It’s actually a little surprising that we don’t encounter dentists more often in zombie apocalypse movies like World War Z or TV shows like The Walking Dead. Dentists are pretty common–there are more than 8300 dentists in Pennsylvania, about one for every 1500 people. Not only that, but they’d be pretty useful to have around. Here are some of the important jobs a dentist could perform in a zombie apocalypse.
Of course your dentist is going to be a zombie killer. Everyone has to be a zombie killer. It’s one of the things that make the zombie apocalypse a drag: everyone has to have a second job just to make meat ends, or, rather, ends meet.
There are many good reasons to keep a few pet zombies around, such as for research, entertainment, or cover, but in order to avoid the risk of serious accidents, it’s important to de-fang the zombies. A dentist is perfect for this job, and once the zombies are de-fanged everyone can feel a lot safer around them.
It’s pretty rare to find an actual doctor in the zombie apocalypse. You more often find a vet. But why not a dentist? Dentists are doctors, too, and for many of the purposes they are needed for, they can serve quite well. With knowledge of many medications, including antibiotics, a dentist can serve quite ably for many of the things you need a doctor for.
These days, it is almost universally assumed that the zombie apocalypse will be caused by some kind of plague or infection. Somebody has to find a cure, and dentists have a decent grounding in many types of infectious organisms. They could play an important role in finding the cure to the plague.
When humans meet in the zombie apocalypse, the situation is almost as tense as facing off with the undead. Tempers flare and people do things they regret. Dentists are used to walking into a room full of tension and, using their voice and body language, bringing calm. A dentist could help defuse the tension between parties and resolve conflict without violence.
Depending on the size of his practice, a dentist is already used to commanding a small army of hygienists, assistants, and other staff. The best dentists are capable of doing so while inspiring loyalty among their employees, a trait that could be very useful in establishing a small settlement of humans to fight back against the tide of the undead.
Even in the zombie apocalypse, if you’re not taking good care of your teeth, you’re at serious risk. You don’t want to have your best zombie fighter delirious with pain from an abscessed tooth when the hordes of shambling flesh-eaters push their way through the fence. And an abscessed tooth is a potentially lethal condition. A root canal can put a fighter back in the trenches or save your leader’s life.
Thank goodness we’re not in the zombie apocalypse.