An open letter to my Dentist

Dear office; when I started coming to you in about 1993 or so, you were fabulous. Now you suck. Blow me.

No, no, no – let me start that again.

Dear office; here are some things I used to like about you:
– reliability
– the same person working on me for 14 years
– you were sensitive to my fears

Now, here are some of the things that have happened to me since Dr. Awesome Dentist retired and sold his place to, I don’t know, howler monkeys:

– The time I showed up for my regular appointment with Mitzi (for whom, after years of trust, I no longer needed Valium to come see) and found out that not only had she quit, but the business had been sold, and there was a new person working on me who was so insensitive to my needs that at one point she said “I don’t know why you won’t stop crying” and also had me sign paperwork stating that I was refusing treatment, trying to shame me into a surprise 2-hour deep cleaning rather than the 30 minute job I’d been expecting. I spent the next year cancelling and rescheduling appointments, and I should have just left you then.

– The time you waved me into the waiting room, saying that someone would be right with me, and then rang me on my cell phone about 20 minutes later to find out where I was because I hadn’t shown up to my appointment. I swear, that is so funny and horrible it will just never get old. Someone needs to put that in a book because you just can’t make that shit up.

– Your confirmation of appointment rigmarole that makes no sense and is apparently chosen at random by a drunken dart player. My husband gets a card, three phone calls, and (I think) an email. I get a card, three or four text messages, and an email – but no phone call wherein I can discuss getting Valium for my visit. Valium which I am starting to need not just for my visit, but to even think about you at all.

– The times in the last year when you HAVE phoned me for a confirmation, interrupting the person calling me to confirm is like interrupting a robot telemarketer. When I have been able to get a word in and ask for my Valium, there’s been a pause, a “well, I’ll have to talk to the Dentist about that,” and then sometimes a call back to me to confirm that it’s been called into the pharmacy. This is all at about 4 PM on the day before my morning appointment. Once I went to the pharmacy and you hadn’t really called it in at all, and had already closed by the time I found out and called you.

So this last week when I got not only another new person (have a bit of a staff overturn, do we? a little trouble keeping employees there and happy?) but also no phone call and no Valium… I was done. The only reason I came this last week is because my fear of my teeth rotting and falling out of my head is only marginally larger than my fear of going to the dentist. Now I’m safe for six more months, while I try to find a new dentist (for which my Facebook friends have given me many recommendations).

You are a privately owned company, and you can run your company however you want to. If it’s no longer your policy to make your patients as comfortable as possible; fine. I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t need medical relaxation to get into a dentist chair. However, I’m not one of those people (let me tell you the story of my wisdom teeth removal some day, and maybe you’ll understand why). I wouldn’t stay in a relationship where the other person wasn’t responsive to my needs, so why am I staying with you? Answer: I am not. Good day, sirs.

For my own personal searching later, since it’s so effing hard to find old Facebook threads – dentists who have been recommended to me include Dr, David Thaler (352) 378-2233 (more than one rec); Dr. New; Dr. Hunter (Jonesville, also more than one rec);  Meredith Goodrich 352.376.3216; Dr. Loyce Jones; Dr. Listzwan; Gentle Dental Care. I will be interviewing dentists later, and I will be armed with a host of questions. And my friend Jenn, who is fiercely protective.


4 thoughts on “0

  1. “I don’t know why you won’t stop crying” -WAAAAAAAAT.

    That is the biggest customer service fail. I keep saying this over and over again about various people and scenarios–do people really not realize what they sound like, on the outside? I mean, I know I say some dumb stuff sometimes, but I try to stay away from things that will make me sound callous and heartless!

  2. Oh, sweetie. How horrible. I want to go in there and tell them off for you. Bad, bad, medical people!

    And? I’m so sorry that you had a such a bad experience with a dental procedure that you are that terrified of them. I wish I could recommend my dentist to you – he’s awesome. But the five-hour drive makes it a tad inconvenient. 🙁

  3. I am glad you broke up with them. Also-this particular blog entry is a shining example of what I meant when I said you could make a book of essays that would be wildly popular!

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