Phobias are powerful sh*t. Some people really hate bugs, for example. Even consider them torture.

Green GrillzWhy are these two Gristers smiling? Click here to find outGrist PhotoBut for me, bugs aren’t the worst. If I wind up in a secret detention center and get subjected to the ultimate third degree, here’s a little tip for the CIA: skip the bugs, bring on the dentist. I’d confess to anything — rat out every friend and family member I have — to avoid just one minute in the chair.

But would that change if I knew my dentist was … wait for it … green? Could I contentedly stare at a ceiling mural of sea and sky, placidly ignoring the solar-powered drill gouging into my gums?

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I’ve been ruminating over this question since I heard today about the founding of the Eco-Dentistry Association, a group that aims to help its members clean up not just our teeth, but their own acts. They recommend steps from using energy-efficient lighting to disposing of mercury properly to eschewing disposable instrument sterilizers.

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This is probably a really good thing, as modern medicine involves lots of chemicals, relies too much on plastic, and generates plenty of waste (some of which is highly toxic). If any profession needs greening, it’s doctoring-nursing-dentistrying.

So you go, eco-dentists! But listen here: Just because you’re green doesn’t mean I’m going to ease into your chair. In fact, if the only way I could be assured of a pain-free visit was to offer up a thousand acres of pristine rainforest – well, sorry trees. It’s your bark for my bite.

Now, anyone have a recommendation for an eco-therapist who could tackle my dental phobia…

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