lorddavid3dxw (lorddavid3dxw) wrote in bad_service,

Dentist doesn't care about anxiety

My girlfriend and I moved house recently, and a few weeks back had our first appointment at our new dentist.

Some things to note, I understand I'm not great with my teeth, I was never raised to routinely brush my teeth which mean I now struggle to get into a permanent routine, and have the odd time I miss a brushing here and there, so generally when I go to the dentist I'm giving a quick clean to polish them back up and all is good.

My girlfriend however has some issues, but the important one for this is that she suffers from anxiety, really badly. Prior to moving down here she had an appointment at a hospital to have a tooth out as she has to go under general anesthetic prior to the tooth being taken out. There's absolutely no way she can sit there while they poke and prod around in her mouth, just the act of having the dentist looking in her mouth is enough to set her anxiety levels up, let alone actual work being done.

Cut to the appointment, as expected I'm in need of some quick cleaning but otherwise everything is okay. I've had it in the past, it can sting slightly at times but that's all, nothing serious. So when the dentist has me physically jumping and pulling back in the chair from pain, something is clearly not right. According to my girlfriend it looked like I had been punched in the mouth with the amount of blood that was in my mouth from the "cleaning". Now, I may not know much about dentistry, but I do know that my mouth has never bled before from a cleaning (I could see it when I rinsed my mouth out as well), and I also know that there shouldn't have been two small holes in my gum from it either.

But service wise, that was basically perfect compared to what my girlfriend got. As you can expect, her anxiety levels are already high from her seeing my mouth in that state. She gets in the chair and informs the dentist immediately that she has anxiety issues, and that she has the tooth that needs to come out and how it needs to be done etc. that was told from a previous dentist (with the paperwork he gave her as well for that matter), so the dentist has all the facts.

The dentist takes that as her cue to immediately start poking around in my girlfriend's mouth with... well whatever you call that metal thing they use. I would have spoken up had I known even that was too bad for her to cope with, but after the quick look the dentist informs her that she'll forward the tooth extraction to the hospital so it can be removed, and that my girlfriend needs some fillings and "she can have them done right now". My girlfriend refuses because of the fact she didn't like what the dentist did with me, but more importantly, she can't have the dentist doing anything in her mouth while she's awake.

Dentist starts huffing and puffing about how my girlfriend "really needs the work done" and "she can do it under local anesthetic if it's needed". My girlfriend points out the anxiety she has, and that she physically cannot do it, she would be awake during it and so she wouldn't be able to sit there while it happened. At this point the dentist has begun complaining about the fact my girlfriend wont have the work done, saying that it isn't possible to get fillings done under general anesthetic on the NHS, and it would cost some obscene amount (I forget the exact amount, but I do remember it was well over £1000). This back and forth went on for a full ten minutes, with the dentist almost trying to dictate to her that she was required to have the fillings done "now".

When we finally left she was crying on my shoulder from the treatment of that dentist and how she was spoken to like she was a little girl who was just being awkward.

Thankfully we spoke to her doctor about it, first the doctor is going to sort out where we need to complain to about that dentist, and she's informed us that they DO in fact do fillings under general anesthetic on the NHS because of people in my girlfriend's situation. Meaning not only was the dentist being an asshole about things, but she was doing so needlessly, either through not being informed about the job she's doing, or through wanting to do the work herself.
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