Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dentists ARE people too

Many people think that dentists are like the character Steve Martin plays like the lady who wrote the comments that follow
1. Because I really want to waste 30 minutes to an hour of my time just so people can poke me, prod me and otherwise get on my nerves.
2. All the dentist speak. All doctors do it, so you know what I’m talking about. For instance, “She’s got a problem with her lower T-12. We’re going to have to ostracize it and cross-counter the white-balance so as to prevent problems in the future on that bicucpid (sic).” Okay…what?!?! Speak English. I’m RIGHT HERE IN THE CHAIR. Also, what am I? A computer or a piece of hardware?!
3. The scraping tools. I should know what they’re called, seeing as my mother works there (although only as a receptionist), but I don’t. I just hate that feeling of hard metal, grinding against my teeth. Who doesn’t?
4. When the dental hygenist(Sic) asks you a question and you clearly can’t answer because their hands are in your mouth. Really, trust me, I’d love to talk about my brother’s love of duck(which is somewhat strange, if you ask me, considering his former loves were Big Macs and turkey sandwiches) or the fact that I’m taking a semester off from college, which you probably think is extremely lazy of me, but I can’t. You inserted your gloved hand down my mouth cavity and I can’t speak around it.
5. Whenever they insert those aforementioned tools in your mouth, scrape, and come up with some previously consumed snack food residue. They wince, you wince, and it’s just altogether an awkward experience and, I feel, an invasion of my privacy. You needn’t know all that I had to eat yesterday..or (sic) days prior.
6. And now that we’ve gotten to that…attacks on your dental hygiene. “Do you floss 5 times a day?”, “Does your toothbrush get more action than you?”, “Do you consider using fluoride a must?” NOOOOO!!!! I will be the first to admit that I don’t floss, unless it’s on special occassions(sic) such as Hanukkah, which I don’t even celebrate because I’m not Jewish. Touching wet, saliva-covered pieces of string and pulling them in between my gums is not my idea of fun. I don’t even wear my retainer. How do you like me now?
7. When they tell me how small my mouth is because they a-l-w-a-y-s do this. Well, if my mouth is so small, then it should be completely understandable that I cannot reach those back two teeth with a rotating, gargantuan toothbrush. (That same toothbrush was my Easter present. Hallelujiah! Now I can brush and brush and brush my problems away!!! Because isn’t that what the season is all about?!) I would also like to say that those two teeth? They weren’t there until about, oh, circa 2008. I am not entirely used to the fact that they are there, seeing as the oral surgeon had to uncover them because of the previously mentioned “small mouth” problem. They literally were unable to come in.
8. I don’t like my dentist. He’s an okay man, I guess, but I still hold a grudge against him. He’s not the most tactful man ever to roam the earth. One time, during Shark Week, I was getting my teeth cleaned and he compared my molars to that of a lemon shark.
9. My mom works there. Which makes it..weird (sic). Convenient, how she can just schedule me and I can walk right in, but..still (sic) weird. I don’t want to talk to you about what happeed (sic) in there. The only way it could be more awkward is if she was a receptionist at the gynecologist.
10. They always tell you, “This won’t hurt.” Sometimes they’re telling the truth, sometimes they’re not. It’s usually a 50/50 gamble between searing pain and a mild jerking feeling. But just in general, I don’t like pain or inconvenience. When that sucking thing ejects your spit back onto you, when they try to x-ray your teeth and you nearly choke on the thing that’s supposed to keep your mouth open, when they give you those gift bags with free toothbrushes. I don’t need them. Give them to children in Somalia!

What a bad attitude from the above blogger!

In response to this a dentist wrote a blog post that went viral on the internet and garnered up such an emotional response. This is from her blog - my comments are thrown in there as well

1. The first thing you say when you sit down in my chair is, “I hate the dentist.” Really?!? Did your parents teach you any manners? Did they ever teach you that it is impolite to tell someone you hate them the moment you greet them? What I really want to say back is, “aww, I hate you too.” It's not even just saying it when patient's enter the dental office.

 I (this is me now) was chatting with a family friend (from my husband's side mind you) and she just blurts " Oh I just hate dentists." - to my face. Why ? no reason - because it's socially acceptable to hate them, because everyone says you should, because we make you recline? Who knows?

2. You come to your appointment, and it’s obvious you haven’t brushed your teeth in days. I’ve had some people with great hygiene come in and apologize because they’ve just eaten lunch and couldn’t brush. This is not what I’m talking about. I mean food and thick plaque everywhere. After 10 years of seeing blood and rotten teeth and some really nasty things, this is still the 1 thing that makes me dry heave. You know when you come to us that we have to be in your mouth. Would you clean your home before having company? Additionally, I have spent hours literally bending over backwards repairing your teeth. Could you at least pretend that you are caring for the work that I have struggled to complete for you?

(me again)Terrible - a patient told our oral hygienist today that he had to eat Christmas lunch with dirty teeth (like it was her fault he doesn't brush)because we had no appointment openings. This patient has never been for a check-up before never had a cleaning even though services were available.

Once heard a dentist say to a patient . . . um, I'm not sure I should say? It has do with the above - relates to personal hygiene and a visit to the Gynae. *heebie shivers*. We had a prof who would scrap the plaque off the patient's teeth, show it to the patient and then ask the patient to put it back - always followed by a disgusted look by the patient. He used to tell the patient "well you had no problem having it there in the first place". Gr.oss but true.

