Dentists aren’t portrayed in most films as much as physicians.
On the contrary, they’re often made fun of in the media.
Most of us remember Jerry Seinfeld’s dentist Dr. Tim Whatley. He appears in at least five episodes of Seinfeld, perhaps most memorably in “The Yada Yada” and “The Jimmy.” Seinfeld depicts dentists as being perverted, unprofessional, and perpetually making slapstick, inappropriate jokes.
And what about Ed Helms’ character Stu in The Hangover?
When he refers to himself as a “Doctor” in front of a hotel receptionist, Phil (Bradley Cooper) is quick to refute his friend: “Doctor Price? Stu, you’re a dentist. Don’t try and get fancy.”
But we’re not complaining; because dentists show up on the big screen less frequently, their characters tend to transcend time.
Here is our top 5 list of most memorable movie dentists:
Hands down, no one will never forget Steve Martin’s character in Little Shop of Horrors.
Little Shop of Horrors movie gave many folks nightmares when it first came out—there’s something beyond sinister about a plant named Audrey II that only feeds on human flesh.
Seymour, the protagonist and plant shop employee, names the plant after Audrey whom he has a crush on. Steve Martin is Audrey’s boyfriend, an evil yet flamboyant biker-dentist, and easily the funniest part of the movie.
Seymour eventually feeds Steve Martin to Audrey II (the plant). He went out with a bang, but not before his great song about enjoying causing pain. Apparently, he doesn't follow a very gentle approach to dentistry.
A non-comedy, Marathon Man’s evil Nazi-war-criminal-turned-dentist played by Laurence Olivier is on the list, and rightfully so.
Olivier earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role of Dr. Christian Szell. Olivier truly makes going to the dentist seem like a visit to hell and back again.
Just watching him drill painfully into Dustin Hoffman’s mouth is torture to watch.
While the remake may not have been necessary, there was one shining addition. That would be Christopher Lee’s portrayal of little Willy Wonka’s dentist-father.
These flashback scenes Johnny Depp experiences are meant to explain why Willy Wonka associates the word ‘papa’ with painful memories, and perhaps why he so obviously hates every parent on his chocolate factory tour—except, of course, Grandpa Joe.
Christopher Lee does a great job playing the sinister dentist-father. It doesn’t hurt that one of his first acting roles was playing the original Dracula, a part he played frighteningly well.
Much of Finding Nemo surprisingly takes place in a dentist’s office, to begin with.
The heroic clown fish Nemo is separated from his father only to end up and be held captive in a dentist’s fish tank.
Nemo and his fellow aquatic friends watch tooth-wrenching procedures through the glass. Literally filmed from a fish-eye angle, a visit to the dentist seems all the more horrifying from this point of view.
In Horrible Bosses, Jenifer Aniston plays a sexually abusive dentist towards her assistant, played by Charlie Day.
In the film, Aniston walks around her office wearing nothing but nude stockings and a suspender belt under her open white lab coat, and continually attempts to seduce Day’s character.
This is definitely an unconventional portrayal of dentistry in film and certainly not an accurate one, but the film is hilarious aside and worth a viewing.
Were there any exceptional film dentists that we missed?
Let us know!
If you need to find yourself a dentist and reside in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area, contact Hylan Dental today.
Our team of Professional doctors utilize gentle techniques to make sure you are at ease and comfortable.