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Thread: ICK! Now I know why some people HATE having their teeth cleaned!!

  1. #1
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    ICK! Now I know why some people HATE having their teeth cleaned!!

    Ok this going to be a rant!

    I've been going to get my teeth cleaned for 30 years. Including when I had not dental insurance, I still had cleanings twice a year. I've even had fillings with no numbing shot, gas, or thing to pry my mouth open. I've never had problems getting my teeth cleaned before.

    I had the worst hygenist I've ever seen yesterday. If all hygenist were like this woman I'd quit having my teeth cleaned.

    It started out bad. I have a terrible gag reflex (I used to get sick, literally, on the pediatric dentist all the time) Well this woman is jerking/pushing my jaw around to get the film in my mouth. Of four x-rays I started to gag on the third piece of film, so while I'm gagging she's trying to push the *@#^ thing further into my mouth. I had to force her to stop and tell her that shoving something into my mouth while I'm gagging does not help matters.

    Then while she's cleaning my teeth she's pushing and pulling on my jaw. I guess she didn't realize the more the jerked on my the worse it got! I was about to grab her hands the keep her from touching me. She even said "close" so when I closed my mouth some the then pushed my mouth back open! Just decide what you want, woman!

    I will NEVER see this woman again, and I'm so glad that she wasn't the one to clean DD's teeth! I don't care how long she worked in pediatric dentistry! I actually restrained myself and did let her finish the cleaning, but I was sorely tempted to tell this woman to get her hands out of my mouth!

    I have bad teeth, no enamel, grind my teeth, basically normal if I were twice my age. Really! So, I know it's important that I get regular cleanings/checkups. I do have two cavities to be filled. But, even 24 hours later I still get a bad taste in my mouth thinking about that experience.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  2. #2
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    Leigh, what a horrid experience! Can you imagine how many other patients this woman saw yesterday? Sounds like she should be in a different profession.
    Elizabeth
    Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning Satan shudders and says...."Oh s***, she's awake!! "

  3. #3
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    I can imagine my 4 year old in tears after seeing her!

    We'd had back to back appts and I had to reschedule. Well, all I could get for 3 months was side by side so I took those. It was only DD1's 3rd trip to the dentist, but she can be shy and she really didn't want to have her teeth cleaned alone.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  4. #4
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    Leigh,
    I am so sorry for your experience! My thoughts are what is your relationship with the office? Do you feel like you could say something to whoever is in charge? Myself, if I were an employer and had an employee who my patients or customers were unhappy with, I'd like to know.

    Just a thought.
    Chris

  5. #5
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    I know I need to call. I also need to give myself a cooling off period.--edited. Since I am off this morning I went ahead and called. I talked to the Office Manager. She was very nice and she had scheduled our next appointments yesterday. Very recptive and appreciative that I'd called to let them know I was unhappy. She will talk to the hygenist and to the Dentist. I do feel better, and I just let her know how unhappy I was with the whole experience without 'attacking' the hygenist. Thanks for reminding me to call, some times I need that extra push to do something like that.

    Besides, the cat needs to go to the vet, silly me told him that last night. Now he's disappeared! So much for the NPR report yesterday morning that animals don't understand human speech!

    I have complained about something before and It was taken ok. I felt the way one lady left messages about appointments was very condescending and said so.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  6. #6
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    I had a very mean and harsh dental hygenist as a child. She would yell at me in her thick German accent and I was terrified. She hurt, too -- even my dad remembers that. Well, when I moved badk to my home town and found a dentist -- I explained that I was a "bad patient" and had certain expectations of what I needed. I also told them they could write that in my file. Well, I think what they wrote in the file was "aprehensive". I later tols the hygenist of my childhood experiences. So she added "traumatic childhood esperisnces". As I gave her a few more details she realized that the hygenist is still cleaning teeth at another practice where she works once a week. She promised she wouldn't tell her. i can say that I love my dentist and his hygenists. They are the best I have ever had and I have fired a few dentists in my time.

