Mar 19, 2014

The Dentist Post, v.2

 A few weeks ago, I went to tut he dentist.  I'm not scared of the place, but I don't enjoy at all the feeling of loss of control I seem to always get at the dentist's office.  X rays, insurance, all of it seems to run itself without anyone asking what I want.  So after a less-than-stellar visit, I was pretty much overflowing with 'See, just like I said', and thoughts along those lines.  And then I checked my email and got a 'customer experience survey'.  Here's what I wrote to them.

I called and made an appointment a few days ago because I had one of my back teeth causing quite a bit of pain every time I eat.  I got an appointment and was happy to know something would be done.

I arrived for my appointment and was shown to the chair.  Never did the woman introduce herself.  I thought maybe since I'd called for a specific issue rather than a checkup, maybe she was the dentist who would help.  No, she just did X rays.  Doctor Hjorth stopped by and said he needed more Xrays.  The whole mouth.  Okay, I guess.  while I'm here.  He came back, told me how many cavities I had, and said the desk would check with my insurance to see how much they'd cover.  Uh, ok- but what about my tooth.  He did mention in passing that it had a cavity, but had said nothing about what would be done about it.  It's causing pain- the reason I called, remember.

So I thought (since he hadn't so much as said goodbye) that we were just going to wait to hear from the insurance and then he'd do something. I sat there a moment and the woman said "You're all set, you can go to the desk now".  When I had stood there for awhile, the desk person said I was all set and hadn't needed to wait for her.  She explained that they would contact me when they heard from the insurance about 'how much I would be responsible for'.  Now, it's not her fault, she hadn't seen the exam, but I hadn't even been told what was going on, other than a mention of a number of cavities, and a quick mention from Dr. Hjorth that I should get a tooth pulled and have a root canal on another.  These are teeth that ARE NOT CURRENTLY BOTHERING ME AT ALL.  So now insurance is being checked for procedures I didn't OK and am only vaguely aware of, to see how much I'll 'be responsible for', and you still didn't fix the tooth I came in about, didn't make any mention of how it would be fixed, and didn't say one thing about what I should do in the meantime to lessen the pain that led me to call your practice in the first place.  I am not a stupid person, but my visit to Dr. Hjorth sure did make me feel stupid.  I suppose for thinking that when you call a dentist saying you have an aching in your tooth and jaw, he will do something about that pain. 

I guess he'll just do a full dental exam and start adding up the bill.  It's like going to a bike shop to get a flat tire fixed, and instead getting back a list of everything the bike needs to race the Tour De France, and a bike with a flat tire.


  1. I would take those X-rays and hit another dentist. I went to one a few years back, and he told me I needed seven fillings. Got a second opinion: None.

  2. I watched a news show once where they sent the same reporter to ten dentists. His results were all across the board, from "don't really need any work, but you might want that filling looked at" to "you need two crowns and a root canal."