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Why are there so many bad dentists?

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fireandice1000

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I'm not trying to be a troll but from the posts I have read from people on this site it seems like there are so many bad dentists around, like...really bad dentists, ones I wouldn't let anywhere near my face let alone in my mouth. I'm talking about the ones where they screw up teeth, don't numb properly, have doofus people working with them, I'm sure that everyone here knows about all the other problems. How come these clowns are allowed to pull this stuff? I've seen on the review sites where so-and-so keeps on trying to run their dental office like some kind of chop shop for patients...don't governments actually look at this? In the USA it seems like there are so many of these clowns around and it makes the whole profession look bad. Again, I'm not trying to badmouth all dentists but it seems like a good chunk of them don't even belong in any job more advanced than fry cook at the local fast food hut. What's up with that?o_O
 
carole

carole

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I think it is a mixture of things, I have been victim of under treatment as an adult and over treatment as a child, and both are equally as bad. I think at the moment the way the NHS is being run financially in all aspects is not the way to go.
I think if dental practices that did NHS were paid and given a bonus maybe for success might be a way to go. There are in all forms of medicine things that can make things easier and prevent/cure things but because of the expense it cannot be used in the majority of cases.

If dentists in particular were paid on the amount of teeth saved and mouths got healthy, I think things would change. One thing that could be done would be to make sure that all patients got a proper check up for a start, a quick look and everything is fine, is no good and very miss-leading. We don't know if we have problems unless we have bleeding gums or pain, but we can still have problems up in the gums, I think an x ray should always be done at the initial exam, then at least every 2 years.

Start paying people for true results, and weed out the bad dentists. Also if they are not good with people don't let them continue in their study to become dentists, it isn't brain surgery to detect if someone is not a people person. They may be really clever and pass all exams top of the class, but if they cannot interact with people from all walks of life, what is the point.

People skills has to surely be top of the list for this kind of job, without the patients, there is no job.

After saying all this, I have had some very good and caring dentists, which makes getting a bad one all the more upsetting, when you have had good treatment from someone that does their job and does care, you know the difference. It is also very hard to accept that you have problems when you have been told everything is fine and it turns out not to be, like with gum problems. They don't always bleed, but you can still have problems.

It isn't just the NHS that needs a shake up, Private can be as bad. :butterfly:
 
vicki

vicki

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I think, as carole has said, it's down to a mixture of things. Having said that, if you read through some of the stories on this forum, you could get the impression that most dentists are bad, when in fact, that's not the case. It just seems that way because most of the people posting on this forum have had bad experiences in the past, quite often because they've come across a dentist who hasn't got the skills or experience to help them, or worse, someone who is actually a bad dentist and doesn't really care anyway.

In any industry or occupation, there are those who are great and those who are not so great (or bad) and unfortunately dentistry is no different. The best dentists have a combination of good clinical and good communication skills and in an ideal world, every person who qualifies from university as a dentist would be someone who is great at dentistry and great with their patients. However, in the real world there are always going to be some who are better than others. Think back to when you were at school; there were the brainy people at the top of the class who seemed to do well in every subject and who were the life and soul of the party with plenty of friends... and then there were the people at the bottom of the class who struggled to keep up and weren't really interested in being at school. Then of course, there were all the people in between.

Depending on where you come from, the healthcare system in your country can make a huge difference as well. For example, here in the UK, dentists who work in the public health system (the NHS) are under enormous amounts of pressure to see as many patients as they can. The amounts paid to practices by the patients and the NHS mean that the only way for them to make a profit (or even just to break even) is to either ration treatments (and only provide the most profitable for them) or ration the amount of time they spend with patients. This means that they don't always have the time that nervous patients need. Then of course, the pay in the NHS is nowhere near as good as in the private sector. This can have an effect on the quality of applicants who apply for dentist vacancies - after all, where are the best dentists going to work? The NHS, where the pay is not so great and they have all the stress of cramming in as many patients as possible every day? Or a nice private practice where they are better paid, have more time to spend with each patient (which is vital if you're nervous) and have access to better facilities and equipment? Having said that, there are also some great dentists working in the NHS, it's just that they seem to be quite rare these days.

As an example, below is a list of dentists that I've seen since I stopped dentist dodging 10 years ago... Can you guess which ones are private dentists and which ones are NHS (names and gender omitted to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent :p)....


