A couple of days ago I had a dentist appointment. Admittedly it was only for a check up and clean, but I absolutely hate going to the dentist, and I break out in sweats when I am there. Before any dental work is carried out I insist on injections. If my mouth aint numb, it aint happening. But I didn't used to be like this.......not until I experienced my first German dentist.......Herr Ferrari......and he wasn't that quick either!

This was during the first few months of my life in Germany, when I lived in Darmstadt, and I needed some emergency dental treatment (the cause of which is another story). My lower incisors had split exposing live nerve, which was very painful indeed, and when my tounge touched the nerve it caused me to make rather loud & angry noises.

So after the initial examination, with neither the nurse, or dentist being able to speak English, and myself only being able to order beer & pizza in German, the dentist proceeded to drill into my tooth and nerve without the numbness of an injection. I cannot describe the pain, it was the worst I have ever experienced (and I've broken bones a few times), and is something I never want to repeat. The rest of the 'dental operation' seems hazy now. Thus the kernel of my fear and loathing of dentists formed.

I didn't visit a dentist for several years after this experience, but the whole Haddock family now regularily visit a dentist in Giessen, who is very nice chap, speaks English, clearly explains all actions before they happen, and has the right attitude with the needle.