To not appreciate the way the dentist spoke to me?

(59 Posts)
littlemisssunny Thu 24-Jan-13 12:24:59

I do have pmt at the moment so it might be me who is being unreasonable!

I changed to an nhs dentist last year, and the dentist I saw was lovely, talked things through etc. I had a temporary crown in December and booked an appt for jan to have the crown fitted.

I had to rearrange twice as I had flu and then vertigo (rang up in time and explained, no problem) then I rang on the day of my next appt to check the time as I hadn't had a text reminder, to be told the new dentist (same surgery, but dentist i saw first time had left) doesn't work that day and I should of had a letter to arrange, so I just rebooked, a bit annoyed but didn't complain as I get nervous about the dentist and was glad to get out of it!!

Anyway I went today and told them I hadn't been brushing my teeth as much as I should as I was laid up with flu and vertigo and struggled to get up to even go to the toilet.

She had a right go at me when she had finished saying I need to brush my teeth even when I'm ill otherwise I could get gum disease. It wasn't what she said it was the way she said it. I know I need to brush my teeth and again explained why I hadn't.

I left then as I didn't want to say anything as I was upset.

I have to go back for a filling in a couple of weeks and an dreading it already. The dental nurse was lovely and I think a bit embarassed for me.

I am thinking about asking to change dentists after my filling as they have lots there.

So do I need to get a grip or was she being unreasonable?

Numberlock Thu 24-Jan-13 12:32:50

Aah, you've also had an encounter with the mouth police! grin

Theicingontop Thu 24-Jan-13 12:35:19

Well what she said was reasonable, how was her tone? If my dentist said that to me in a professional manner I'd have been a bit embarrassed, but I'd have brushed it off. If she'd said it in a rude, condescending way I'd have been annoyed.

When you say 'a right go' do you mean rude, raising her voice, what?

merlottits Thu 24-Jan-13 12:36:05

It wasn't what she said it was the way she said it

That sums up PMT doesn't it? grin

I hate dentists, rich judgemental nobbers. My dentist has halitosis!

dexter73 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:36:50

My dentist used to be like this. It actually made me laugh to myself as she would give me a right telling off sometimes and she is only in her late twenties! I think people must have complained about her as she did get a lot better and wasn't so condescending and bossy after a while, and she was actually a very good dentist. Just ignore her strops.

TheCraicDealer Thu 24-Jan-13 12:39:09

I had a similar run-in with my dentist a year ago when I went back after a three year absence. She was not happy and I was very upset when I left. However, the next time I went she was fine and very much had the attitude "right, let's get this sorted for you".

From their point of view, they must get bloody sick of hearing the same excuses as to why people haven't been looking after their teeth properly over and over again, then having to try and patch them up! Also I sympathise with people seeming overly harsh- I know I can be like that, even though I really really don't mean it. I just don't realise when I do the tone IYKWIM.

If she's like that again, ask to see another dentist the next time. And if they ask, tell them you didn't like the way she spoke to you.

littlemisssunny Thu 24-Jan-13 12:39:23

She was very condescending and rude, I had explained why I hadn't brushed them much already. I know what she said is true and I don't mind her saying it, she just wasn't professional about it.

Perhaps I should just go crawl under a rock so noone can offend me grin

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 24-Jan-13 12:41:15

Well YABU to not clean your teeth regularly when you're ill since by not doing so you have to see the dentist more often and I hate the dentist so take all available measures to keep my teeth in good condition They should have sent you a text to let you know your appointment needed to be rebooked

Numberlock Thu 24-Jan-13 12:41:31

From their point of view, they must get bloody sick of hearing the same excuses as to why people haven't been looking after their teeth properly over and over again, then having to try and patch them up!

They could also look at it that's their (extremely well-paid) job to do this.

nickelbabe Thu 24-Jan-13 12:46:08

i don't think they should get nasty about it, or pissed off.

I went to the dentist for the first time in about 8 years (on an emergency appointment) a few years ago and the dentist was lovely.
I hadn't been for so long because my "temporary" filling had dropped out on the same day it was fitted and I didn't dare go back.