  • Dentist 1:
    Average length of check up: 5 minutes. Personality: OK-ish but not very talkative. Experience: About 20 years. Gentle: Yes. Knew what he/she was doing? Yes, most of the time, although injections were very painful. Was I scared of them? Fairly. Was I sad when they left? Not really.


  • Dentist 2:
    Average length of check up: 5 minutes. Personality: Non-existant. Possibly attended the KGB school of charm. Experience: Had been qualified about 2 years. Gentle: Yes. Knew what he/she was doing? No. I would have had a better chance of getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment using Google and my Swiss army knife. Was I scared of them? Completely terrified. Was I sad when they left? Absolutely not. Glad to see the back of them.


  • Dentist 3:
    Average length of check up: 5 minutes. Personality: Fairly cheerful but was more interested in talking to the nurse about the previous night out at the pub. Experience: Had qualified the same year they became my dentist. Gentle: Definitely not. Would have been more suited to a career in the construction industry. Knew what he/she was doing? I doubt it, but they made a fair attempt, so at least they tried. Was I scared of them? No, I was more irritated than scared. Was I sad when they left? Not really.


  • Dentist 4:
    Average length of check up: 10 minutes. Personality: Very friendly and talkative. Explained everything and was very patient. Experience: Had qualified the year before they became my dentist. Gentle: Yes. Knew what he/she was doing? Yes. Was I scared of them? No. Was I sad when they left: Yes. I was completely gutted and actually cried (imagine that!).


  • Dentist 5:
    Average length of check up: 10 minutes. Personality: Very friendly and talkative. Explained everything and was very patient. Experience: Had qualified 2 years before they became my dentist. Gentle: Yes, but injections were horrendously painful. Knew what he/she was doing? Maybe, but then again they made a total botch job of a root canal (which I now have to get sorted out properly), so probably not. Was I scared of them? Not really. Was I sad when they left? Not applicable as I left the practice to seek better care elsewhere.


  • Dentist 6/7 (I see 2 dentists at the same practice):
    Average length of check up: 30 minutes. Personality: Very friendly and talkative. Explains everything and is very patient. Experience: Qualified a few years ago. Gentle: Yes and injections don't hurt either. Knows what he/she was doing? Yes. Am I scared of them? No. I actually quite like both of them (imagine that... I must be ill!). Was I sad when they left? Not applicable as I'm staying at this practice now :cloud9:.
 
C

comfortdentist

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My experience with treating dental phobics is that the majority of them have had a history of negative experience(s) with one or more dentists. Some people are wired to be more apprehensive but the majority have a solid reason for it. It is this group who will post on this site therefore making dentists look bad. I have been in practice long enough to have been someone's first and only dentist for many years and none of those patients need sedation. Absolutely none.
How do you find a dentist? Ask other doctors, friends and Angieslist is good.

I think in Germany dentists are paid a fee for procedure with the amount of fee determined by peer evaluation.
 
carole

carole

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I have had negative experiences as a child and this validates my reasons for being nervous. I have had some very good dentists as an adult and also experienced bad treatment.

I do not hate or dislike dentists, I dislike individuals and I am very careful to state that individual dentists are bad, as a whole a lot of dentist are caring and will take an interest in their job. But it is us as patients that have to place a lot of trust in dentists to treat us correctly, and not tell lies.

For instance I know somebody that has no fear of the dentist and has even been known to fall asleep when having fillings done. This person had bad treatment and a lot of pain when having a filling done, the dentist out of frustration removed the tooth in the end. This person was in total agony and has other teeth that have decay that has not been diagnosed for a long time, but they have had 6 month check ups and have not been told this. I know someone else who's mouth is in a right mess because a dentist hasn't done work that should have been done. They have been passed as okay at 6 month checks too. The dentists that are at the practice where this was done are picking up the pieces and correcting the persons mouth at no cost because of the neglect. Which is very decent of them.

I feel as NHS patients we are used and abused by some dentists, even though I have been lucky to have good dentists at times. But once damage is done we have to live with the consequences.
I do not post on this site to make dentists look bad at all, I always state that in general, and the majority are good, but dentists themselves have to accept that there are bad ones out there still.

In the 50's 60s 70's and even 80's dentistry was a total different thing to how it is today, it has even changed over the last few years. A lot of children of the 60's had work done very roughly and without pain relief, there was also a lot of fillings and teeth extracted that wasn't needed. So today we live with the effects of all this.

I think different countries have different standards and care systems in place, I think in general we have a good system here but it is far from perfect.