    jas

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by lhall
    I know I need to call. I also need to give myself a cooling off period.--edited. Since I am off this morning I went ahead and called. I talked to the Office Manager. She was very nice and she had scheduled our next appointments yesterday. Very recptive and appreciative that I'd called to let them know I was unhappy. She will talk to the hygenist and to the Dentist. I do feel better, and I just let her know how unhappy I was with the whole experience without 'attacking' the hygenist.
    I'm glad you found a receptive ear and you feel better about the situation! And I definitely I know all about the "cooling off period."
    Chris

  8. #8
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    Jazzyjas,

    I had a great pediatric dentist. The dentist actually did the cleaning and all the other work, so I was 18 before I ever saw a hygenist. He didn't even have a problem with all the times I threw up on him/in the office because of my gag reflex.

    The only bad part was he had a very large (and hairy) nose. Because of that I've learned to close my eyes during any kind of dental work. He used to ask me why I closed my eyes, but he was/is such a nice man I never had the heart to tell him it was because I didn't like looking up his hairy nose!!!

    The office manager said that some people like that 'agressive' style of teeth cleaning, but she didn't understand it. She also complemented DD1 on how well she did getting her teeth cleaned alone.

    Leigh,
    found the cat too!
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  9. #9
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    Leigh I'm very glad you called. I hope it doesn't just stop at the other end of the phone though. The dentist definitely needs to hear your concerns, and I hope that the Office Manager talks it over with him and doesn't 'let it slide'.

    It took me many years to find a dental office that I like enough to become a regular patient. I say 'dental office' because it's not just the dentist that you see. In fact, unless something goes wrong you rarely see the dentist! If you're not comfortable with the staff then who cares if the dentist is wonderful. There are 10 different hygienists in my dental office and I usually get rotated between three of them. They're friendly, they're gentle, and most of all they listen to me when I grunt or let them know that something hurt. The only annoyance is that one girl continually is singing along with the radio no matter WHAT song is playing! I swear I've been in her chair 4 or 5 times and each time she seems to know the words to every song and is softly singing them the entire time she's cleaning. Oh well, as long as she's not bopping along with singing I'm OK!

    Glad you're feeling better Leigh, but I'd definitely tell the Office Manager that you never want to be scheduled with that particular hygienist again.
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  10. #10
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    I have a dentist who does everything. He is an office of one. No dental assistant, no hygienist, no nobody, except a part-time receptionist. He's been my dentist FOREVER, and he will stay my dentist forever. He does everything - my cleanings, my fillings, my crowns, everything. The only thing I go elsewhere for is to my endodontist for root canals (I have bad teeth, and I love that guy as much as I do my own dentist - he even gives out his cell phone number so if you have any problems at odd hours, you can still reach him!), and to the oral surgeon for extractions (I had all my wisdom teeth out at once).

    I mention it only to say that there are dentists out there who are small and give individualized, personal service and care, and maybe you could find someplace like that. Ask for referrals from people who love their dentist. I've sent COUNTLESS people to my dentist, and all of them are so happy. I tease my dentist that he's going to have to start paying me commission soon.

    I also think though, that's it's good you called and voiced your concerns.

  11. #11
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    jas,

    Your childhood dental experiences sound a lot like mine. I would rather do almost anything than go to the dentist, and I blame it on the fact that I had some really awful hygienists (and dentist too) as a kid. Every time I've seen a new dentist or hygienist as an adult, I explain my apprehensions, tell them how much and why I hate having my teeth cleaned, tell them I have a strong gag reflex, and they're very accommodating - they let me hold the water and suction and use it whenever I need/want, they don't use anything that I think tastes awful and makes me gag, etc. I've found that they've always been really great to me when I've been up front with hem.

