I Need A Dentist NOW! Why dentistry can be stressful...
We get contacted by many patients on a daily basis for emergency consultations. The main causes of most of these emergencies are the following:
1) Person has neglected their teeth and does not brush and floss.
2) Person has broken their tooth or had an issue for a long time... ignored it... and now pain has developed.
3) Person has not been to the dentist in quite a number of years and now has an issue.
4) Patient has fractured a tooth.
5) Patient has developed a swelling.
6) Patient has a lot of pain when eating.
7) Patient had treatment elsewhere and is in pain.
8) Patient has had recent treatment and would like someone to review it.
The list goes on and it is right that a dentist help with all these issues. We always advise people to ring first thing in the morning if they have a problem as they are more likely to be seen.
Do check out our page on dental problems for advice and solutions.
Believe it or not, dentists are not sadistic people and do not want to see you suffer. In fact they spend the majority of their dental careers getting people out of pain or preventing it from developing. It is a stressful career though as a lot of the time things do not go exactly to plan and certain people can be quite demanding.
"when you really need a procedure to go smoothly, you can guarantee it is never going to be as simple as you think."
A lot of the time we spend, is explaining what the risks and benefits of each procedure is. This can then intimidate and daunt people sometimes but it is based on the cornerstone of under-promising and trying to over-deliver.
Patients always want to be see as quickly as possible... recently a new patient contacted the practice stating she needed a root canal as she had seen an emergency dentist who told her that. We advised her she needed a consultation first. She immediately turned aggressive on the phone and stated "I've already seen a dentist, why can I not come straight in for the treatment?!". I explained the consultation is for her own benefit and safety and that one wouldn't expect a surgeon to operate on you without an assessment first in order to prepare for surgery. She then went on to ask whether she could book to have the consultation and treatment on the same day... I then had to explain that as I have no information on the tooth and have not assessed it, I would not know how long to book. This is all simple logical stuff but people do not want to hear... they just want to demand things and feel that because they are paying for it that they get to boss you around and try and manipulate you. We hate saying no to people as we are in reality a service industry but the reason we have to be firm with people is that it is for their own safety and long term benefit (trying to explain that to people is not easy sometimes).
She then responded saying the tooth was a molar tooth at the back top right and to book whatever time that would normally take (now she is trying to tell me my job). I politely explained that I appreciated the information but many times when people tell us over the phone what they think their issue is... the reality is far from what was originally presented by the patient.
She then finally agreed to book for an initial consultation to assess the problem. She then informed us that she was leaving to go on holiday on Friday (bearing in mind it is Tuesday morning). She also informed us that she would want the consultation and then the treatment carried out all by Thursday before she left to go on holiday.
Now we like to help people as much as possible, so I stated that as we were fully booked that week, I would try and move a few things round and work late if she needed the root canal treatment. So after taking all the details and securing the appointments she then rings us 30 minutes before her consultation to let us know that she would not be attending as she wanted to leave the tooth until she came back from holiday as it was not causing her any more issues.
After all that I thought to myself... "you just can't win with some people sometimes, no matter how much effort you go to". C'est la vie!