I am sorry if any dentists think we give them a bad rep and make them look bad, but this site does help a lot of people and allows them to get things off their chest. I read a lot of positive experiences on this forum and a lot of praise for dentists.

I have a lot of respect for you comfortdentist, but here in the UK the system and some of the dentists leave a lot to be desired. I wish we could all see the same caring dentist here but they move and leave the NHS and even private practices, so it is not possible in a lot of cases to keep the same dentists for years, this would save a lot of stress and worry if we could.
I think the way you work and you personally from your website, is lovely and I just wish we could all have you for our dentist, or the other dentists that come on this site but we can't all be that fortunate, so we have to make the best out of what we have. Sometimes things do go horribly wrong, and that is unfortunate.
 
Kim

Kim

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As my mum used to say when we were growing up 'there are good and bad in all' and that is so true of everyone. When I get my hair cut, if it is a bad cut (and yes, I have had a few of those in my time ;) ) I would be really hacked off and rightly so, but at least it would grow back.

When us phobic's eventually manage to pluck up the courage to walk through 'that' door, we are already in a most vulnerable position, and we are, only naturally, putting all of our faith in the dentist who we hope is going to be helping us. If, when that faith is destroyed by (apologies for the drastic example) say a tooth being extracted when it doesn't need to be, then unlike our hair, it can't just grow back again, and our vulnerability is pushed to the max, and all the things that we have ever dreaded with the dentist, has now become much more of a reality, to the extent, that nothing very positive will be felt by the patient in relation to their experience.

We cannot judge all dentists from the comments of people who have had bad and sometimes awful treatment, for me, from reading all sorts of things on here, it has given me an insight to what can happen, good or bad, and from a personal point of view, that is a good thing :)
 
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F

fireandice1000

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I think the UK posters here have explained the dental situation over in the UK better. I can see why there are so many people from the UK posting here; that NHS needs a housecleaning! :D I'm not really a phobic of the dentist but it makes me mad that there are so many that run roughshod over their patients. Most of the US states basically allow dentists to run roughshod over patients. It's sort of like that with health care in general in the USA; the average hospital here is a politically charged mess, so to speak (Mum works in healthcare so she tells me a lot of the drama and no-nos that go on in US healthcare).
 
brit

brit

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I have a lot of respect for you comfortdentist, but here in the UK the system and some of the dentists leave a lot to be desired. I wish we could all see the same caring dentist here but they move and leave the NHS and even private practices, so it is not possible in a lot of cases to keep the same dentists for years, this would save a lot of stress and worry if we could.
Carole - it is possible if you are on the patient list of a partner or principal dentist at a practice....as the business owner they only disappear if they sell the business/their share. This could even be done in NHS to some extent in the past, although much harder now as in mixed practice, the owner usually takes just the private patients.

I do wonder where all the newly qualified associate dentists go in UK. In my 'old' experience they stay for a max of 12 months at the same NHS practice - I suspect they are remaining Associates for a lot longer than that and not becoming 'private dentists' so they are probably moving from NHS practice to NHS practice but for sure in dentistry, NHS patients are often guinea pigs for the newly qualified to practice on to a very great extent.
 
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letsconnect

letsconnect

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If I was a newly qualified dentist, I might be a little miffed having my patients referred to as "guinea pigs" :grin:...

Newly qualified dentists may be new (i.e. not very experienced), but they are qualified and they undergo one or two years foundation training after qualifying.

Of course, experience is very important (I'd prefer a more experienced dentistany day) but newly qualified dentists are supervised while they are gaining initial experience.
 
carole

carole

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Hi brit, it's nice to hear from you. I know it is possible in private practice but as I have to remain within the nhs, I just get all settled with a nice dentist then they leave. More often than not they go private, when I was younger I had the same one for a few years and he was lovely and used to have a laugh and joke with me, he used to say he felt like he had wrestled with a crocodile after treating me because even though I had work done, he knew I was nervous. I do think there is more chance of a mistake being made with newly qualified dentists though, so I think in that way we as nhs patients do pay the price of inexperience sometimes.

I think there are good and bad in all, and I have had some really good and caring dentists but every now and then when they leave or go private it is unsettling, and if the replacement is not very understanding it sets me back.

I do not hate dentists, I dislike intensely the horrible ones that have no time and can't be bothered to listen to people, or discuss treatment. But that is down to individuals. I cannot manage without a dentist, I have to have one for my own peace of mind, not going is not an option for me. That's worst than going because I imagine all sorts breaking and needing doing.

