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. . .

Welcome To The Funpark

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. . .

Bunnies

I don’t think patients realize that I’m here to diagnose tooth problems.

Example:

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. . .

Making Patients Happy

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. . .