The Secret Lives of Dentists

Synopsis: The movie centers on a dentist who has a strange dream that blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Alan Rudolph
Production: Manhattan Pictures International
  3 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

Teeth outlast everything.

Death is nothing to a tooth.

Hundreds of years in acidic soil

just keep teeth clean.

A fire that burns away

everything else, hair and skin...

... even bones,

leaves your teeth dazzling.


Life is what destroys teeth.

Undiluted apple juice

in baby bottles, sour balls.

The pH balance of drinking water,


... sand in your bread...

... if you were in the Roman army.

Teeth are important.

Eskimo cultures abandoned

their old folks in the snow...

... when their teeth went, no matter

how good their health was otherwise.

In my experience...

... dentists are convinced patients

can't be trusted with their teeth.

Turn to me, please.

You can't grieve

for every tooth, though...

... every mouth.

You can't even grieve

for the worst of them.

You can only send the patient home

with as many teeth as possible.

Beside your present cavities, you've

got some poorly filled teeth here.

And one of your wisdom teeth

seems to have migrated.

You know, no dentist

I have ever known...

...has ever had anything good to say

about another dentist's work.

You notice that?

Well, I'm married to one

and we're big admirers of each other.

- One of your wisdom teeth...

- You better be cheap.

- Why is that?

- Because five years from now...

...some other guy's gonna tell me

he's got to redo all of your work.

Just watch.

- Open.

- They get more f***ed up every day.

I'm a trumpet player,

so don't mess with my front teeth.

That could screw up my embouchure.

Okay. Open.

I'm not so sure that I wanna open.

Maybe I wanna save my money

for something more valuable.

We ask patients to pay

for appointments they don't keep.

- Lf you're uneasy about discomfort...

- No, no, no. I don't care if it pinches.

I don't care if it hurts like hell. My

wife made this appointment for me.

I lost my job and she kicked me

out of the house.

- Hi.

- She gave me some little card...

...that told me to be here.

- How you doing?

I can't believe she still cares

if I go to the dentist.

We certainly don't care,

do we, doctor?

- Open up.

- Are you married to him?

- No. No, I'm single.

- Oh, really?


I'm waiting for a man who takes

really good care of his teeth...

...which I can tell you don't.

Open, please.

- Lower right, Laura.

- Lower right.

Close, please.


Open, please.

Turn to me.


Little wider, please. Little wider.


This won't pinch, I assure you.

Now, nothing hot to drink, Mr. Slater,

at least for an hour or two.

No biting down, no chewing. Okay?

- Good.

- You're a free man.

That wasn't so bad, was it?

Nice. Very special.

- Have you ever been to an opera?

- No.

It is so beautiful, you know?

- I never paid attention to it, but...

- Need me to pick anything up?

I've got it taken care of.

- I'm on my new favorite theme.

- Yes. Rehearsal tonight?

- I'll cook, though.

- You sure?

- Okay, sorry to interrupt. Hi, Larry.

- Hi, Dave.

- Bye.

- Bye, Dave.

It's just like...

...all the things

you can't really say in life...

...but lifted. And so,

kind of, purified by the music.

Rinse, please.

- That's it, Larry.

- There's a lot of blood.

- Both of you... Both of you stop.

- You're kicking me.

- Yeah, I know.

- Stop kicking.

- Stop it.

- You don't want this, right?

- Dad?

- Stephanie?

- She watches you, so don't do it.

- I wasn't.

- There, you see?

- I wasn't kicking, I'm stretching.

Well, don't stretch.

Mom, jeez.

- It's so sad.

- I'll say.

- Don't encourage her, please.

- I'm sorry.

- You girls are gonna be hooked.

- Sprouts.

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Craig Lucas

Craig Lucas (born April 30, 1951) is an American playwright, screenwriter, theatre director, musical actor, and film director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Secret Lives of Dentists" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 May 2021. <>.

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