Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dentists

Years ago, I had the best dentist on earth. I found her quite by accident from an ad she placed in the local newspaper in Port Charlotte, FL. She was all about prevention and introduced me to the waterpik, which I have used faithfully since. Then when I went back to see her when we returned to our winter home in Punta Gorda, a very young man came in and began my examination. When I asked where Dr. Martin was, his assistant told me that she had been found murdered in her home a few months back and the new doctor had bought her office. I was still reeling from this information when the new doctor started preaching gospel to me while my mouth was full of stuff and I couldn't even protest. I canceled the appointment I had made for my husband and we again had to look for a dentist.

When we settled into our new home in Bainbridge GA, we took the recommendation of our friend and went to her dentist in Quincy, FL. Although the office was somewhat disorganized, we liked the hygienist that did our cleanings, and things went fine for a couple of years. Then we recommended this dentist to my parents when my stepfather had a dental problem. They spent several days sitting around the dentist's office to get his work done. They drove several times all the way to Quincy, which was over 100 miles one way. His plate was misordered, then made incorrectly, and they sat around the office many times for an entire day while they waited to be helped.

Two days before my annual cleaning appointment last year, I lost a filling in a molar. I called the dentist to see if I could get the molar fixed when I was in for my cleaning. I emphasized that I did not want to be left sitting in the office all day and if they couldn't do it on my cleaning day, I could make other arrangements. The office manager assured me they had plenty of time and could do all the work at once.

We got to the office and my cleaning went well.......then the dentist came in with a big scary needle and gave me three shots in the roof of my mouth and left me to wait for my mouth to get numb. I felt my mouth get numb, number, less numb, and finally not numb at all, and I was STILL waiting! Finally I told her assistant that my novacaine had worn off!! She said, "Don't worry, we have MORE!" omg! I sat there stewing for a few more minutes and then took off my bib and stormed up to the front desk saying I was leaving and to cancel any appointments she had made for me. They immediately rushed to give me another three shots, fix my molar and send me on my way.

The dentist told me it was because she had a very important phone call she had to take from an insurance company!! The fact that I have no insurance and pay immediately when I get treated apparently is worth less than when they get paid by insurance. I went home fuming determined to write the dentist, the American Dental Association, the Better Business Bureau, and spread this experience across the internet. However, after our 100 mile drive home where I thought about it, I just decided to take the high road and let it go.

Then yesterday I received a "friendly reminder" postcard from the dentist, reminding me of my appointment on December 1!! This brought back the entire experience, and caused me to toss and turn and plot most of the night, so here is my "dental blog!!"