Shoddy Swedish Dentistry

Cast of characters:

  • Sheri T. – A high school classmate and friend.  I haven’t seen her for at least 13 years, but she appears in my dreams more than anyone else!
  • A Swedish, male dentist.
  • A female bus driver.
  • Lazing Swedes.
  • A bunch of boy scouts.

Historical context:

  • Reoccurring dream!  Riding in a bus through a mountainous European landscape.  It’s almost always in Switzerland,  but in this dream, we were riding through Sweden.
  • Reoccurring dream!  Sheri T.
  • Reoccurring dream!  My teeth falling out of my mouth.
  • Don’t know that I’ve ever had three of my reoccurring dream themes show up in a single dream… crazy!
  • I have very healthy teeth!
  • In 1996, I was on a high school trip where we took a bus to New York City.  Only about an hour after leaving Waterloo, my younger friend, Adria, came to the back of the bus holding the fake half of her front tooth and asked me what to do.  She had recently broken her front tooth in half playing basketball, and the dentist had repaired it and given her a half-fake tooth.  She bit into some food on the bus, and the fake half of her tooth fell off.  She wasn’t in pain and ended up touring NYC with only half of a front tooth.
  • I generally think quite highly of Sweden and their health-care system and would have no hesitations about receiving dental care there.

The dream:

This dream jumped around a lot.  I was riding around in a yellow school bus throughout the Swedish countryside.  The terrain was mountainous.  I was sitting with Sheri in the green vinyl seats on the right side of the bus when I reached back into my mouth and pulled out my bottom left molar.  It had felt funny, and when I reached back to touch it, it just fell out.  When I looked at it in my palm, it was very small, like a front baby tooth.  But it was definitely my molar.  It was yellow with brown stains and was rotting.  I started to panic and told the bus driver that I needed to get to a dentist right away to get a fake tooth.  The bus driver told me that I was crazy to even consider getting dental work done in a third-world country like Sweden.  She told me that I should wait until we got back to the US.  I then had a flash in my mind of a 1970s-looking Swedish dentist office, with wood paneling on the walls, and a male dentist wearing a white smock and black rimmed glasses.  His hair was in a perfect 70s coif and was brown and graying.  He was sitting behind a dentist chair holding a pick and a drill in either hand, waiting for me to sit in the chair.  The scene frightened me, and I decided to wait to get my tooth fixed until I was back in the US.

Then I was back on the school bus, but this time sitting on the left side of the bus.  We came to a T in the road, stopped at the stop sign, and turned left.  Outside the window, I could see a bed sitting outside on the green grass.  The bed was covered in white sheets and was 100 yards long.  It was the longest outside bed in the world.  There were a lot of Swedes lounging around on the bed.  When we turned left, I could see the entire length of the bed.  It was so long!

All of a sudden, Shari and I were hiking on a dusty trail through the countryside with our classmates.  The path was made of dusty red dirt, and there were tall yellow grasses on either side of the path.  We walked along the path for a long time.  Eventually, we came upon a convergence of paths.  Another path merged into our path.  Sheri and I were at the back of the group, and suddenly a boy scout group merged into our path from the other path and cut us off from the rest of the group.  All the boy scouts were wearing khaki uniforms and beanies.  By the time Sheri and I were able to wade through all of the boy scouts to the front of the path, we could no longer find our group.  We saw a pine forest ahead and guessed that our group had gone into the pine forest.  We headed in that direction.

The end!

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