3. After we have spent hours of meticulously repairing your teeth, you complain about the bill. Would you walk out of the grocery store with a bag full of groceries and expect not to pay? I’ve just helped you to continue to smile and eat comfortably, two pretty valuable things that help your quality of life.

4. I tell you that you have a cavity and you need a filling, and you wait months or even years to get the necessary work done. Eventually the tooth starts hurting. Two weeks of pain go by, and you call me on a Saturday night while I am at dinner with friends because your tooth that needed a filling a year ago and that started hurting 2 weeks ago is suddenly an emergency.

I see many of the comments on Lolabees blog that relate to this complaint about lack of funds. I work in a Government Dental practice where all this specialized dental work (composite restorations, dentures, orthodontics,surgicals,scalings, free medication etc) is provided FREE of charge and patient's still exhibit the above behaviour. The tooth has been decaying for ages but only when the pain is almost unbearable do patients come in. I always tell patients that it doesn't mean that there is no pain , that something is not wrong. Cancers do not present as initially painful tumours or lesions. We have outreach programmes , brushing programmes and still people do not take care of their teeth.

5. You come to me so I can help you, but you make it hard for me to do a good job. You wince and make faces when it’s not hurting. The idea that I’m hurting you makes me just as uncomfortable and stressed as you are. If it hurts, please tell me, and I can help you with that. But if it’s because you don’t like the whole experience, you are only causing me to work in undesirable conditions, making it harder to do my best. And when you push your tongue in the way, or you don’t open wide enough, it makes it physically impossible to get my work done. Don’t you want it to be easy for me to do the best job for you?

6. You call and say, “my tooth didn’t hurt before you worked on it.” You came to me with a cavity. I did not put it there. You did. I am simply fixing a rotten hole that was in your tooth. To do so, I must use a tiny drill to cut the rot out of your tooth. If I took a drill, cut a hole in your femur bone, and then filled it in with a foreign material, don’t you think it might be sore for a while? Same concept.

7. When we try to take an x-ray, you won’t bite down on it. We have to do this to see what is going on with your tooth. Without knowing the problem, we can’t properly treat you. I know, in some cases some people really can’t do it; but some people could and won’t just suck it up for 15 seconds. I’ve had x-rays too, and they hurt and dig into my gums, but I just do it. Luckily there is digital imaging and digital impressions now as well.

Okay I don't have the above problem

8. You tell me that you bought my car for me after having a crown done. Contrary to how it seems, you actually didn’t buy me a car. You bought yourself a crown. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education, and have spent hours making this crown fit precisely in your mouth, so maybe you helped me make a portion of a student loan payment. But you certainly didn’t buy my car. Exactly! And the lab costs of the technician making the crown - exorbitant!

9. You no-show an appointment or cancel last-minute. Some things are unavoidable, but when it’s because your hairdresser got a last-minute cancellation and you had to take that appointment instead, this is just rude. Not only am I unable to fill the 2 hours of my schedule that I reserved specifically for you, but someone else who wanted to get in had to wait 2 weeks for his/her appointment. And on that note, when you have the first appointment of the day, and you show up late for your appointment, I am late for every other patient the rest of the day.

10. When I tell you that you grind your teeth, you deny it, as if I am accusing you of having a horrible disease or being a baby murderer. It’s not that bad to be a tooth grinder. I’m just pointing something out and maybe offering a way to prevent more problems in the future. This observation is concluded from signs or symptoms that are based on real science, not myth.

And along those lines… bonus #11. You tell me a diagnosis I make is simply wrong without listening to me. If you know so much, why are you coming to me? You do the filling or root canal yourself. You obviously don’t need me.

Please click on the above link to the blog - the comments are priceless

Here is one - my thoughts are in there too.
1) “Soft teeth run in my family, so it isn’t my fault my teeth are all rotten.” Enough said. Or the baby sucked all the calcium out of my teeth.

2) The patient who complains they hate needles, doesn’t let you give a local, then whines and flinches when you try and work without anaesthesia at their request.

3) The patients who think that fluoridated water and amalgam fillings are giant conspiracies where dentists are trying to poison everyone. (These are usually the ones who keep coming back time after time because their “natural” white fillings are giving them post-op sensitivity–And it’s probably a good thing they don’t know that composite contains BPA!)

4) Complete strangers who, upon finding out you are a dentist, pop out their dentures in the middle of the grocery store while describing every past experience they have ever had with dentists…(These are the times I thank GOD I’m not a proctologist!)

5) Parents. “I don’t know why my 4-year-old has cavities in every tooth. He SAYS he brushes his teeth!” Followed by “I can’t get him to stop drinking pop. He doesn’t LIKE water.” Followed by “I don’t care that my kid is screaming, flailing and trying to grab the instruments out of your hand, and we aren’t leaving until this is done because we can’t afford to pay for sedation!” (I even heard someone tell their child “It’s okay dear, it’s totally normal to have teeth ripped out of your face. Look, mommy has had it done lots of times!”) I get so angry when I see this. These poor children – I used to have an assistant who would tell these parents that it is child abuse. How can your child brush by themselves? Also you can see that their teeth are in need of attention but only bring them when there is an abscess in the mouth. Remember at our clinics all the services are free and all mothers get constant education. We even have prepared special oral hygiene packs for babies and their first teeth. Even with our crèche and school programmes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love to hear your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...