Today was a great day. And, then it wasn’t.
First it was great!
I had one patient scheduled for the morning – to deliver six porcelain veneers. This patient has been with me for a number of years. And, she had talked to me about her four old veneers and not being happy with them. They were done nearly 20 years ago. Finally, she decided to move forward and the treatment plan was for Six Month Smiles short term orthodontics and then six new veneers. Without turning this into a big case presentation (which I will do at another time), here’s a quick before and after. The after photo was taken immediately post-cementation.
My patient was very happy, and the whole office celebrated her new smile with her.
Next I had lunch with a good friend (another dentist).
The patient right after lunch was another long-time patient who is elderly (90-ish) and not in the best health. His teeth are severely worn. Recently, I built some teeth up with composites. And, I also prepped five teeth spread out over 3 quadrants for crowns. Garden-variety functional restorative dentistry – nothing glamorous. All five crowns dropped in with some minor adjustments. Another victory. Everyone in the office is riding high. A good day.
And, then it wasn’t.
Then the phone call came. It was one of my more recent patients. We started her Six Month Smiles ortho treatment about 2 months ago. Apparently, she was in Ohio on vacation and, under circumstances unknown to me, saw a dentist there. Per the patient’s story, the dentist in Ohio told her that the “brackets were not put on correctly.” I asked the patient about the dentist (GP or ortho?). He’s a GP. She told me, “He sees a lot of patients with braces on (put on by an orthodontist) and his three kids are in braces.” Oh, I see… that surely qualifies him to criticize… SHIT! OK.. I didn’t say that. But, I was thinking it!
The only thing two dentists can agree on is that the third one is an idiot.
She tells me that she now wants to get a 2nd opinion from an orthodontist. Great. You’re two months into treatment and NOW you want to get a 2nd opinion? Because some anonymous bastard dentist in Ohio says the brackets are on “wrong?” WTF happened to the “trust” we had established? POOF! Gone! Just like that. Lovely.
I told her that if she had any questions she could always come to me. I also explained that it’s considered unethical for any doctor to disparage another’s treatment without knowing the facts. The dentist in Ohio could call me, and I’m sure that I could explain things to his satisfaction. No dice. She wants to pick up her records and see an orthodontist.
I don’t know if she’ll continue treatment with me. Even if she decides to stay, I’m not sure I want to continue the relationship. I like trust to be a two-way street. And, I’d LOVE to talk to the dentist in Ohio. I’ve always liked dentists, in general. But, at times I really wonder about some of them.
I’m open to suggestions from my fellow Dental Warriors.
PS… I was on the other side of this type of situation not too long ago. But, I didn’t throw the other dentist under the bus. Click here to read that blog.