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Climbing into the dentist chair I’ve been seeing double lately

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Phil Egan

They are intelligent, compassionate, empathetic and great with kids.

And, not that it’s the least bit important, but they also happen to be identically beautiful.

Dr. Vanessa Curran and Dr. Jessica Bourassa are twins, and they operate a dental practice together at 929 Michigan Ave., across the road from Northern Collegiate.

It has taken me 70 years to be able to say it, but I love my dentist.

Strangely enough, my first experience with dentistry 65 years ago in Sarnia also involved twins. They were brothers, army captains whose military credentials were proudly displayed on the office walls. They might have known how to talk to soldiers, but they were terrifying to children.

But these two are soothing, even to someone like me who harbours a not-so-secret dread of dentists.

During one recent and tricky procedure, Dr. Bourassa asked me five times in 50 minutes if I was doing all right. I told her my first dentist hadn’t asked me that once in 10 years.

Younger patients get to “ride the chair” or are shown the “Treasure Box” filled with sugar-free lollipops, toys and flavoured lip-gloss. Using a sympathetic friend who takes the calls, the sisters even have the Tooth Fairy on speed dial.

The twins are mothers of young daughters themselves, so they say that speaking with children and earning their trust comes naturally.

Vanessa and Jessica share their skills every April in a “Sharing Smilers Day,” offering dentistry to special needs children through partners in a program sponsored by suppliers and other generous donors.

My last dentist was a Dr. Ono, and “Oh no” was exactly how I felt when I had to go see her. So this new brand of painless dentistry is a revelation.

The twins were born prematurely, 25 minutes apart, and weighed less than four pounds at birth. They graduated from different dental schools.

Dr. Vanessa is right-handed; Dr. Jessica is left-handed. But they finish each other’s sentences and share the same unbridled enthusiasm for their profession.

And like Canatara Park and fries under the bridge, I regard them as a civic treasure.


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