You may be at a “Backyard” dentist if you notice you are being attended to outdoors. The dentist may be tattooed, wearing a face mask and holding a cordless drill and garden hose. A dental assistant might serve beer while various other backyard activities occur, such as barbecues, clothes hanging, neighbours waving hello, and dogs chasing cats.

A few months ago, I was at a friend’s place and the news was on in the background. There was a story on about someone who had some shoddy dental work done by a cheap and nasty dentist. The reporter referred to this alleged dental professional as a “Backyard” dentist.

At the time, I hadn’t heard of this term and there was some speculation on our part as to what might go on at a backyard dentist. It was agreed that this kind of dentist, being of the backyard variety, should carry a cordless drill with a rather large drill bit instead of a regular dentist drill. He (or she) should also have a garden hose with squeeze trigger on hand to facilitate the rinsing and spitting process.

Suction wasn’t discussed, but no doubt a vacuum cleaner or a plunger could be used for this purpose.

After our discussion, I knew that this was something I would like to have a go at illustrating, adding in a lot of common backyard activities. The above cartoon is the result. This was produced over a period of time. I would just draw a bit every now and then and put it on hold when other things came up. It was this last weekend that I decided to get it to a presentable stage. I haven’t done any shading yet but hope to at a later date.