Occupational hazards

December 8, 2011

In just a day and a half several of our Modern Hygienist Facebook fans shared some of their most memorable discoveries while deep in the throws of a dental exam. Some experiences are funny and equally disturbing, while others are downright sad. If and when you can get past all the hair (TONS OF HAIR), the leftover steak fragments, and self-mutilation in the form of lip tattoos and piercings, think about an issue that is much less tangible while all the while extremely important.

In just a day and a half several of our Modern Hygienist Facebook fans shared some of their most memorable discoveries while deep in the throws of a dental exam. Some experiences are funny and equally disturbing, while others are downright sad.

If and when you can get past all the hair (TONS OF HAIR), the leftover steak fragments, and self-mutilation in the form of lip tattoos and piercings, think about an issue that is much less tangible while all the while extremely important.

A rudeness epidemic stretches far beyond dentistry and encompasses every aspect of the service industry. It's everywhere and we've all seen it. From renting a car, visiting the beauty salon, or enjoying a dining experience at a restaurant, society's lack of appreciation for those providing a service is more troubling than a patient hoarding toenails in his or her mouth.

One hygienist described a scenario in which a patient in the waiting room looked at her watch as she remarked, "three minutes late."

"The worst thing that comes out of patient's mouth is rudeness," Donna Kamper said. "Did she say, 'thanks so much for getting all that ugly stain off my teeth AND getting me out 10 minutes early so I can get to my luncheon on time?'" "No."

How often do you run into a rude patient and how do you handle it?

Look for a web extra later this month on strange discoveries. To view all comments on this topic, visit facebook.com/modernhygienist.