Yesterday I posted about why I do not enjoy going to the dentist and mentioned that I had to change dentists when I got married. Well, I recently had an appointment with the “new” dentist that truly confirmed my desire to find another dentist or go back to my old one and pay the out of network price.
Before I go on, I should mention that this dentist is a very nice guy and I do not mean to attack him as a person.
I have been going to the “new” dentist for 3 years and his office does things slightly different than my “old” dentist’s office. First of all, his office is small and old. For some reason I have a problem that the building is old. It makes me nervous – especially the equipment in the office.
Second, he does not have any dental hygienists in his office. I don’t think I have ever had the dentist do EVERYTHING for a typical checkup before. Usually the dental hygienist sees you and then the dentist comes in and checks your teeth. Not really big deal and this dentist actually does a good job cleaning my teeth. He’s a little rough but I’m tough – I can take it.
Finally, he makes me do a fluoride treatment at the end of the checkup. He squeezes flavored fluoride into trays that I have to wear for one minute. It is disgusting and I haven’t done fluoride since I was a kid. My “old” dentist never made me do fluoride treatments. Again, not really a big deal. I guess I am just being picky.
So, my most recent appointment was awful. It was an appointment later in the day so I could go after work. When I got there nobody was at the front desk but I could hear them working in one of the rooms. I sat down in the waiting area and started reading a magazine. It was a good 30 minutes before the secretary came out to the desk and it was to answer her cell phone. I heard her tell the person on the phone that she was training somebody new and would need to call them back. She then looked at me and asked me how I was and if my insurance had changed. She did not mention the fact that they were late or how much longer they would be. That made me upset. I ended up sitting in the lobby another 30 minutes. It was well past my appointment time and I didn’t want to sit there very much longer. At this point I briefly thought about leaving or asking them to reschedule me.
Finally the secretary took me back in a room and quickly did my x-rays. (I should note that I have a hard time with x-rays because my mouth is so small. They hurt and I gag every time.) She kept jamming the x-ray film in my mouth and she seemed bugged that I was having a hard time. At this point I really wanted to leave.
I waited another 10-15 minutes for the dentist. He finally came into the room and did not mention anything about being over an hour behind. I could not believe it. He just smiled and said “anything new with your teeth?” Are you kidding me?! When he was cleaning my teeth I could hear his stomach growling. It also felt like he was going to rip my lips off my face. Ouch! The new assistant didn’t know how to suction either and the dentist didn’t seem to notice that I was drowning (or so it seemed). I really did not want to swallow all that crap that was collecting in the back of my throat.
At the end of the cleaning, I asked the dentist if we could skip the fluoride treatment and he must have thought I was joking. He explained why he has his patients do it and I told him that I haven’t done fluoride treatments for many years. While the new assistant and I were waiting for the secretary to come in and prepare the trays, the dentist left the room for a minute and the the new assistant whispered “my dentist doesn’t make me do fluoride treatments either”. Not a very good thing to say when you work for a dentist that does fluoride treatments but at least I am not crazy.
After 2 hours I was able to leave the dentist’s office. I don’t think I want to go back to that office. I do not appreciate how I was treated. They need to work on their customer service skills or something. Maybe I’m being unreasonable here and I’m willing to admit that. I just think it will be better for my wellbeing to find a different dentist. Don’t you agree?
Sorry to be so lengthy. I promise I won’t bring it up again (or at least for a while).