It is a shame that the few spoil things for us and cause us to be afraid, it makes it harder for both us as patients and the dentists that are bending over backwards to try and prove there is nothing to be afraid of. It only takes one horrible dentist to leave his/her mark.

letsconnect I know what you mean if I had trained and passed everything they have to pass and paid out all the money it costs to train, I would be dismayed too if people thought that nhs were used as guinea pigs, I do think they gain experience and hopefully develop their people skills. Then they leave and go private. I can understand this as well because if I had trained and been left with all the debt, I would have the ambition to want to better what I do and be able to offer more, and advance my career. It's good for them but a nightmare for us phobics having to change all the time. Some do stay within the nhs for a good few years so I am hoping the one I see now will stay and prove to be as good as my last good dentist. So far it looks promising.

You do sometimes wonder though if you were private if you would get different treatment. As in some dentists still will take a tooth out, instead of doing a rct. I think the nhs needs a shake up of some kind, but what I don't know what could be done. The state things are in I think on the whole the good ones do their best with what they have. I do think that they should do proper check ups though and cleanings like they used to at the very least.

I will get off my soap box now :butterfly:
 
C

comfortdentist

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All of the above have addressed mainly bad attitudes, lower pay and generally poor training but there is one other point I would like to make. Dentistry is not easy. A dentist is performing very fine work through a hole(mouth) on a patient who is moving and many times won't even allow proper positioning to optimize the outcome. Besides being concerned about hurting a patient the dentist also has to be aware that at any moment the patient may put their tongue into the bur or try to swallow lifting the floor of the mouth up into where the bur might be. Everything that the dentist uses on a tooth requires that the tooth be clean and dry which that in itself may be a difficult task.
All patients move some move an incredible amount. I have had the opportunity to treat some dentists and I will say will it is stressful they are very cooperative patients because they know how difficult it can be so they are very willing to put themselves in the best position possible. In fact today I have one that I will be placing an implant into.
 
carole

carole

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In that case then, as a patient I would be grateful if my dentist would let me know what I can do to best help them to help me. If they would tell me if I could just hold off swallowing, which I don't do much as I am aware the things move in my mouth when I do. I am willing to co-operate in a helpful manner at all times, I expect in return painless treatment and for the dentist to remember we do not have your knowledge and to explain that what is a simple procedure to you as dentists is major to us.

I am enjoying this thread, it is nice to have an understanding about things from a dentist point of view, it is nice it isn't a us and them conversation. I feel sorry for the understanding dentists dealing with phobic patients because I would think that it is very difficult unless we tell them what is bothering us. Sometimes we don't always know ourselves, and it is nice if between us we can figure it out and dispel some of the fear.

I thought I hated everything, but after discussing it, a lot of things don't bother me too much, but the drill and the injections do. Both if used correctly are less scary, and don't need to be painful.

I have had dentists that are priceless and I have had others that should have been struck off, the ones that care, and I feel are in the majority, deserve and earn everything they earn, and more. A lot of patient phobia can be helped greatly by people skills, not just technical skills.

I know it must be hard for the dentists but it is part of the job to deal with emotions and fear, and it must be hard to get it right all the time with patients. But a smile and a cheery Hello goes a long way.

One thing that clicked with me was that when I read a dental piece for dentists, it said that it helps if they like hobbies like jewellery making as it fine work the same as dentistry and shows an aptitude for fine work. I thought the same way I use my tools for that and they are small, the drill bits must be tiny too. I had always thought of a needle being massive and inches long, and the drill bits big enough to go up to the eye ball. I know this sounds silly but the imagination is a terrible thing when thinking about dental tools.

Dentists do need to remember as well that patients are a living thing and we are attached to the end of the teeth, and we do breath, swallow and sometimes move. I think short bursts of treatment, work very well and less chance of moving. :butterfly:I do think all dentists should agree to a stop signal and take note of it if used.
 
coolin

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In fact today I have one that I will be placing an implant into.
:respect::respect::respect: to comfortdentist :)

That is praise indeed for a dentist to choose you !
 
C

comfortdentist

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In that case then, as a patient I would be grateful if my dentist would let me know what I can do to best help them to help me. If they would tell me if I could just hold off swallowing, which I don't do much as I am aware the things move in my mouth when I do. I am willing to co-operate in a helpful manner at all times, I expect in return painless treatment and for the dentist to remember we do not have your knowledge and to explain that what is a simple procedure to you as dentists is major to us.

