I found my visit to the dentist yesterday somewhat disturbing. It wasn’t the fact that the dentist looked to be about, oh I don’t know, five years old or that constant harping on the miraculous effects of sacrificing virgins to the flossing gods. It was the patient information sheet.
Now, I’m quite the freelancer when it comes to dentists. I don’t hold any particular allegiance so I’ve filled out new patient sheets for a few dentists around town. They have always been pretty generic and completely adequate. Never have I been forced to choose an answer from a list such as:
__ I am willing to do anything and everything to keep my present teeth
__ I am not concerned about keeping my present teeth
What kind of information is gotten from questions such as these? Are there two levels of patient care going on in this office? If you choose the first statement are you automatically on the fast track to being offered only the most expensive options? If you choose the second statement, are you relegated to the “British Plan” of only coming in when your teeth are black and rotting?
Another question was
__I am not concerned about the cost of my dental care
__I am very concerned about the cost of my dental care
I am supposed to answer this question before ever seeing a doctor? Seems a tad premature to me. If I say I am very concerned, will he fail to mention that I need a root canal? If I say that I’m not concerned, will he push the latest greatest $3,000 gum massaging robot?
What the hell?
I tried to answer about half of the questions in good faith but as it continued on and on I got more and more irritated. I believe I am paying this person not only to take care of my teeth but to treat me as an individual and TALK TO ME when something arises.
So, when I came across the all or nothing question about dental care, I wrote in my choice stating that “I would sell my soul to Satan for a halfway decent smile.”
Also, when the above question of finances came up, I wrote “Should I be concerned about prices before I even see the doctor??”
So, half a page of attempted honesty, half a page of snarky bitchery. The dentist didn’t say a single word about it but I’m sure he wrote in red pen somewhere on my chart