Pietro Longhi was a Venetian painter who lived from 1702 – 1785. He primarily painted contemporary scenes and daily life of residents of Venice in the mid 1700s.
This painting does not include the gory scenes as depicted in works by Caravaggio or Gerard van Honthorst. Rather, it elevates the “dentist” into somewhat of a magician-like figure. But, similar to other works, it shows the dentist having just pulled a tooth. Other procedures (root canals, crowns, etc) that we associated with modern dentistry have not yet been invented.
There are several masked individuals and a person of small stature is at the foreground. All of this suggests some type of Venetian Carnival type atmosphere.
On a lighter note, there are three individuals, probably early teens, looking up and admiring the dentist. Based on this viewpoint, doesn’t it appear that they are holding smartphones and taking pictures?