  12. #12
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    Leigh, I'm so glad the dentist didn't clean your daughter's teeth! I, too, had a very traumatic childhood dentist experience, and the effects of that are very evident when I go to the dentist. Even a teeth-cleaning is horrible for me. Nice job on speaking up. Perhaps you'll want to write a letter to the office cc'ing the office manager and the names on the door ...
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  13. #13
    Leigh, I'm glad you called and let them know. So many people avoid the dentist because they have bad experiences, and dentists know that, so I'm sure your office was glad to receive the feedback.

    I'm a big baby when it comes to the dentist. Two years ago, I suddenly had 7 cavities (none for years, then 7!). I could not bear the thought of having 7 cavities filled. Thought I would rather just lose my teeth. I got referred by a friend to a dentist who practices "sleep dentistry" and OMG it was the best thing ever. I took a pill in the morning, DF had to drive me to the dentist's office, I was in the chair for 3 hours while he drilled and filled, I was apparently awake and cooperative the whole time, but totally relaxed and I remembered nothing the next day (this is good, because a year later I had to have another filling, and I didn't have some bad memory of my previous experience to make me nervous). And I had absolutely no soreness or discomfort later.

    Anyway, I cringe and flinch my way even through cleanings, so I sympathize with your experience. Glad your DD did not have a bad experience too!

  14. #14
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    I don't know that a letter is necessary. The office manager was very nice and apologetic. She'd checked me out yesterday and I did like her.
    Actually, I was impressed, she remembered DD's name, and that I was the mom.

    She also reminded me to have them make a note on my chart that I had a preference not to see this hygenist. I'll do the same for DD's chart.

    I'm so glad I went to such a good pediatric dentist. I have a friend who has a terrible fear of dental work. She's found a very very good dentist who calls the day after dental work to check on patients, etc. and this lady really specializes in treating patients with a fear of dental work. Maybe some of you who don't like going to the dentist could find a dentist like this.

    I like this dentist, and think he's great with kids (he sees all ages), but I just found out that a friend of mine can hardly speak his name. Needless to say her made her very very unhappy!

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by gertdog
    I got referred by a friend to a dentist who practices "sleep dentistry" and OMG it was the best thing ever. I took a pill in the morning, DF had to drive me to the dentist's office, I was in the chair for 3 hours while he drilled and filled, I was apparently awake and cooperative the whole time, but totally relaxed and I remembered nothing the next day!
    This sounds like "Doobie Dentistry"! Did you, like, get the munchies afterwards!?
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  16. #16
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    Like many of you, I also had a horrible experience at the dentist as a little kid. When I was about 4 years old, they gave me a shot in the rear to calm me down with a sedative or something.....without asking or even telling my mom!!!! Can you believe it! I guess they could get away with stuff like that years ago, but my mom never took me back there. I still hated going to the dentist until I was in high school and we started going to a great dentist.
    Now I don't mind going (I have pretty good teeth and take good care of them) but I still don't like getting shots

    Suzy

  17. #17
    Originally posted by Jewel


    This sounds like "Doobie Dentistry"! Did you, like, get the munchies afterwards!?
    DF had to drive me home from the office (once you take that little pill, your day is pretty much over) and I sat on the couch and told him I really, really, wanted some mashed potatoes. So he went into the kitchen to make me some, but when he came back I was sound asleep on the couch and didn't wake up for 3 hours. So maybe this drug gives you the munchies but prevents you from acting on them?

  18. #18
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    GRRRR!!!!!!!!!!:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Well, I have an update to this thread.

    So, after 18 months the office still doesn't have a clue. I'm going to look for a new office in January. Their turnover for hygenists is very high. Are all offices like this? This one didn't use to be like that.

    We had appointments yesterday, and it was DD2's first trip to the dentist. I got there and was called back to have my teeth done. The hygenist doing my teeth said who was scheduled to do the girls and I freaked! It was the evil hygenist that I'd told them was never to come near anyone in my family ever again!!!!!!!

