When I moved out here I had to find myself a dentist. Seeing as I've never had to pick a dentist before, I pretty much just went "eenie meenie miney moe" and picked one. Keep in mind, I've never had a problem going to the dentist... in fact I rather enjoy it because I get to go home with nice clean super smooth teeth. I like that feeling.
My first experience with the new dentist went like this-
So, I went in for my cleaning back in September. I took in the x-rays from my old dentist and everything, ya know, being a good little dentist patient. Well, they took an entire new set of x-rays. Understandable, I thought. Then when they pulled me back for my cleaning all they did was polish my teeth with the little polisher thingy. No scraping with the metal tools, no flossing, no making me brush my teeth there. Just a quick polish. That was it. That was all that they did after waiting for OVER AN HOUR to be seen. Ok, I figured it was a fluke having to wait that long and that maybe the dentist just didn't really know what I was there for. Also, he took one look at my xrays, saw that I still have my wisdom teeth and immediately told me that I need to get them taken out. So I ended up making an appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed... that's office vist number 3, we'll get there in a minute. This dentist told me that he graduated from USC, so that was my first warning that he wasn't someone I wanted to work on my mouth. (Sorry, I've been raised with ULCA pride, USC sucks balls.) So, the cleaning sucked, the dentist sucked, he told me to get my wisdom teeth out when he didn't even really know what he was talking about, and I had to wait for more than an hour past my scheduled appointment before I was even pulled back to one of the rooms to be seen. At this point I should have taken the hint that this wasn't a very good office.
That whole experience just got written off as a fluke.
Visit numer 2-
They called me less than 48 hours before my November appointment (that had been scheduled back in September) to tell me that I needed to have a panoramic x-ray taken so that the oral surgeon would know exactly what my teeth were like. Ok, fine. I don't work, so I had no problem going in right that minute to get the panoramic xray taken. Now, when I was little I chipped my front 2 teeth. During the course of getting the xray done, one of the composite caps on my front tooth chipped off. That particular cap had never come off before and it was more than 10 years old so I was expecting it to come off soon anyway, no big deal. Once I realized what had happened I asked them to fix it no charge for me since it broke right there in their office while using their equipment. Honestly, it's not that expensive for them to fix, I've had it done before. The issue is that if it doesn't get fixed within 48 hours it rubs on my lips and creates sores from the irritation, which is very painful for me. Well, this happened on a Thursday, the appointment for the wisdom teeth removal was on that Saturday, and they insisted they couldn't fix my chipped tooth until Monday at the earliest. I knew it would bother me but I just sucked it up and said ok because I really hate causing a problem. That's the end of visit #2.
Visit number 3-
I was told by asshole dentist that I needed my wisdom teeth out, so I went ahead and made an appointment for that at the end of office visit 1. They made the appointement and never mentioned anything about a co-pay. We are living on 1 military salary- money is tight for us, we have to save and plan for anything over about $50. So, we arrive in November for my wisdom teeth extraction appointment. I sign in at the desk and I'm told that it'll be $140, to which I look at my husband and we both go "Huh? Nobody told us anything about a co-pay, and we can't afford that right now. We'll have to reschedule." We reschedule for January, and confirm that it'll be $140. (We end up saving that money out of our Christmas gift money that our families were nice enough to give to us.) So, that's the end of office visit number 3.
I went in the next Monday to get my chipped tooth fixed. The same jerk dentist from the first visit was doing it. Now, I know my teeth. They've been my teeth for about the last 15 years, I know when something is wrong with them. So, he was putting the composite on the chipped area and he squared off the corner. Not only did it make my tooth look really funny, it also made that corner sharp. When he finished up he asked me how everything was and I told him that the corner was too sharp and needed to be rounded off a bit. He just looked at me like I didn't know what I was talking about and told me it would be fine. After he left I talked to the nice assistant about it, and she said that if it was a problem to just come back in and they'd fix it. Alright, fine. So I left, only to come back about 4 hours later because *suprise suprise* that sharp corner was creating a sore on the inside of my lip from all the rubbing. Well, the dentist fixed it and I went on my merry way. (Although I was very frustrated with that particular dentist and the entire chipped tooth incident.)
We come in in January for my rescheduled wisdom teeth appointment, $140 saved Christmas money in hand. I sign in at the desk and they tell me "Ok, the co-pay is $186.47" or something like that. Husband gets really pissed and starts to get loud and grouchy, so I told him to just go sit down and I'd talk with them about it. I tell the lady at the front desk that we were previously told $140, that's what we saved and that's all we could afford. I told her we'd be happy to pay the remaining $40 and change the next time I came in, but we just couldn't do it right then. All parties agree that I'll pay the balance at a later date, and we proceed to wait in the waiting room for about 30 minutes past the scheduled appointment time. (At this point, I'm still a good dental patient. I make sure to brush and floss before I visit, and I always arrive 10-15 mintues early incase I have to fill out paperwork or something.) When they finally call me back the oral surgon says that he won't operate on me because my wisdom teeth are still so high that if he takes them out it will create a whole from my mouth into my sinuses. Ok, I'm totally fine with that because I was dreading the surgery anyway. (I've never had any dental work done with just local anesthesia, so I was pretty nervous and very relieved when he said he wasn't going to do it.)