I wasn't told off or made to feel crap, I was treated like any normal person who had been taking good care of their teeth and visiting every 6 months.

I agree, number. My dentist is lovely, but the hygenist is really, really rude.

TheCraicDealer Thu 24-Jan-13 12:47:26

True, but if I were in their position it would be refreshing to hear "Sorry, I'm lazy and don't floss or brush twice a day. Please sort me out".

Not you though, OP! Hope you're feeling better.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 24-Jan-13 12:47:32

My dentist is very blunt and doesn't try to disguise her disappointment when I need treatment. She's Latvian, and claims she hasn't yet learnt how to be factual and kind at the same time, but I think she just gets sick of crappy patients like me and doesn't care if we go away feeling like naughty children.

Don't take it personally.

Numberlock Thu 24-Jan-13 12:55:00

Also, given the fact that there is no such thing as free dental care anymore along with the financial problems of many people in this country, it's hardly surprising that people don't go/can't afford to visit the dentist. They can think what they like when you've left the treatment room, it's just poor customer service and bad manners to be rude to your patients.

How many of us in our jobs would get away with speaking to customers like this?

dippywhentired Thu 24-Jan-13 12:55:46

Maybe she had PMT too! Seriously, dentists are people like everybody else, and whilst we should be professional at all times, sometimes having to tell somebody the same thing for the 20th time that day (having seen that you had the same discussion 6 months' ago), can get a little wearing! But yes, we are all 'rich, judgemental nobbers', so take no notice of me wink.

Startail Thu 24-Jan-13 12:58:26

Dentists are a bit pompous, I think it's a qualification for the job.

littlemisssunny Thu 24-Jan-13 13:13:06

I did apologise though and think I had a valid reason. I know they probably get tired of hearing excuses but I apologized and was honest, I knew I should have been brushing and I said that, so it's not like I wasn't admitting it.

I work in retail and certainly don't feel like being nice all the time, especially if people are nasty but I have to be nice cos its my job, even if I don't agree with what they are saying!

Numberlock Thu 24-Jan-13 13:16:12

I don't think you need to feel guilty (or apologise). All dentists may not be rich, judgemental nobbers, put I'm sure even dippy would agree that a bit of PR wouldn't go amiss in the profession, especially given the large amounts of money that exchange hands, both in terms of treatment costs and salaries.

I think it's experience that shows. My (mature grin) dentist is lovely. She knows damn well there's no point telling me off and she works with me.

LessMissAbs Thu 24-Jan-13 13:18:36

Perhaps she was shocked? I must admit I do find it shocking when people don't brush their teeth twice a day. Are you elderly or do you have mobility problems? Do people really not brush their teeth because of having flu? When I was flat out with pneumonia, I still managed to get myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth!

Probably she allied it to the 3 missed appointments, she wouldn't have had time to check the reasons behind them.

I suspect her attitude was aimed more at giving you a shock into seeing the necessity of brushing your teeth, rather than being rude.

dippywhentired Thu 24-Jan-13 13:19:25

No, you're right that she shouldn't have been rude to you. But, if she hadn't told you about poor oral hygiene leading to gum disease, then she wouldn't have been doing her job. So, if she was stroppy with you, then YANBU, but if it was your PMT that made you perceive her manner to be rude (rather than you just not wanting to hear it), YABU.

Arf at 'mouth police'

My new dentist made me laugh, I always get nice comments about my teeth, I'm lucky that they are naturally straight and white, but when he looked in my mouth he was really surprised and said "Oh, well these arn't desperately bad!"

Is that a compliment, or does he just see a lot of god awful teeth?

Numberlock Thu 24-Jan-13 13:22:42

shocked? I'm sure she's seem worse things in people's gobs than a lack of brushing for a couple of days.

littlemisssunny Thu 24-Jan-13 13:23:49

less I had vertigo as well as flu so I couldn't even stand without feeling sick and like I was going to fall over, I do normally brush my teeth if I'm ill.