I am enjoying this thread, it is nice to have an understanding about things from a dentist point of view, it is nice it isn't a us and them conversation. I feel sorry for the understanding dentists dealing with phobic patients because I would think that it is very difficult unless we tell them what is bothering us. Sometimes we don't always know ourselves, and it is nice if between us we can figure it out and dispel some of the fear.

I thought I hated everything, but after discussing it, a lot of things don't bother me too much, but the drill and the injections do. Both if used correctly are less scary, and don't need to be painful.

I have had dentists that are priceless and I have had others that should have been struck off, the ones that care, and I feel are in the majority, deserve and earn everything they earn, and more. A lot of patient phobia can be helped greatly by people skills, not just technical skills.

I know it must be hard for the dentists but it is part of the job to deal with emotions and fear, and it must be hard to get it right all the time with patients. But a smile and a cheery Hello goes a long way.

One thing that clicked with me was that when I read a dental piece for dentists, it said that it helps if they like hobbies like jewellery making as it fine work the same as dentistry and shows an aptitude for fine work. I thought the same way I use my tools for that and they are small, the drill bits must be tiny too. I had always thought of a needle being massive and inches long, and the drill bits big enough to go up to the eye ball. I know this sounds silly but the imagination is a terrible thing when thinking about dental tools.

Dentists do need to remember as well that patients are a living thing and we are attached to the end of the teeth, and we do breath, swallow and sometimes move. I think short bursts of treatment, work very well and less chance of moving. :butterfly:I do think all dentists should agree to a stop signal and take note of it if used.
You are absolutely right that it is so important for a doctor and patient to be able to communicate and trust each other.
 
Aldridge

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In that case then, as a patient I would be grateful if my dentist would let me know what I can do to best help them to help me. If they would tell me if I could just hold off swallowing, which I don't do much as I am aware the things move in my mouth when I do. I am willing to co-operate in a helpful manner at all times, I expect in return painless treatment and for the dentist to remember we do not have your knowledge and to explain that what is a simple procedure to you as dentists is major to us.

I am enjoying this thread, it is nice to have an understanding about things from a dentist point of view, it is nice it isn't a us and them conversation. I feel sorry for the understanding dentists dealing with phobic patients because I would think that it is very difficult unless we tell them what is bothering us. Sometimes we don't always know ourselves, and it is nice if between us we can figure it out and dispel some of the fear.

I thought I hated everything, but after discussing it, a lot of things don't bother me too much, but the drill and the injections do. Both if used correctly are less scary, and don't need to be painful.

I have had dentists that are priceless and I have had others that should have been struck off, the ones that care, and I feel are in the majority, deserve and earn everything they earn, and more. A lot of patient phobia can be helped greatly by people skills, not just technical skills.

I know it must be hard for the dentists but it is part of the job to deal with emotions and fear, and it must be hard to get it right all the time with patients. But a smile and a cheery Hello goes a long way.

One thing that clicked with me was that when I read a dental piece for dentists, it said that it helps if they like hobbies like jewellery making as it fine work the same as dentistry and shows an aptitude for fine work. I thought the same way I use my tools for that and they are small, the drill bits must be tiny too. I had always thought of a needle being massive and inches long, and the drill bits big enough to go up to the eye ball. I know this sounds silly but the imagination is a terrible thing when thinking about dental tools.

Dentists do need to remember as well that patients are a living thing and we are attached to the end of the teeth, and we do breath, swallow and sometimes move. I think short bursts of treatment, work very well and less chance of moving. :butterfly:I do think all dentists should agree to a stop signal and take note of it if used.
This is a very interesting and informative thread and Carole, you wrote there EXACTLY what I was thinking, almost word for word. I always try to co-operate with my dentist because I appreciate he has a difficult job. He is always as gentle as he can be, and to be honest I would forgive any little operational slip-up because I know it would be an accident. What I don't like to hear about is dentists who are always impatient and/or rude...there is a difference between matter-of-fact, which is fine, and downright patronising, which isn't. Last time I went to our dentist, he had a new assistant who wasn't as adept with the water spray gadget and the sucker gadget as his previous assistant. I had to swallow twice; it was either that or go into a mega-choking fit! I never realised that makes a problem for the dentist until comfortdentist mentioned it. Is it better to put your hand up and stop proceedings first? I will check with my dentist... IF I can produce a rational sentence when I next go! (highly unlikely, as I walk in to the surgery and my faculties promptly fly out of the window.)
 
