Visiting the dentist has always been a major family outing, ever since I was a small child, so it came as quite a shock to realise that other people don't travel twenty-odd miles, and into the next county to get their teeth checked out. Apart from when I went to university at the other end of England, I have been going to the same dental practise since before I was born (a different dentist took over 28 years ago, but I've got used to him now).
The advantage of travelling so far, is that he will usually do any drilling and filling all at the same time. One is in a certain agony of apprehension in the run up to the appointment, but we know it will all be over, bar the final coronation, should a new crown is required, by the end of the visit. It came as quite a shock when I went to a different practise and discovered that one was supposed to have a checkup and then "come back next week" to have the job finished. I didn't care for that at all, and was very glad when we moved back south and I was able to resinstate the biannual all-in-one dental outings again.
So, we get together, all four of us, every six months, and spend quality time together reading back copies of Reader's Digest in the waiting room. We can judge by the length of time we spend in the "other room" and how long the drill makes its merry whining sound, how much sympathy and commiseration each one of us will need.
Perhaps when they retire, we might think about finding a dentist in the town where we live. It would be a huge wrench to break with such a longstanding tradition. We don't think that we are at all odd, travelling twenty-six miles each way. After all, my parents (who live a few streets away from us) travel the best part of three hundred miles to their dentist. We only take half a day - they schedule a week for their visits.