They weren't technically missed appts as I changed them within the time and 2 of them were when the old dentist was still there, and the 3rd was never actually booked as she didn't work that day.

Like I say I have no problem being told I need to brush and the consequences but just felt a bit like a naughty child being told off.

fubbsy Thu 24-Jan-13 13:26:24

YANBU to not appreciate the way the dentist spoke to you. Even if it was just a misunderstanding and she was behaving professionally, it's still perfectly fine to change dentists if you were not happy. You don't have to give a reason.

coraltoes Thu 24-Jan-13 13:26:25

When told "you haven't been flossing" I reply "no I haven't...keeps you in business though doesn't it?" and they always smile. Life is too short for dental floss!

LabelsGalore Thu 24-Jan-13 13:28:24

I suspect her attitude was aimed more at giving you a shock into seeing the necessity of brushing your teeth, rather than being rude.

When my dentist tried to use 'shock' and fear to convince me to have one of ds tooth extracted, I left the clinic tbh.
I am an adult, I expect my dentist to talk to me as an adult, with respect. To give me explanations. Not to scare me into doing something I might not think is OK.

Incidently, I went with ds to another clinic, saw a lovely dentist who explained the situation much better to me, and listen to my worries too. ds had his tooth extracted because it was the best for him, not because I had been scared.

<<Annoyed at all the health professionals who think that fear is the only way to make people do things>>

fubbsy Thu 24-Jan-13 13:29:24

wink My new dentist is young and good looking and I want to go back.

Pigsmummy Thu 24-Jan-13 13:29:34

I have a nice dentist and hygienist but have had bad examples of both. I went to my hygienist straight from work and hadn't had time to brush after my porridge breakfast, I did explain this to the hygienist but he ranted about "all this soft plaque" being a "disgrace", it was the porridge! Fecking Eejit, next time I went in I saw someone else as the porridge hating hygienist had been deported.

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 24-Jan-13 13:29:46

No matter how ill I am, even when I've been in hospital I've managed to brush my teeth.
While you were ill, you must have been able to go to the loo or have a glass of water, therefore you were perfectly able to brush your teeth.

LabelsGalore Thu 24-Jan-13 13:30:04

little tbh if you struggle to get out of bed, I am not sure why you should be expected to go and brush your teeth.

For me, that comment would sound like she hadn't believed my explanation and thought I was just using an excuse for not brushing. Which would really annoy me.

LabelsGalore Thu 24-Jan-13 13:32:43

Lady I am sorry but you can't have been that ill then.
I had flu a few times, was unable to get up and would only do that if absolutely needed. Brushing my teeth would not have being on the list of 'absolutely necessary'. Going to the loo yes.

TBH, if you brush your teeth properly, not brushing then for a few days will not be such a disaster or create gum disease. It's not doing AT ALL that is an issue.

ShellyBobbs Thu 24-Jan-13 13:37:41

My dentist is young, good looking and Spanish. Bring on the drill smile

I used to have a lovely posh NHS dentist in the middle of Hackney. He marvelled at my fabulous teeth (they're okay but I do have one massive filling) angled the light off them and said how they shined. Then he told me most of his patients don't brush their teeth, ever. Poor man.

McBalls Thu 24-Jan-13 13:59:10

I sympathise, I always feel like I going to the headmasters office when I have a dental appt.

In all honesty though I think it's pretty bad not to brush your teeth, I honestly can't think of any situation when I would not brush twice a day. I don't say that to pick on you when you feel bad already but sometimes I wonder if I do/ don't do things that other people would be hmm about and I'd probably rather know iykwim.

Having said that, they are your teeth and its up to you what you do with them.

dippywhentired Thu 24-Jan-13 14:15:56

grin very true Needathickerskin!

AngryGnome Thu 24-Jan-13 15:42:42

Having had zero problems with my teeth in 32 years, in the year following birth of ds I had to have 2 root canal treatments which both failed and the teeth were subsequently extracted.

