Dental Dilemma (FP)

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#FP02: “Dental Dilemma”
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Last aired
January 12, 1987 ↓
Original Release Date
Date Recorded
November 1986
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Family Portraits
Cassette No.
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Psalm 27:1

11 Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?

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Dental Dilemma

“Dental Dilemma” is episode #2 of the Family Portraits audio series. It was written by Susan McBride, and originally aired on January 12, 1987.


Emily Forbes loves the dentist. But when her older brother frightens her with lies about her teeth, she fears Dr. Graves is going to pull all of them out!


This episode is a flashback as told by Jean Forbes to Whit while they are in an elevator on their way up to see their dentist, Frank Graves. Jean tells Whit that after what her family put the good doctor through this last week, he deserves a medal.

The flashback takes us to breakfast at the Forbes' house and Jean is asking her husband Bob what he would like for breakfast. After a small amount of friendly bickering, Mark joins the table. Jean asks Mark to go find out what is taking his sister, Emily so long in coming down for breakfast. Mark returns with Emily to the table and tells how Emily was just watching her loose tooth swing back and forth in the mirror. Emily doesn't want anyone but Dr. Graves to pull the tooth. As Bob leads the family in prayer for the food and for Emily, her tooth falls and clatters on her plate. Bob finishes his prayer by saying that God knows our needs before we ask.

We are then taken to the Forbes' church where they see Dr. Graves. Emily proudly claims that she is coming to see him tomorrow along her brother. Bob comments that she is a fearless daughter to which Emily replies that she is not afraid of anything and that she is like "Donald and Goliath."

Back at home, Mark complains to his mother that he doesn't want to go to the dentist which doesn't get him anywhere. Later on he confronts Emily in the bathroom while she is brushing her teeth and tells her that Dr. Graves is going to pull all of her teeth out when she sees him tomorrow as a joke. He elaborates upon the procedure as far as to describe the large pliers and horse needle they will use. Mark also says that she can't tell mom or dad anything because she might have to go to the hospital.

Later on in Emily's bedroom, Jean and Bob are concerned about Emily's sudden fear of Dr. Graves. When asked why she is afraid she says that she doesn't know why and denies that anyone has said anything to her to make her so afraid. As her mother and father leave the room after praying with Emily to calm her fears, they run into Mark who has been listening at the door but claims to be up for a glass of water.

The story continues the next day in Dr. Grave's office where Mark waits in the lobby while Emily is taken by Dr. Graves to the yellow exam room. Dr. Graves sings little songs to himself while he does a quick check on Emily. When he claims that he is almost done Emily is astonished that he s not going to pull all of her teeth out. Dr. Graves is astonished as she tells him the lie that Mark fed her and after Dr. Graves wins back Emily's trust, they concoct a plan to give Mark a taste of his own medicine.

Dr. Graves comes out to the lobby and tells Mark that he won't have time to examine him because he needs a pint of blood fast due to the blood loss of all the teeth he pulled out of Emily. As Mark is seated in the exam chair Dr. Graves brings out a large pair of pliers and a large "needle" and continues to lament how he should never have used such painful instruments on Mark's sister. The plan works perfectly and Mark is very scared and Dr. Graves simply replies, "Who wouldn't be Mark?"

At this point he asks for his 'nurse' to come in and Emily enters the room and loudly proclaims that they fooled him and that the large "needle" is just an irrigator. Mark threatens to tell on Emily for the joke when Dr. Graves tells him that he should tell his parents everything. Dr. Graves continues to tell Mark that he had made Emily afraid of him, lie to her parents when they wanted to help her and made her go through a terrible day of dread. Mark apologizes to Emily and gets ready to leave when Dr. Graves tells him to sit back and smile like a crocodile for his cleaning which Mark thought he had gotten out of.

At the conclusion of the story, Whit concludes the episode by asking Jean why Dr. Graves never asks him to smile like a crocodile.

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions are not available for episodes in the Family Portraits collection. This list is from the re-airred version.

  1. Why was Mark wrong to tease Emily?
    • Have you ever teased anyone that way?
  2. Were Emily and Dr. Graves right to get back at Mark?
  3. Do you think all teasing is bad?
    • Why or why not?
    • How do you think Jesus feels about it?




Jean Forbes: Go tell her to get in here!
Mark Forbes: What's the magic word?
Jean Forbes: GO!!
Mark Forbes: Well, that works, too.