What annoying thing does your dentist do?
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
I thought I would write a small list of some things we do that can be mildly annoying... if you have anything to add or any funny stories please feel free to comment below.
1) We often ask you questions while your mouth is full. We understand muffled answers and grunts so it's fine. In all seriousness it's normally just to check you are ok.
2) We run late or are quicker than we said we would be. To be honest we all try and be good with time management and if your dentist is often running late maybe have a nice chat with them and ask why. Dentistry is quite stressful so please try to be a patient patient.
3) Your dentist interrupts you all the time. That's probably more a bad habit of that individual rather than them as a dentist. Nonetheless I think this one sometimes could be attributed to the fact that your dentist is under time constraints and thinks they know the problem before you have even finished telling them. Sometimes it is important to address this concern with them in a gentle manner.
4) Your dentist thinks they know best. This is a tricky one. Yes we always try and do what we think is best for you but that may not be what you think is best for you. I think this simply comes down to communication. If you disagree with your dentist that is fine. We are not ALWAYS right and you are entitled to a second or third opinion. In most cases I would normally advise both parties to really express why they feel their option is the right one.
5) We do a procedure and it doesn't work out the way you want it and you're upset because you paid a lot of money for it. I think anyone is entitled to feel like this and not just dental related. As a dentist I always hope for the best but plan for the worst. Your dentist should always tell you the risks, benefits and costs of every option and if there is a guarantee with any work carried out. From my perspective I'm probably far more critical of my work than any patient could ever be so if they are not happy then I'm probably distraught. I would advise you to raise your concerns in a nice way to the dentist and try and find a solution that works out in everyone's best interests. Most dentists I know only want the very best for their patients and want to look after them.
6) We cancel your appointment. We are humans with families and our own lives also, so when this happens it is normally because we have explored all other options first or it is a personal emergency.
7) We cause you pain. This is a big one! The honest answer is that if you need major dental work done - it will probably be sore or sensitive afterwards. We always try and be as gentle as possible. Believe it or not, dentists are not sadistic people! We want you to actually enjoy your visits with us but sometimes we do have to do surgery and injections that will invariably cause pain and swelling afterwards. Normally this is all transient and can be controlled with simple pain killers.
8) Your face feels numb for the rest of the day after a procedure. Local anaesthetic is amazing we couldn't do our jobs effectively without it. I normally advise people that it is better to feel nothing than to feel pain during a procedure. Also every individual reacts differently to anaesthetic so it is not always easy to predict exactly how long the numbness will last.
9) We use technical jargon you do not understand. It can sometimes feel we are talking a different language which can make you feel left out of the conversation. To be honest we normally do this when charting your teeth and it is more efficient to use simplified abbreviations. I think it is important that when we explain a procedure and the options that we try and break it down in a simplified way. This is not always easy especially with complex procedures but if you do not understand something, it always best to tell your dental team this so they can help.
10) They always make me gag! To be fair some people have very sensitive reflexes and it does not take much to trigger it. Your dentist will normally have a few tricks and tips to allow them to do their job properly. So do not worry, just explain to them delicately beforehand and I am sure they will be gentle and find a solution that works for you.
So yes we are not perfect... but I can guarantee you that we are always trying our best to improve and deliver a great service.