Top 10 "What just happened?" moments in dental hygiene

March 21, 2012

You’re going about your day. You’re rockin’ your hygiene thing, yucking it up with your dental cronies in the lab, or perhaps you’re in the operatory for the periodic exam with the dentist, then all of a sudden- WHAMMO!  Eva Watson, RDH.  You know how this goes.

You’re going about your day. You’re rockin’ your hygiene thing, yucking it up with your dental cronies in the lab, or perhaps you’re in the operatory for the periodic exam with the dentist, then all of a sudden- WHAMMO! 

Eva Watson, RDH. 

You know how this goes.

You’re going about your day.  You’re rockin’ your hygiene thing, yucking it up with your dental cronies in the lab, or perhaps you’re in the operatory for the periodic exam with the dentist, then all of a sudden- WHAMMO!  Out of nowhere, a brick wall made up of complete and utter “huh?” headbutts you and leaves you thinking… what the hell? What just happened?

We’ve all had them. I’ve had quite a few myself. In fact, I’ve had some superfreaky instances that left me thinking to this day, “It’s not me. That was ridiculous!”

The following are some of my personal favorite “WTH?” occurrences that left me sad, distressed and simply at a loss for words. And just to mix it up a bit, I did offer responses to these statements. (It was hard to remain silent afterwards.) I’ll admit they weren’t the most elegant of replies but sometimes it’s hard to compose yourself when you’re choking on some stupid.

Disclaimer: These quotes happened to have come from dentists. For the record, I love dentists.They’re awesome and some of them make me giggle. Quite a few have taught me how to properly educate our patients and some have taught me an onslaught of skills I’ll use till I’m old and crotchety. However…

WTH Moment #5

“Use your toothbrush to massage the gums back down.”

Whaaaaat? Did the dentist just- oh, my god, he did!  The patient was so excited about ‘curing’ her gum recession that she didn’t take her eyes off the dentist during his explanation. After he left the operatory, I approached the patient gingerly.

“Ummm… you don’t have to massage those areas frequently. Not that frequently at all.” 
Sometimes it’s difficult to correct the painfully incorrect… in this case a dentist that’s been practicing for close to 30 years… ouchy.

WTH Moment #4

“We don’t want those losers in our practice.”

He just called those patients losers. Is he insane?! The ‘losers’this different dentist was referring to were low-income patients that did not have dental insurance.  In this instance, I had no reply. Can’t talk… still gagging.

WTH Moment #3

“Why does this patient keep asking me questions about the procedures? Just do it, already.”

Why does he keep- Because you’re the dentist!  My reply:  “I know. What a pain in the butt, right?” 

WTH Moment #2

“I don’t do cleanings. That’s your job.”

A lot of dentists don’t perform prophylaxes.  That’s not surprising nor was I severely traumatized by this particular dentist’s statement.  It’s just that… I was the only hygienist in the practice.  I only wanted a teeny-weeny prophy on my teeth. “So you won’t scale my teeth?”  I waited for another reply from this particular dentist. “Well, can’t you get your teeth cleaned by one of your hygiene friends?”

I didn’t feel very special that day… sniff.

WTH Moment #1

Thought I would leave the #1 spot for Modern Hygienist readers. Oh, come on.  I know you have some.  Share with us.
 
 

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