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switching dentists/appointment time

Susanne

Susanne

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Aug 13, 2014
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103
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Please forgive the long-winded post...

I have an appointment scheduled for this Wednesday to get started on my wisdom teeth. Since I am not comfortable with doing general anesthesia or IV sedation, I've chosen to split the process into separate appointments and do local only with perhaps a mild dose of anti-anxiety medicine to help (and someone to drive me home afterward). The dentist said I could also use nitrous along with the anti-anxiety medicine if I wanted to.

I had originally booked the appointment for my lower right wisdom tooth, which is chipped, and with the dentist who is my friend's brother. I had a consultation with him several months ago and liked him well enough. His wife also is a dentist and practices with him. I saw her last week when I woke up with a sore jaw and teeth on the opposite side. I was concerned those teeth might be the problem, but now I've figured out it's not the teeth, but TMJ issues and my jaw clenching. We still decided to switch and do the two left wisdom teeth first at my appointment this week.

Anyway, I found the other dentist to be more personable than her husband. He was kind enough, but she just seemed so much more comforting and reassuring and I felt really at ease with her. I'm considering rescheduling this week's appointment because of my continued TMJ/clenching issues and was thinking of asking the front office staff tomorrow if I might book the appointment with the other dentist instead. Would that be silly of me to do? I wouldn't want to cause them any trouble or offend my friend's brother by booking the appointment with his wife instead.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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Mar 7, 2018
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604
If the other dentist has capacity I think this will be fine. Being comfortable with the person you see is really important. I saw the same dentist (who is lovely) for years, then she went on maternity leave, and while she was off I realised I really, really liked her replacement. When my dentist returned to work, she was only part-time, her cover dentist was staying on part-time too, and I asked to stay with the cover dentist. It was no problem at all. My original dentist made a joke about me abandoning her when I saw her in the surgery at my next checkup, and I said that her part-time days weren’t great with my work schedule.

Both dentists are really great, I just feel more at ease with my current dentist and her “bedside manner”. If she was to move on, I would be inclined to switch surgery to stay with her if it was possible.

(In the last year I have also broken up with my hairdresser, who suggested someone else in the salon while she was on maternity. The exact same thing happened.)
 
kitkat

kitkat

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My advice,
Follow your gut instinct and do it! This is your journey and you have to do what feels best for you. You do not owe anyone an explanation and you should not compromise your comfort for worry of what others may think. There are many reasons someone may choose one dentist over another; it could be personality differences, differences in approach, sometimes one is more gentle, and sometimes people simply prefer one gender over another. They are used to people choosing different providers for different reasons and it is absolutely your right to request the dentist you feel more comfortable with. As professionals, they should understand and respect your choice. It’s not that one dentist is necessarily better than the other, it’s just that one is a better fit for you.
 
Susanne

Susanne

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Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
103
Location
USA
Called this morning and rescheduled the appointment for August 21, a week from this Wednesday. The other dentist had a 1 p.m. opening then. I usually ask for the first dental appointment of the day so I can get it over with and not have to worry about it all day, but that was her only availability in the next week.
 
Susanne

Susanne

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Aug 13, 2014
Messages
103
Location
USA
Now I'm back to the original dentist. Their office called back later this morning and said the other dentist "isn't comfortable" removing wisdom teeth and that her husband does the majority of their wisdom teeth cases. So now I am scheduled for 3 p.m. with him on Wednesday the 21st. Oh well. :(
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Minneapolis, MN
Sorry to hear you can't be seen by her who you are more comfortable with.. Sounds like she is worth being more comfortable with in being honest with what She is comfortable with as far as doing, so sounds really ethical and as you say was more comforting. HOpe it all goes well with the husband and if for whatever reason you just don't feel comfortable would you consider a nother practice , getting a consult ? or just go with this ? either way hope it goes very well for you. HOpe you can go back to her once the wisdom teeth are out :)
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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604
Sorry your appointment got shifted, but I actually think this shows she’s a great dentist in that she realises she has strengths/weaknesses and plays to the strengths - which ultimately must be in the patient’s best interests. I had to get a wisdom tooth out a couple of years ago, and my dentist told me she refers far more wisdom teeth out to hospital than other dentists in the surgery, because she is super-cautious and wants to minimise any distress. I found this reassuring and was happy to have her extract mine. Hopefully once you have this treatment you can switch and make her “your” dentist?

(I am in Scotland where people tend to have A General Dentist rather than seeing multiple specialists other than in very specific circumstances. I don’t know if that’s the case where you are, so apologies if my post isn’t helpful. I had 14 teeth out for orthodontic reasons when I was a child (ten baby, four adult) and they were all done at my usual surgery by my usual dentist.)

I hope your appointment goes really well! 😘
 
C

comfortdentist

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Jul 19, 2009
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2,882
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Miami, Fl
Typical that one dentist does most all of a type of a procedure
 
Susanne

Susanne

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
103
Location
USA
Sorry your appointment got shifted, but I actually think this shows she’s a great dentist in that she realises she has strengths/weaknesses and plays to the strengths - which ultimately must be in the patient’s best interests. I had to get a wisdom tooth out a couple of years ago, and my dentist told me she refers far more wisdom teeth out to hospital than other dentists in the surgery, because she is super-cautious and wants to minimise any distress. I found this reassuring and was happy to have her extract mine. Hopefully once you have this treatment you can switch and make her “your” dentist?

(I am in Scotland where people tend to have A General Dentist rather than seeing multiple specialists other than in very specific circumstances. I don’t know if that’s the case where you are, so apologies if my post isn’t helpful. I had 14 teeth out for orthodontic reasons when I was a child (ten baby, four adult) and they were all done at my usual surgery by my usual dentist.)

I hope your appointment goes really well! 😘
Here in the States, most people will see a general dentist as well, but they often refer patients to specialists for different things. Some general dentists here are quite experienced or comfortable with removing wisdom teeth and some are not. My regular general dentist is one of those who are not and referred me to his dental school classmate who is an oral surgeon. Unfortunately, the oral surgeon's office manager told me they would only do the procedure under general anesthesia or with the patient very sedated. She rather unpleasantly told me they would not even consider doing the procedure with local anesthesia only plus nitrous or a dose of anti-anxiety medicine. She said the only way they would do things that way would be if I was pregnant.

Since I am not comfortable with being knocked out, I had to look elsewhere. A dear friend referred me to her brother -- the one with whom my appointment is scheduled -- and he agreed to remove the wisdom teeth with local anesthesia only plus the anti-anxiety medicine and/or nitrous. He is a general dentist, but is trained/experienced in wisdom teeth removal. He also offers IV sedation for those patients who prefer it.
 
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