A Luxury Dentist Office … :-)

“Please transfer my patient file and my son’s to our new dentist. We will no longer be going to your office,” I remarked, hoping, hoping that the person would ask why I was discontinuing our business with the dentist we had been seeing for the last few years. But she didn’t bat an eye. I guess they are used to it.

Why leave that dentist?

For a while I have wondered about him because every time I came in, there was a new hygienist. Why is there such a high turnover rate? Hmmm. And there always sometimes seemed to be tension between the dentist and hygienist of the day. Then, the last time I visited, I saw what was going on….

While the nice hygienist lady was scraping my teeth and administering a good dose of pain, she uttered the dreaded words, “Uh oh. Looks like you’ve got a cavity here.”

Ah, man. That’s a bummer.

Enter, Mr. Dentist guy, who constantly hums and sings along with the radio as he works.

The nice but now very quiet hygienist lady mentions the “cavity” to Mr. Dentist in mumbo jumbo medical language. He takes a quick look and doesn’t find it and dismisses the whole thing and nice hygienist lady. Then he moves on with his examination.

As soon as he removes his hand from my mouth and I am free to speak, I say, “I am quite sure that she found a cavity; I could feel her find the whole. Would you please look again?”

Sure enough he finds it. No apology. No recognition of his hygienist whom he discounted. Only when I, the patient, asked him to look again did he do so and find what the hygienist knew all along was there. What would have happened if I had not spoken up? What does it mean when a dentist does not listen to his underlings?!

So I found a new dentist, one with low staff turnover, someone recommended by a trusted individual. And, boy have I struck the jackpot! I went to my first appointment and there is a cable tv in every room, and they give you the remote. The seat has a massage function, and so I got a nice back rub while the hygienist, who has worked there for twelve years, cleaned my teeth. After polishing them, she even handed me a warm washcloth to wipe my face!

Plus, well, she found another cavity: “Just a little one.” And when the dentist came and examined my teeth, he said to the hygienist, “Nice catch.” She smiled at him. I would have smiled, too, if he didn’t have his hand in my mouth at the time. I’m not thrilled with the whole having another cavity thing and all, but my goodness, what a different experience from my last time.

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10 Responses

  1. […] A Luxury Dentist Office -patients can sense tension in the office … added 3/6 […]

  2. Glad you found an office that you really like! It’s pretty bad that you could sense the tension in the old one.

  3. That new office sounds much better. I have been going to the same dentist since I was a kid and it now is a 40 minute drive, which I guess is crazy, but I’d rather go to someone I trust. Also, I hate it when they find those little cavities!

  4. Maybe it’s because I’ve just had oral surgery, but I feel I must comment. I have NEVER in my life been to a dentist that had TV, massaging seats, or warm washcloths!! WOW, I am so envious! Stick with this new dentist. Sorry about the cavity, it could be worse…really, trust me on this. And congrats to you for leaving your old dentist. Happy brushing! Thanks as always for your beautiful writing, you have a gift.
    In PEACE
    Jennifer

  5. Hi, teresa, strugglingwriter, and Jennifer,

    I was so totally psyched about the new dentist! What a relief! It’s great when you ahve the same dentist for a long while, like you, struggling writer. But we’ve moved so much, that just isn’t possible.

    I’ll tell you, though, it’s like night and day — the contrast. The cavity didn’t even bum me out too much because I was so excited to find such a great dentist.

    Thanks for stopping by, guys!

  6. Very astute of you to pick up on the interaction between staff and dentist. As a patient, you usually don’t know what is being done in your mouth and have to trust that what the dentist and their staff are doing is the best work possible.

    There are a number of ways to have an idea of the quality of work an office might produce and you’ve discovered a major one. Respectful treatment of staff is oh so important…

  7. […] writinggb has a reputation of providing reliable and awe-inspiring information. Check out the latest post on A Luxury Dentist Office â […]

  8. Thanks for stopping by, Peripex! I agree about how vulnerable the patient is while being worked on…. I never trust a guy who treats his staff poorly. A bad sign. Certainly I am better off with this new dentist and the posh extras 🙂

  9. So lucky for your son especially, that you are a woman of action. These are very important times for his dental hygiene. I had one of those “run ’em thru like sheep” chainstore dentists once, and I find like you, the bad ones won’t bother to ask why you’re leaving. I don’t think they really want to know. They might have to actually do something about the problem.
    I love the sound of your new dentist, altho I must confess, if I walked into a dentist office like that, I would wonder how much of it I am going to be paying for on my bill. LOL. (I am a bit of a pessimist).

  10. Hmmm. I didn’t pay a dime at the office…. (dental insurance, thank goodness). I guess I just lucked out! 🙂

    I agree that they don’t ask why we leave because they don’t want to know. In an office where the dentist is a jerk, they already know!

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