfigured, and I did not notice until later that each had one arm and one stump. The dentist’s and assistant’s stumps snapped together like a garden hose, making them a grotesque conjoined dental crew.


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