My dentist and I are no longer friends.  I’m sad about that because I really like him and his staff.  They always do a lovely job of prodding around my teeth with a razor sharp pic and they offer the minty tooth polish which I prefer over the fruity tooth polish which everyone knows is gross.

I had an appointment at 3:50.  At 4:20 I was still sitting in the chair with the stupid napkin around my neck and had seen no one.  I took off the napkin and was headed out, already mad.  The dentist caught me as I was leaving and we had a discussion.  Wait.  We had a Discussion.  We exchanged words that weren’t unpleasant necessarily but we both were pretty upset.  In my anger, I decided it was best to stop talking and didn’t say what I wanted to say.  Instead I shut my mouth (or opened it, as it were), reclined in the chair and had my tooth fixed with tears streaming back into my hair.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. 

The argument is often made that everyone should expect the wait for a medical professional, that it’s just the way things work.  I, respectfully, disagree.  It is only that way because we allow it to be that way.  Is it too much to ask that I be given the courtesy and the opportunity to value my time for myself?  Communicate with me.  Let me decide if it is worth my time to wait or to reschedule if you are behind.  Emergencies happen, but your emergency should not have to cost me.  I have enough of my own that cost me plenty.  Simply tell me, when I ask, that you are behind.  I’ll happily make other arrangements and come back when the timing is more convenient for both of us. 

I won’t go back to my dentist, the man I’ve seen for nearly seven years.  I’m not mad and stomping off like a brat, but I think we both said things that cannot be unsaid.  So I’ll find another dentist, hopefully one who has an amazing staff and respects my time enough to simply communicate, to let me know, to let me be the grown up who can make a decision for myself about whether I sit in a napkin or leave to continue my day. And I’m pretty sure he will find another patient who is just as lovely as I am, who pays her bills on time and who doesn’t sport the (rarely) bitchy attitude that I carry. 

We both will win. 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Madre
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 07:03:42

    Thats a mouthful of truth and wisdom ! I remember waiting in the local ER, sitting in a wheelchair, with a broken fibula for 3 1/2 hours and finally giving up in tears and limping home, only to have Martie call to tell me Rapid Care had x-ray capibilities. With in 45 minutes I was x-rayed and leaving the Orthopedic Doctor’s (an appointment made by the Rapid Care folks) office in a big comfortable boot. Its nice to have options !!!


  2. Felix
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 09:18:59

    I am so with you SISTER!!!! I hate to have my time wasted. When I make an appointment with a medical professional, they should honor my time because, to me, it’s as valuable as theirs is to them. And YES, let ME make the decision to wait if you are running behind. But OH NO! They cannot possibly give that courtesy. However, my diabetes doc asked yesterday if I had been waiting long when she entered the room. My appt. wasn’t actually until 10 minutes later, but the dietician finished our appt early and took me to the other appt. So, WIN. WIN…this time! You GO GIRL! Don’t feel bad that you confronted him. It was the right thing to do. I’m proud of you for growing a pair yesterday!!!! LOL 🙂


  3. Lynnette
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 16:58:53

    Awww, you see this is my dentist, too! I am sad! But, you are correct, your time is your time and that should be respected. Good luck in finding a dentist, not to mention a dentist nice to look at! 🙂


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