vicki

vicki

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I always try to co-operate with my dentist because I appreciate he has a difficult job. He is always as gentle as he can be, and to be honest I would forgive any little operational slip-up because I know it would be an accident.
I think it's easy to forget sometimes when you're in the chair, that your dentist has a difficult job to do; especially if you're anxious (or in my case terrified and shaking like a leaf! :p). It is very much a two way thing though - if a patient is calm, then it's easier for the dentist to do their job. But, if the dentist is rough, careless, impatient or just carries on without allowing their patient to have a few seconds' rest, then their patient is going to get uncomfortable (physically and/or emotionally) and probably move about a lot more.

Last time I went to our dentist, he had a new assistant who wasn't as adept with the water spray gadget and the sucker gadget as his previous assistant. I had to swallow twice; it was either that or go into a mega-choking fit!
This makes a huge difference for me. I went to an NHS dental practice for years and the dentists would only stay for about 18 months, which meant that I never really got chance to get used to them. Many of them were quite rough during treatment and weren't that great at providing explanations or reassurance and it was the same with their dental nurses as well. The result was that not only did I find it very difficult to feel any sense of safety or confidence in what they were doing, but I wasn't able to overcome my fears either. I'm sure that I also moved about quite a bit, which probably made their job more difficult, but if they had explained what they were doing and took a bit more care during treatment, I might have been able to cope better.

Since leaving the NHS practice for a much nicer private practice, the difference in the experience has been huge. Now that I go to a practice where the people are very patient, gentle, kind and understanding, I've started to make progress; even though it's only small steps at the moment, it's progress that I wasn't making before. I don't shake all the time during appointments anymore (only occasionally :p) and so I don't move around as much. I also don't grab hold of the dentist's wrist like I used to sometimes in the past, because I trust that they will stop if I ask them to, or if they sense that I need a break. Having a dental nurse in my appointments who talks to me and who doesn't carelessly spray water everywhere or knock my teeth with the suction thingy also makes a big difference.
 
L

littlestar88

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Vicki, I agree with what you say about making a good dentist. I think my NHS experience of a different dentist every time so no raport building as well as rushed appointments helped create my phobia. The other main advantage I found with private was that psychologically I feel 'in control' because I'm a customer. My parents both felt they had to do what the dentist said, stay with an incompetent dentist, put up with inadequete numbing etc because they 'owed' the NHS. They are quite shocked at my attitude that i am a paying customer and get the service I want now!

If you read some of the initial stories on this forum you hear horrors of incompetent dentists but when you read the sucess stories you realise there are some real gems out there too!
 
carole

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Jan 5, 2012
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7,921
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Aldridge and Vicki what you have said is so true, I shake, and I often think it must take nerves of steel to be able to work on someone in that state. So it would be to everyone's advantage to just keep a patient calm and show care and consideration, and stop if need be.

By doing this a trust can be built quite quickly. As time goes on and more appointments are attended it would get easier for both the dentist and the patient. As long as we know there will be no pain and a patient manor is used, we could remain calmer thus making the dentists job easier.
They can direct us to turn out head as well as to open our mouths a bit wider to help themselves, also when having longer procedures it helps to have a break to rest the jaw as it is so hard and can get quite painful keeping it open for an extended period.

I have TMJ and very quickly my jaw kills, and my jaw starts closing on its own, I feel like it is straining to keep it open. An understanding dentist will be aware of this and not think I am being awkward, or treating me as if I am. They have to know I don't do it on purpose, they have studied the subject and the jaw is all part of it. Sometimes it bothers me more than others.

I don't want long breaks, and I tend not to ask them to stop because I think if we stop it is only going to go on for longer, but it is nice to be asked if I would like a break. Sometimes I even think I will get them to stop in a minute but I very rarely do. I just want to have the job done as quickly as possible without him rushing like a lunatic and being rough and get out of there.

I can see it must be hard for a dentist and I do try and explain if they will listen. If they listen and try to work with me it makes all the difference. I want to be treated as a person, not a job. I give dentists respect and it is nice when it is given back. :butterfly:

I am enjoying this thread so much it is really good, I think we are all learning on here. I think understanding and thinking of things that we hadn't thought of before could help us all.
 
