Okay, I will admit it. I have a sweet tooth the size of the Grand Canyon. And because of that, I ended up with a cavity about the same size. Or least that’s what I thought it was.
I scheduled a dentist appointment at a new place after doing my homework on it. They were new, state-of-the-art and very close to my home. I spoke with the receptionist, and she was very friendly and knowledgeable.
However, I also think that she’s a big liar, at least now.
I went to my appointment, and while it was a nice office environment, the receptionist was eating behind the desk. Very professional. Even though I asked about the wait time when I called to schedule the appointment, it took me 45 minutes to even get set up.
Then, a young woman comes in and just says open your mouth. I said excuse me but who are you? I’m the dentist, she says. So I tell her to
introduce herself before she gets into my mouth. She said her name quickly and I didn’t understand what it was. Before I knew it, she told me that I have tooth decay in two of my upper teeth and that two root canals will cost me $2,600, but my insurance will pay for extractions. She said, ‘make a decision and I’ll be right back.’ Then the dental hygienist comes in, scrubs about 9 or 10 of my teeth (I thought I had at least 28 left minus the
wisdoms), and that was supposed to be the cleaning. I also got x-rays of all of my teeth.
The dentist comes back and I asked her to again repeat her name. She said it slowly in a condescending way, which made me upset. I am a highly educated woman and I do not like anyone speaking to me like I am a dummy. I told her I haven’t made a decision and I will let you know when I
have. I said to explain my options again to me. She takes a heavy breath and tells me about root canals, extractions, implants and bridges. Clearly with her it was all about the money.
Hesitantly, I went back to get some fillings done that I had needed between the extractions and bridges and all the other mess that the dentist threw at me. The liar receptionist told me I could get fillings “in those rotten teeth of mine” instead for having to have them extracted. Since that wasn’t a choice before, I quizzed her about being sure that it was a choice now and whether my insurance would pay for it. She said yes to everything.
The lovely dentist comes in to do my fillings, and shoves that Q-tip with the pink stuff in my mouth to numb me up. She then started shoving that large needle with Novocaine in my mouth. Then she left. I’m looking at the hygienist like, is this who you have to work with? She just put her head down and said nothing.
Since I am the expert on my body, I know that I am one of those people that needs a lot of Novocaine. I asked the hygienist to tell the dentist. And I heard her do it. The dentist just comes in, grab the drill and shows this thing into my mouth to keep it open. She quickly says raise your hand if you have pain. I raised it immediately. I said I heard the hygienist tell you that I said I needed more Novocaine, and you’re not going to do what I request? She stuck the needle in again a few times and ran out.
I told the hygienist right then and there that I wanted all of my records because I was going to follow up with a new dentist. She did my small fillings, and I got my records and left. The receptionist seem to think that I was going to blow up, but because I’m a lady I of course did it with class. There are still skid marks on the floor from how fast I got out of there.
You never have to put up with a healthcare provider treating you in a way that is less than you deserve. When you are getting treatment, you should ask all the questions that you need to, get a firm understanding of what is going on and not be rushed to make any kind of decisions. Sure, I could have went back and told the dentist what I really thought of her, but then I give her power over me.
In order to be an active patient that advocates for yourself, get good treatment during your treatment. That may call for having to stand up for yourself at times, but it is greatly worth it. Needless to say, I am never going back there, nor would I recommend it to anyone else.