Grab some popcorn! These over-the-top portrayals of dentists on-screen are sure to grab your attention.
While film or TV don't always paint dentists in a positive light, these characters are definitely entertaining.
While this role is not likely Ricky Gervais’ most well-known, it’s still worth a look. Gervais plays a cynical, anti-social dentist who undergoes a procedure and temporarily dies. Once resurrected, he realizes he has the (annoying) ability to see ghosts, who start coming to him for help.
Long before he donned the dark sunglasses and black fedora of Walter White’s alter-ego Heisenberg on Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston had a scene-stealing run as Dr. Tim Whatley, Jerry’s dentist. In one memorable episode, “The Mom and Pop Store” (season 6, Episode 8), Jerry, Elaine, and the gang bring a chewed-up pencil to Dr. Whatley so he can tell them if the bite mark is that of actor Jon Voight.
Starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, this film centers around a struggling dentist (Perry), who discovers an infamous gangster (Willis) just moved in next door. The dentist’s wife convinces him to tell a mob boss the gangster’s whereabouts, and hilarity ensues.
Tim Burton’s retelling of the eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka was a hit, thanks in large part to its casting. While Johnny Depp in the lead role was a huge draw, screen legend Christopher Lee’s role as Wonka’s overbearing father, dentist Dr. Wonka stood out. Dr. Wonka took all the joy out of eating candy, which explains why his son grew up to be a famous confectioner.
P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney is one of the more famous fictional addresses in film. This is of course the location of Dr. Philip Sherman’s practice in Sydney, Australia, where a young clownfish named Nemo is trapped in a fish tank along with other ocean refugees. Dr. Sherman’s niece Darla terrifies the fish, as does the dentist’s many painful-looking procedures.
This B-movie features everything patients fear about going to the dentist. Corbin Bernsen plays Dr. Alan Feinstone, a character who seemingly has it all until he discovers that his wife is cheating on him. He takes out his rage on his patients in a brutal fashion. Definitely not for the faint of heart, the film also stars a young Mark Ruffalo.
Comedy legend Steve Martin takes on the very off-beat, quirky role of dentist Dr. Frank Sangster, who is seduced by one of his patients, who then takes off with his pharmaceuticals. Soon hunted by the DEA, Dr. Sangster uses his dental skills to make a getaway.
Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier share one of the more upsetting scenes featuring a dentist. After the murder of his brother, Hoffman’s character Thomas is hunted by a shadowy government agency that is looking to find smuggled diamonds. Olivier’s character is dentist Dr. Christian Szell, who abducts Thomas and subjects him to torture.
Steve Martin makes a second appearance on our list as Dr. Orin Scrivello, a dentist who gleefully dances into his practice to assault his staff and patients. Bill Murray makes a hilarious cameo as one of his patients. Fittingly, Dr. Scrivello meets a horrible end at the hands of the protagonist Seymour Krelborn, played by Rick Moranis.
This holiday classic sees outcast reindeer Rudolph team up with Hermey the Misfit Elf, who was shunned by other elves for his dream of becoming a dentist. While Hermey wasn’t a practicing dentist, he tops our list as one of the most positive portrayals of dentists in film.