    I went to the front desk and said she's not touching my kids. Now, I was unhappy, but I was quiet. I did NOT make a scene. They didn't flag the computer accounts so when they had to reschedule the kids they put them with this lady. The woman I talked to on the phone didn't tell me they were rescheduled with a different hygenist and said I didn't remind her. Mind you Mine & DD1's appointments were made 6 months ago. So, they couldn't do all 3 of us yesterday without having someone see the evil hygenist. I go back on Monday. BUT, when the girls go back to have their teeth done I find out they have written "evil hygenist ONLY" in their charts. What's with these people!!! I said NEVER and they put to only have this woman clean my kids teeth.

    Ok, so they wrote the woman's name, but there's no reason to get nasty.

    I'm going to call the office again today.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  19. #19
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    Sounds like it's time to find a new dentist. You should not have to put up with that kind of hassle when making appointments for your family, particularly when you've already complained about this hygenist. FWIW, not all offices are like this - there are 2 hygenists at my dentist's practice, and they are both wonderful (and have been there for years). In fact, the office always schedules each of us with only one hygenist, so they have a chance to get to know us, and vice versa.

  20. #20
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    I agree with Clara. I'd shop around for a new dentist. It is so important to foster a positive feeling about the dentist and teeth cleaning in your children. After reading your first post, it is unbelieveable to me that that hygenist is still there! You can't be the only one that has had a bad experience!!!!

    Peggy

  21. #21
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    Peggy,

    Well, the office manager is supposed to call me back. She's the Dentist's wife and I like the dentist a lot. I've been going there for close to 9 years and have only had problems with this one lady. Some people don't mind her rough treatment, but from the reaction I'm not the only person to complain. She says she's got 18 years experience working with children.

    I do need to get my teeth cleaned, and I've chipped a tooth somehow so I'm going back this time.

    Actually, I do like the dentist, and I think he's great with kids. That's the sad part. This time my complaint is with the front office staff.

    Besides, he's not greedy like my last dentist. They tried to convince me I needed $9000 of dental work at age 25 when I didn't have any insurance. It's not like they didn't know I didn't have insurance. They wanted to take molds for 16 (yes 16) crowns they said I needed within 2 years. I didn't let them, and sure enough when I got insurance that would have made it a pre-existing condition and the insurance wouldn't have paid! They should have known that too! This dentist said I really only needed 2 crowns and he took pictures of my teeth because it was a borderline case. Those two crowns were 8 years ago, and I haven't needed any more yet.

    I wish that I could find a dentist like Grace's!!! I went to a pediatric dentist just like that. He was wonderful...ok, except for the big hairy nose. I never did have the heart tell him that I always closed my eyes because I didn't like looking up his nose. Yes, I still close my eyes when I have any dental work done.

    I didn't even know that a 'dental hygenist' was until I turned 19!!! I'd never seen one.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  22. #22
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    How frustrating! I would definitely look for a new dentist. I am another one with horrible childhood memories of visits to the dentist, and I still get nervous every time I go. However, we have found a wonderful dentist (who, like your friend's dentist, even calls to check on you the evening of and the day after anything more serious than a cleaning). The hygenist is so good my kids actually look forward to going to the dentist! I can PM you their info if you want, although they are in midtown so it might not be very convenient for you.

    Claire

  23. #23
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    Well,

    I just had a nice conversation with the Dr's wife. She was very apologetic and understanding.

    Yesterday was just a very very bad day for the office. In retrospect the mood was rather somber. Apparently the hygenist who was scheduled to clean the kids teeth had a family member die yesterday. The person was hit while crossing a street in a crosswalk. They are a very close office so it's hit everyone hard.

    The accounts in the computer are (and were) flagged yesterday. Their thought was since young children don't need their teeth scraped it's a much gentler procedure so they scheduled this lady to do the kids in the interest of not making us reschedule.

    She was telling me stories of things many pediatric dentists have to do. She worked in pediatric dentistry too and many of them have lots of problem patients. Ones who must have dental work done to relieve pain or prevent other problems, but won't cooperate. Some children must be physically restrained to have dental work done.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

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