Bones Aren’t Just For Dogs

New patient exam.

Patient has worn, broken teeth.

They hurt.

Patient asks:

“When you fix my teeth with fillings will they last forever?”

“Well fillings can last forever if you take pristine care of them and your teeth.”

“Oh okay because I like chewing on BONES!”

“. . . . . ”

“Is that okay?”

“Eating bones, ice, rocks, or concrete isn’t good for your teeth. I doubt your teeth are going to last very long eating on things like that.”

“Oh. Haha. Okay. Hopefully they will last then.”

Well at least I have job security . . .

Patients. . .

Smells like. . poop?

This one was fun (aren’t they all?). Had a patient who wanted to have a tooth extracted. First question out of their mouths after avidly giving me the stink eye (like I was the one who put them in this situation) was:

“So DOC, Imma ask you a question. WHAT are you giving me for PAIN?”

“Anti-inflammatories.”

“What? You mean I’m not gettin’ Percocet???”

“No. You don’t need it.”

“What?? Nah forget this then I ain’t doin’ this”

“Ok just let us know if you change your mind.”

“Nah nah fine, whatever I’ll just go to the ER and I have some at home anyway.”

. . . “Ok. . ?”

“Nah I just gotta get this tooth outta here ya know what I’m sayin’ it hurts and it smells like poop.”

. . . Ok??? Don’t know what your extracurricular activities are but whatever boss. .

Patients. . .

Beyoncé Made Me Do It

Just did an exam on a patient with severe periodontitis (bone loss around the teeth). Most of the teeth were naturally mobile due to the lack of a foundation to keep them stable.

She said that one of her teeth recently turned pink and even more mobile after she got into an accident. After examination, the tooth was indeed swollen and even more loose than the surrounding teeth.

When I asked her what happened, she replied:

“Well I blame it on Beyoncé. I was doing one of her dances while I was in my socks and I slid and ran into a wall.”

. . . I’m pretty sure Beyoncé made you have periodontal disease, put socks on your feet, and slid you into a wall.

Though I’m pretty sure Beyoncé would tell you to brush more often.

Patients. . .

 

 

Open Wide. Or Not.

In our profession we have to look in tiny spaces to see even tinier teeth to find even tinier problems with them.

It doesn’t make it any easier when you give us an opening the size of a walnut to look through.

When we say “open as wide as you can for me” that doesn’t translate to “as wide as you feel like it at the moment”.

According to the Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, the mean maximal mouth opening for males was 51.3 mm (SD 8.3) (Range 39–70 mm). The mean maximal mouth opening for females was 44.3 mm (SD 6.7) (Range 36–56 mm).

What does this mean?

It means that on average most people can open 1.75 inches (or the amount to fit a tangerine in their mouths).

(*Footnote. This means that your significant other might be lying if they say it’s too big to fit if you are below or at the average. . They may just be tired that night. Or you need a shower?)

Imagine a valet opening your car door a quarter of the way and telling you to get inside. Think of how much you’d have to squeeze into that small space. Not fun.

Not fun for us either.

Please open wide so we can do our jobs. It’s not that hard.

Patients. . .

My Tooth Hurts.

This was a fun one.

Patient came in because their tooth hurts.

Exam:

“So does your tooth hurt when you bite down on it?”

“No.”

“So does it hurt when you drink hot or cold things?”

“No.”

“So when DOES it hurt?”

“Nah I dunno I mean like it’s almost like it’s connected to a nerve or something.”

. . . .

Yes . . teeth have nerves. . teeth are connected to tissue that is connected to nerves . . nerves are everywhere . . why is this so surprising to you. . .

Patients. . .

Unprepared

Just had a person come in who wanted a comprehensive exam as a new patient.

He stated he had chickened out the last time he scheduled to come in but was READY this time.

He was not ready.

I mean, pretty much everywhere you go for services (the bank, a massage, buying a piece of furniture, even out to eat) requires you to read and fill out/sign something.

Why would coming to a dental office when we’ve never seen you before be any different?

Patient stares down at the paperwork and then back at the receptionist in a “how dare you hand me this nonsense” look and says:

“I can’t read this. I don’t have my glasses with me. I mean all I can see are straight lines.”

He continues to stare at the receptionist like he’s expecting her to solve his problems and magically produce a pair of glasses for him. She says

“Ok? Well we can just have the staff read over it for you then. . ”

Then he proceeds to hand to hand the receptionist his “insurance” card.

It was his pharmacy card.

If you can’t see, bring your glasses. Don’t even know how you’re driving here like that.

Patients. . .

Do I Have Sensitivity?

Just got finished with a patient’s hygiene examination.

I asked if they had any questions before I left, and they proceeded to ask:

“How do I know if I have sensitivity?”

Thinking they were going to be more specific, or ask about maybe WHAT things may cause sensitivity, they were asking me how THEY knew if they had sensitivity.

I mean it’s not like sensitivity is a secret cancer that stays silent and has no symptoms until it’s too late.

You eat ice, say OOOO that’s cold, and boom. You have sensitivity.

So I replied “Well do your teeth feel cold when you drink cold drinks?”

“No.”

“Do your teeth feel hot when you drink coffee?”

“No.”

“Do they ache when you brush your teeth?”

“No.”

“. . . Ok. Then it doesn’t sound like they are sensitive?”

Common sense people. .

Patients. .