Now, why they couldn't just call me up and tell me that the surgeon didn't want to operate, I don't know. I think it would take too much effort on their part. So, after the frustration with the co-pay, I am happily relieved by the oral surgeon. I promptly went back to the front and got my $140 co-pay back. My husband and I left, and happily complained to each other once we got in the car about their crappy service.
Vist number 6-
I had an appointment scheduled yesterday for a general cleaning. I got there early (as usual) and proceeded to wait 30 mintued past my scheduled appointment time. Frustrating, but understandable. It's a busy office, sometimes people get running late, yadda yadda yadda I wasn't too worried about it. When they finally called me back they took my into the xray room. I stopped and asked the lady why we were going there, because I was just there for a cleaning. She told me that they always take a set of xrays before every appointment- just something that they do. At this point I was pretty wary about the whole visit, so I made sure to ask if I would be charged for it. She told me that there would be no charge, so I just said fine, whatever and let them do their thing. After they finished the xrays, they took me back to a room and sat me down in the chair. Where I proceeded to wait for the next 30 minutes, with no contact from anyone. Finally the dentist came in and introduced herself (I made sure to request to see a different dentist this time). She took a look at my xrays and said everything looked fine. Then she took the little pokey metal tool and started poking at my teeth like they always do at the start of a cleaning. Well, she found a soft spot on one of my molars. Ok, that's a cavity, got it. So, she poked at it, and poked at it, and poked at it until she poked a whole in my tooth! Now, is it just me, or does anyone else thing that that is just inviting the problem to get worse? Sure, it's already an issue, and there's already bacteria in there. However, YOU JUST GAVE THEM A FUCKING HIGHWAY TO GET INTO MY TOOTH! Ya know, logic says to me that she just made it a lot easier for even more bacteria to get in there and make the issue worse. So at this point I was pissed. She told her assistant to write it down in my chart and then turned around and walked out. I sat there thinking to myself "Um, what about my cleaning. Is she going to come back and clean my tooth? What's going on?" After sitting there for another 10 minutes with no idea what was going on, someone else came in and told me that I needed to reschedule to get my cavity filled. I asked her about my cleaning and she told me that they would just do it at the same time when they filled my cavity. So, at this point, I've been in their office for well over an hour and a half, just to get a hole poked in my tooth and be told to come back later. They didn't do anything useful the entire time I was there! Ok, alright, fine. I went up to the front and scheduled an appointment to get the cavity filled next monday. Then I went come and called my husband and complained to him about what had happened.
After that, I called my dad (because dads can fix anything!) and talked to him about everything that had happened since the first time I stepped foot in their office. He gave me some very good advice and got me calmed down enough to decide what I needed to do next. After I ate my nice yummy pizza (loaded with acidic tomato sauce, ya bastard dentist!) I called around and asked the appropriate questions until I found a good dentists office. I talked to the receptionist at the new office and told her what had happened to me at the previous office. Even without using names, she new exactly which office I was talking about and clarified some of their shady practices for me. So I made an appointment with her office to get a REAL cleaning and get my cavity filled. She told me that they will need the xrays that my old office had taken, since my insurance only covers xrays so often, and it's too soon for me to get new ones. So after talking to the nice lady at the new office, I called my old office back to request a copy of my xrays. It'll be $25, but at this point I'd rather pay the $25 to get my xrays than pay $50 for them to 'fix' my cavity and have to go back and pay more for them to 'fix' something else that they messed up the first time.
So, now I have a hole in my tooth (that wasn't there before), I'm late for a cleaning, and I'm going to be out $25 to get my xrays from them. However, I am now set up in a good office where they do things the right way. I go see my new dentist this Thursday to see if they'll take me on as a patient, and if they do then I'll be getting my teeth cleaned correctly and my cavity filled for $25 using a laser rather than a drill. Through all this I managed to still be a decent customer, I never yelled or ranted at anyone (until I got home, then my poor husband had to listen to me bitch about it for hours.) Eh, I guess I learned my lesson, and when we move again in December I'll sure as hell be able to pick a good dentist the first time. I guess the silver lining is that at least my nice teeth and $5000 in orthodontic work didn't get messed up too badly. A cavity is a cavity, and it's fixable. I'm just glad that they won't be getting their hands on my teeth (or my money) again. And I'm firmly convinced that my first ever cavity is directly related to the shitty non-cleaning that they did when I first saw them. I've been brushing my teeth the same way for 19 years, and I've never had a problem before. Jerks.
PS- Hi, I'm new! *waves*