F

fireandice1000

Member
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
28
Aldridge and Vicki what you have said is so true, I shake, and I often think it must take nerves of steel to be able to work on someone in that state. So it would be to everyone's advantage to just keep a patient calm and show care and consideration, and stop if need be.

By doing this a trust can be built quite quickly. As time goes on and more appointments are attended it would get easier for both the dentist and the patient. As long as we know there will be no pain and a patient manor is used, we could remain calmer thus making the dentists job easier.
They can direct us to turn out head as well as to open our mouths a bit wider to help themselves, also when having longer procedures it helps to have a break to rest the jaw as it is so hard and can get quite painful keeping it open for an extended period.

I have TMJ and very quickly my jaw kills, and my jaw starts closing on its own, I feel like it is straining to keep it open. An understanding dentist will be aware of this and not think I am being awkward, or treating me as if I am. They have to know I don't do it on purpose, they have studied the subject and the jaw is all part of it. Sometimes it bothers me more than others.

I don't want long breaks, and I tend not to ask them to stop because I think if we stop it is only going to go on for longer, but it is nice to be asked if I would like a break. Sometimes I even think I will get them to stop in a minute but I very rarely do. I just want to have the job done as quickly as possible without him rushing like a lunatic and being rough and get out of there.

I can see it must be hard for a dentist and I do try and explain if they will listen. If they listen and try to work with me it makes all the difference. I want to be treated as a person, not a job. I give dentists respect and it is nice when it is given back. :butterfly:

I am enjoying this thread so much it is really good, I think we are all learning on here. I think understanding and thinking of things that we hadn't thought of before could help us all.
It's good that we are learning from this thread! :D I don't think dentistry is easy at all; even just the academic side is probably a lot for most people to handle. But, from what I've learned here, I think the human aspect of dentistry is just as important if not more than perhaps even the academics. I'm just surprised that some dentists still have a mentality of 'drill them, fill them, and spill them' as far as patients go. I'm not a health worker but I have relatives who work in nursing and medicine. I do know that patient trust is vital and it seems that quite a few dentists that people talk about on here don't do a good job of earning that trust. Being a dentist or physician of any sort isn't like being an auto mechanic or welder; a lot of people have very real medical fears and phobias that can't just be 'wished' away. I'll openly admit that I'm not a very courageous person (although I fantasize myself to be, hehehe) and even the very concept of going to a doctor even for a general checkup unnerves me under the surface. I think that a dentist who can calm down and/or work with even a very dentiphobic person is someone who would outshine a thousand bad dentists and it seems like we have a couple of those star dentists here.:D
 
G

gettingthere

Super Moderator
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
123
This has been really interesting. I don’t think there are a huge number of “bad” dentists around (undoubtedly, some of the stories of botched or unnecessary treatment on this thread prove that there are some) but there are undoubtedly a large number of dentists who are not good with anxious or phobic patients. Even the Tips for Dentists page on this site does have a disclaimer right at the top which says “Firstly I would say, please don’t look to treat nervous patients if it does not genuinely interest you. We all know that for every patient there is the right dentist somewhere. So if you are certain treating very nervous and phobic patients is not for you, please don’t read any further.” My husband’s dentist for example is undoubtedly a “good” and highly skilled dentist. It is clear to me though that this man has no time for anxious patients and is unsure how to deal with people like me. I can only hope that he is not unkind enough to have caused patients to desert him and avoid dental treatment (which is the effect my childhood dentist had on me) but from what I know, my husband is very happy with this practice and the work that has been carried out there even if there is no sense of “relationship” with the dentist. Let’s not forget – a lot of people do prefer it that way also.

I’ve just taken a look around my workplace and with 100% honesty can say that if you were a client coming to our office for assistance, out of the 10 people here, there are 6 that would provide great service and 4 that are permanently grumpy and will either intentionally or not, make life difficult for the client. I would wager that this is indicative of most businesses/industries, sad as it may be, and dentistry is no exception. Thankfully there are great people out there who are effecting change by making it more transparent what patients could and should expect from dentistry. I think any shake-up of the NHS or the dental industry as a whole has to look at a patient-centred approach where communication skills are taught alongside the technical stuff. Do trainee dentists, who may not yet have been let loose on real people, even get told about the impact that even the slightest movement from the patient can have? If so, are they given tips on how to deal with that, to reassure and communicate with the patient? If not I can absolutely understand why this might cause frustration and even uncertainty when dealing with patients.
 
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