Your Dentist: Speedy or Hasty?
In a world moving ever faster, we are all time-poor and require businesses to keep pace with our busy lives. Fast food, faster cars, the fastest broadband – many modern businesses advertise their ability to do things at speed, but can dentistry be an exception? What do we, as patients, expect from our dentist, and what do we get?
When you phone your dentist to book your regular examination appointment, there is often a long wait while the receptionist deals with other patients. Eventually you may get through to someone who books you the first available appointment – in 3 weeks’ time. You have to take off work to attend, as the practice is only open 9-5. You spend 20 minutes parking and when you finally make it to reception, you are informed that the dentist is running late. You fill in the medical history form (again!) and then you do what you usually do when you want to waste your time – emails, banking and Facebook. You walk in, tell the dentist nothing hurts, they check your teeth for 60 seconds and quickly kick you out.
They only thing that happened fast was the treatment itself, the only thing that should have taken longer. Unfortunately some dentists are driven by targets and the companies that own the practices manage the appointments poorly.
What is the price of this? It depends how much you value your time and your health.
If the appointment was a routine examination, the clinician may have missed issues that will inevitably become complicated and costly. The oversight could result in tissue loss, as decay only worsens without proper treatment, or even loss of a tooth. If the appointment was for treatment – for example, a filling – then the dentist may not have practiced the “minimal invasion” technique, which uses multiple-sized burrs to remove only the decay and little or none of the healthy tooth. With a crown preparation, the tooth may have not been prepared smoothly and the result will be inaccessible gaps between the tooth and the crown, eventually leading to more decay.
If any of the above reminds you of your dentist, maybe it is time to find a new one: a practice that picks up the phone and replies to your emails promptly; that books you an appointment to suit you; that ensures you are seen at your appointment time.
Good dentists do not rush your treatment. As in every area of your life, you want speed but you do not want haste. You certainly won’t want to compromise on the quality of your healthcare, or that of your loved ones.
Categorised in: Ferry Dental Blog