Patients come to see us when they’re in pain. That’s great, let me help you with that.
They also come to see us when they’re not in pain, but claim they’re in pain.
I’m not an idiot.
I love the patients who come in to the office and have a whole skit prepared. They know what to say they’re allergic to, what area is hurting, and seem to have practiced the facial expressions to express how much they need pain medicine.
I offer them a solution.
“I’ll get rid of your pain today. We just have to do X.”
“Oh no I can’t do it today I just want to get something to get me by until maybe next week.”
“Ok, then I’ll get you some anti inflammatories and antibiotics to help with the swollen tissue and we will see you next week.”
“Oh no the only thing that works on me starts with a P. . Pe. . Per? Perc. . ”
“Yes that’s the one. That’s all that works on me. I’m allergic to the other things.”
“Sorry, we’re a non-narcotic office. I can treat the cause of your pain and make the pain go away that way. Otherwise it’s just masking the source of your issues.”
“You mean to tell me I’m supposed to be in PAIN until I come back next week because you won’t give me pain medicine?!”
“No. I’m offering you a better solution.”
“Fine I’ll just go to another office.”
When you come in on a Friday demanding pain medicine instead of actually wanting to fix your problem we can tell you’re just fishing for a weekend fix. We weren’t born yesterday.
Patients. . .
I don’t know what world we live in where parents think that wherever they take their children it’s okay for them to run loose and make whatever space they are in and turn it into their personal playground.
Does the grocery store let your kids stack up their canned goods into a fort and knock them down in battle?
Does the car dealership let your kids climb all over their cars and jump on them because they’re there?
Then why do you let your kids jump all over our furniture, drag chairs across the waiting room, and climb into our fireplace to throw around the wood and stones that were so nicely placed there to promote a calming ambience only to ruin it for your kids own demonic pleasure?
Then when we call you back into the room for your appointment you ask the front desk
“Who is going to watch my baby while I’m back there?”
Seriously? Doesn’t sound like you’ve ever watched them anyway. We aren’t a free day care. Pretty sure the assistants and front desk aren’t paid to watch your children and play with them while you kick back and get your dental work done.
Teach your kids proper public manners. Hire a babysitter. The world isn’t made to cater to your children.
Patients. . .
I don’t think patients realize that I’m here to diagnose tooth problems.
I just finished a comprehensive examination.
I asked the patient:
“So are you having any issues today?”
“Yes. I usually have two bunnies outside my house. I went outside today and looked in the bunny hole and one of the bunnies was missing their head and the other one was dead in the hole.”
” . . . do you have any issues with your teeth?”
I’m pretty sure I can’t help with PTSD issues.
Patients. . .
Ok this post is for all of the “entitled” patients who walk in to the office.
It used to be that people came in to the office when they had a problem and wanted us to fix it. They come in pain, leave out of pain. They’re happy.
Nowadays people don’t see dentistry as a medical profession anymore. It’s been perverted into a fruity service industry of professionals whose job isn’t just to do what they’ve been trained to do (which is to fix your medical/dental problem) but they MUST make you happy in the process.
We didn’t offer you a free gift for coming?
“What? You don’t offer foot massages and glasses of wine? My office I went to before did.”
You want me to talk to you for an hour to make you feel wanted and learn the names of all your children and pets and all the places you’re traveling before ending your first visit so you feel you got your moneys worth?
Here’s the one we got today:
“The work he did was great. I just feel like he didn’t take the time to talk to me after he finished to ensure that I was happy with it, hand me a mirror so I could look and we could talk about it together. He comes in the room and does his work and then leaves the assistant to wrap things up. I just felt like he didn’t want to make me happy.”
I see between 30 and 50 patients a day. I don’t have time for that sort of nonsense. Sure I give the introductions, some brief small talk, and over time I’ll get to know you as you come for more recall exams and build a relationship with the practice and me. When I finish a procedure I tell you how to take care of it, give you post-op instructions, and tell you to have a wonderful afternoon. If it’s an esthetic area I show it to you and make sure you like it. It’s not show and tell hour to explain every facet of my work to you in the hopes that it then makes you happy.
When you go and get a cast on your arm in the ER do they do any of these things to make you have a super duper happy experience? No. Why? Because they treat people. It isn’t a medical side show. If you need to feel wanted and loved when you leave the office maybe you’re in the wrong place. Get a puppy. Or a Xanax.
Patients. . .
Had a fun one come in first things this morning.
A patient needs a repair on their denture.
You’d think it’s because they used it for chewing and broke it on something hard. Or maybe dropped it. Or it’s just old and needs a refresh. Or because it’s 9am on a Monday.
They let their kids play with it.
I’m sorry but with the immense materialism present in the world who in the heck thinks playing with someone’s dentures is a good idea? Or FUN?
“Hey mom! Look at the evil teeth attacking the city! Rawrrrrr”.
Get them a fidget spinner. Or some vampire teeth. Or build some teeth out of Lego so at least you can fix it at home with your own blocks.
Patients . . .
Here is the first post of I’m sure to be many about patients and insurance.
Just because you have an insurance card doesn’t mean that your treatment is covered 100%.
Twice today we have had patients come in to the office, went through the standard exam and treatment plan, and when they were presented with the fees, we get:
“Oh no this is wrong you need to recheck this. I have insurance I don’t owe anything.”
I love how they think having insurance (even the stupid discount plans) is a free pass to healthcare. Some of these plans don’t cover but 50% of one filling once a year!
Read your insurance plans people before signing up. No I’m not giving you a discount because you bought crappy insurance. It’s not my fault.
Patients. . .
Here is something I’ve heard at least once a day since practicing. It hasn’t been directed towards me as a person, but towards the profession.
“I hate the dentist”
I walk in to the exam room, introduce myself, and the first thing you tell me is that you hate what I am.
Not the smartest conversation starter, Sherlock.
You do realize that I’m going to be the one examining you and treating your neglected, festering, intraoral disease you call a mouth because you couldn’t be bothered twice a day to clean it?
Yet you hate the dentist. The only people who are capable of fixing your problem.
Maybe re-word your thoughts like:
“I’m scared of this place because I’m afraid it’s going to hurt since I have so many issues to fix”
“I don’t like needles can you help me get through this process?”
This would help me to actually want to help you more and be sympathetic towards what you are feeling. I didn’t put that rampant decay in your mouth. I didn’t make you drink Mountain Dew before bed since you were 12 and now all of your teeth are hurting. I’m here to help you. Don’t hate us. Don’t tell us how much you hate coming to us. Hate yourself for doing this to your own mouth.
Patients. . .