Needless to say, I am slightly shocked about this sudden deterioration in the health of my teeth, when my dental hygiene and diet haven't changed. When I asked my dentist what was happening, and what could I do to prevent it, his response, word for word, was 'bad diet, innit'. That is apparently the sum total of his wealth of knowledge and communication skills.

Needless to say I am now hunting out a new dentist.

emsyj Thu 24-Jan-13 16:00:50

I had a dentist be very rude to me once, so I changed to another one at the same surgery but not before getting a dressing-down from the practice manager. She was utterly obnoxious but she picked the wrong day to be nasty to me and soon backtracked. The same dentist that I refused to see again extracted one of my DMum's teeth a couple of months later and made a botch job of it - he was rude to her too until she went in with DBro (also a dentist) who stood up to him and pointed out that DMum needed further treatment (which he did agree with and perform - then she found a new dentist too).

I have to say though that NHS dentists are not raking in megabucks unless they do a lot of private work on the side. My DBro is NHS and far from rich and he works bloody hard. If you're in the north west OP, go to him instead!

fluffyraggies Thu 24-Jan-13 16:32:55

I am petrified of having dental work. So much so that i will only go when in extreme pain. I look after my teeth in the hope that i don't end up in extreme pain very often.

However about 10 years ago i was having hellish pain with my wisdom teeth and had to go. The dentist i saw told me off like a child for not going to the dentist regularly. I explained my phobia, and told him i was frightened and found it hard to even be in the treatment room, let alone the chair, but he harangued me all over again.

I had the work done and haven't been back since sad

He was recommended to me as being good with nervous patients too!

phantomnamechanger Thu 24-Jan-13 17:04:36

No matter how ill I am, even when I've been in hospital I've managed to brush my teeth.

well, lucky old you! try having severe hyperemesis, the very thought of brushing your teeth makes you heave! the taste of toothpaste makes you gag

thre is no need for medical professionals, or any other person involved in serving the public, to be rude.
soem people are rude by nature anyway, others have an off day. other times it depends on the mood of the hearer how a comment is taken.

LaQueen Thu 24-Jan-13 17:10:47

I work for a private dentist...time and time and time again we have patients who don't attend appointments or check-ups, who don't listen to advice...and then months down the line expect us to bend over backwards to give them an emergency appointment because they're in agony with toothache hmm

Don't agree with your dentist sounding stroppy, though. Not very professional.

LadyBeagleEyes Thu 24-Jan-13 17:15:59

Yeah lucky old me.confused.
I'll await the poster with no hands to come on next, just so I'll feel even more guilty.

complexnumber Thu 24-Jan-13 17:32:13

I went to my hygienist straight from work and hadn't had time to brush after my porridge breakfast

Gross! Poor dentist, was all that stuff in your mouth since your breakfast?

MrsMorton Fri 25-Jan-13 18:27:45

needathickerskin oh absolfrickinlutely true. But then I'm a nob or arrogant or rich or over paid or something. Can't remember which one it is today.

bumperella Fri 25-Jan-13 18:49:05

I absolutely hate my teeth. I can't really listen to conversations about teeth, toothpaste, etc without getting upset, and if anyone mentions my teeth I find it hard not to imagine killing them and burying them under the patio.

Dentists are dentists; they're not therapists and to be blunt I would never consider discussing with anyone how often I brush my teeth/floss/whatever. Whyever would you say "IO don't brush as often as I should" to a stranger???

cory Fri 25-Jan-13 18:57:32

I wonder how my GP can manage to get through a discussion about my blood pressure etc etc and never manage to make me feel inadequate and my dentist can't do it. My physical health is no better than my teeth, but he doesn't indulge in sharply indrawn breaths and headshakes.

But then my GP can manage to read my medical notes and remember what he is supposed to be doing, whereas my dentist has repeatedly tried to X-ray the wrong side of the mouth and puts things on the charge sheet for next time and then changes her mind about doing them.

