DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing the same dentist for a number of years and have always been satisfied with his work. He has recently begun to talk politics while he works on my teeth. While I feel he's entitled to his opinions, I don't think I should have to listen while his hand is in my mouth. He doesn't realize it, but I am very politically active with the other party.
Abby, his politicizing grates on my nerves and raises my blood pressure, but I don't know how to tell him that I find his comments to be unprofessional. If I change dentists, I could possibly encounter the same problem, especially in this area of the country.
Should I discuss it with him and hope he doesn't start withholding anesthetic or charging extra out of spite? I'm not sure how to handle this because I have dental issues and need a good dentist who will see me when I need him. Help! -- OPEN WIDE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR OPEN WIDE: It shouldn't be necessary to reveal your political affiliation to your dentist. All you have to say is that there are some subjects that you find stressful, and among them are current events, so he should please refrain from bringing them up while you're in his chair because it upsets you and raises your blood pressure.
P.S. If you feel you need more novocaine, ask for some.