5 Worst Things I've Ever Heard at the Dentist's Office

I haven’t had a regular dentist since 2003.  That was when I left to serve as a missionary in South Korea.  Mostly, this was due to the fact that I was in school, and it is really hard to find a decent dentist out here in Provo.  It seems like there are about a million dentists in Provo all banking on the fact that some student will wander in and be willing to pay for whatever the dentist says needs to be done.  I am pretty sure I’ve gone through 4 dentists since 2003, each one doing a pretty horrible job.  I’ve decided to gather the worst things I’ve heard or experienced in the dentist’s office.

5. “Sometimes our estimates are off.”

I had gone to a dentist right after I returned home from my mission, and he did a lot of work on my teeth.  Two years without going to a dentist can kind of do that to you.  I told him to do any cavity, no matter how small it was, because I was about to go off of my parent’s insurance and wanted any problems to be nipped in the bud. I remember paying about $120 for  $700 worth of work.  About 1 year later, I get a call from a collection agency.  The dentist office had turned me over to a collection agency for $23.  It turns out the dentist had over-estimated what the insurance company would pay, and was coming after me for the $23.  Remember, this is $23 of a $700 bill that they DID get paid on.  What really made me angry was how nonchalant the office was about the whole thing.  They never tried to call me themselves.  They never sent me a letter saying I had a bill due.  I ended up paying, but not before going to their office and giving them a piece of my mind and letting them know I would never go to their office again.

4. “When we got busy just forget.”

This happened in 2003 right before I left on my mission.  I needed my wisdom teeth pulled, and some other minor dental work done.  As I was recovering, I noticed that my bite was WAY off.  I couldn’t even close my mouth all of the way.  Because the bite was way off I couldn’t really eat and I was getting a splitting headache.  I quickly made another appointment and it turned out that the dentist had over-filled my teeth that had cavities and forgotten to correct the bite.  I never went back to that office.

3. “See how much a juvenile patient can bleed?  Get me some more cotton.”

This one happened when I was about 12 or 13.  I’m not sure what the dentist poked me with because I was so numb, but I remember that he was training a new dental assistant.  She kept grabbing more and more of those little cotton rolls and stuffing them into my mouth.  To this day, I am forced to wonder if he did it on purpose just to show me how much a “juvenile patient can bleed.”

2. “Good thing he’s already numbed up.”

This was from the same office that didn’t said they were too busy to correct my bite.  I would just like to point out that just because you are numb and can’t feel the pain of the the dental tools hitting your gum does not mean that you can’t taste the blood.  Gross.  Really gross.

1. “Well, I hope that was the right tooth.”

This one was the most recent (I’m looking at you Cougar Dental).  I had gone in not knowing whether it was going to be a root canal or just a deep filling, and after the dentist started drilling he said this.  Fortunately, it WAS the right tooth.


One Comment on “5 Worst Things I've Ever Heard at the Dentist's Office”

  1. Jim Lewis says:

    “Every patient gets the best care I can provide.” That is the simple philosphy I work by, and I wonder why it is a strange concept to so many other providers.

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