LifeofPo Fri 25-Jan-13 19:00:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Callmedoe Fri 25-Jan-13 19:09:40

Now usually I'm one for peace, harmony at discord on Mum's net and The World Wide Web at large but in this case I agree with littlemissunny. Going to the dentist is never a particularly nice experience in my experience and I can only imagine that it is made much worse by the presence of Vertigo, PMT, flu and rudeness!

KurriKurri Fri 25-Jan-13 19:31:31

You don't need to apologise to the dentist, it's your mouth, your teeth, your choice. You don't have to agree to treatment you don't want, and you don't have to put up with rudeness.

I've got a lovely dentist, but I've come across rudeness in other health professionals (although the vast majority are lovely and totally professional).
My policy with rudeness is always to call people on it, - so I would say 'thank you for the advice, I appreciate it and I'll do my best to follow it. But it isn't necessary for you to be rude to get your message across.'

DressMe Fri 25-Jan-13 19:32:42

I hate the dentist and very very rarely go. Thankfully I've never had to have a filling (or worse) but do have a scale and polish. I moved to a new dentist last year while 6 months pregnant and she was very rough, so much so that I cried from the pain. Did she stop, or offer pain relief? No. She laughed at me and said I was very silly and asked how on earth I expected to have a baby if I couldn't cope with this! (I ended up with an EMCS and coped fine, thank you very much!).

My new dentist offers the numbing injection and is lovely. For some reason I just find things poking in my mouth so very painful.

stephrick Fri 25-Jan-13 19:51:38

I'm a dentist phob but had to go when registered my children at a new surgery after a move, I hadn't been for 15 years. She was fairly impressed, one small filling. When you have a phobia you take better care of them, brush and floss twice a day.

wink MrsMorton I am definately not 2 out of the 4 things on your list...

sleepyhead Fri 25-Jan-13 21:57:25

She might want to brush up on her skills with nervous patients. Dental phobia is often caused by fear that the patient will be told off/given a row by the dentist or shock them with the state of their teeth/gums. It's a very common reason for people not to attend for years and therefore the antithesis of preventative care.

Maybe she doesn't care, or was just having an off day though...

There are ways of saying these things re: oral hygiene (and they do have to be said). I'm lucky that my dentist specialises in nervous patients, and despite me not having visited for over 6 years before finally getting up the courage a couple of years ago was very matter of fact and lovely, and got me sorted out without making me feel like a complete reprobate.

FeltOverlooked Fri 25-Jan-13 22:03:35

Why does going straight from work mean you haven't brushed? If I know I'll be going straight from somewhere to the dentist, I just get there five minutes early and brush in their loos. I thought everyone did - this thread is an eye opener!

Well, I would dread to think what a dentist would say to me about my teeth.

I have three teeth with about half missing each. The reason for my tooth loss is the reason I am petrified of going to the dentist. I had three fillings when I was 13/14 all without pain relief sad aka the reason I will not go to the dentist. These three teeth have all chipped to the point I am missing about half of each tooth.

I need to register with the dentist that sedates you, when I can afford it. If I could get all my teeth taken out and dentures in place I would.

pigletmania Fri 25-Jan-13 22:31:42

Oh yes the mouth police grin. They are all cut from te same cloth, I have had many run in with them

CalamityJ Fri 25-Jan-13 22:34:12

YANBU. I "confessed" to my dentist and hygienist that when really sick in the first 4 months of pregnancy I neglected my toothbrushing and flossing because mint made (and still makes) me feel sick. They were sympathetic (one male, one female) and made suggestions of what I could do to get through it (mouthwash instead, non mint floss). Judgemental dentists are why people are scared to go in the first place, leave it so long and end up in bother! You've had a bad experience and shouldn't have to put up with it. Choose a new dentist. You'll feel much more comfortable about going once you do.

tigerdriverII Fri 25-Jan-13 22:39:24

My dentist is lovely, but he looks about 12 (must be about 30 really) and he wears rather nice converse so I am vaguely thinking how nice and cool he is and how I am old enough to be his mum rather than worrying about him patronising me or hiw much it hurts. I rather suspect the patronising is the other way round....

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