Thursday, December 08, 2011

Seriously, Dentist?

Piper has been seeing a pediatric dentist since she chipped her top tooth before she turned 2.  Caroline and Bryce didn't start going to the dentist until they were 3 and when they started they went to our regular family dentist.  But because Piper was so little when she she broke her tooth, our family dentist preferred that she be seen by a pediatric dentist.  It's a nice office and very much geared toward children.  The hygienists are super nice as are the dentists.  However, my issues with the office are that they are only open until 5pm during the week and don't have any weekend hours.  Great, I guess, if you work there but as a parent, C'MON!!!!  I guess I can understand no weekend hours but no appointments in the evening?  What are school aged kids supposed to do?  Oh yeah, crowd the office at 3:30pm every day.  So for Piper's appointments thus far, I've clearly had to take off work to take her.  Plus, this dentist is a little out of the way for us too and with rush hour traffic coming home, it's not so fun for any of us.

Piper had her most recent checkup last week and I was pretty much planning in my head that this would be her last appointment with them.  She'll be almost 4 when she's due for her next appointment so she should be fine going to see our family dentist with Caroline and Bryce.  I even made her next checkup with them in mid-June. After her checkup, I told them that I would probably be changing Piper over to our family dentist and what paperwork did I need to do to have that happen.  Aside from signing some things, it would be a $25 fee!  Um, no thanks.  She'll start fresh as a new patient with our office.  Seriously, $25?   She's had some x-rays with them but it's nothing they can't do with our new dentist when she's eligible again.

This leads me to my issues with this dentist.  Again, they are super nice but I think they take the "kid friendly" thing a little too far.  Maybe I'm just not a cutesy, sweet mom who tries to sugar coat everything for my kids but the way the hygienist and dental assistant talked to Piper made me want to barf.  When the dental assistant came out to the waiting room to take her in for x-rays, she kept referring to them as "pictures."  What is wrong with saying an x-ray?  And then when they put the lead smock on her, she kept telling her it was a magic fairy blanket.  Um, seriously?

After the "picture" was taken, the hygienist told me that she wasn't even taking a real, true x-ray that they needed - this was just to get her used to having her picture taken so she'd be ready for real ones later.  Um really?  I bet you billed my insurance for a real x-ray.  

Then we went into the exam room and the hygienist came in and she had Piper put on these sparkly sunglasses so the light wouldn't hurt her eyes.  Okay, I get this as making it fun but the glasses didn't stay on Piper's face right and then Piper thought she was going to get to keep them and that kind of upset her.  Is that really necessary?  Then as the hygienist was going to examine her, she put on blue exam gloves and she told Piper that she was putting on her magic blueberry gloves - magic?  Really?  

She examined Piper and while I admit that Piper had not brushed her teeth before going (she'd just gotten up from a nap, was extremely grumpy and would not brush her teeth after she ate a graham cracker), the hygienist commented that Piper's teeth really seem to hold onto the food and asked how often we brush her teeth at home. When I told her twice a day, she said that we really should try and brush them more.  Yeah, more.  Getting her to brush them two times a day is a chore in remembering, so three or more times?  Wow.    I think they need a reality check.  My other two kids have managed just fine with brushing twice a day.  Good gracious.

So while I give the office credit for being kid oriented and trying to help the timid/scared kids, I think they go a bit overboard for someone like me.  Quite honestly, my kids don't really even respond to that kind of cutesy stuff because they're not used to it at home either.  I'm looking forward to starting Piper at our dentist in the spring.  They're great with kids without all the fluffy extra stuff.

ETA: I'm not trying to hate on people that like a pediatric dentist or have a real need for one - it just doesn't suit me or my kids needs at this point.  I think if the hours were better and it was closer, I would probably just keep going. I did love how they had email appointment reminders rather than annoying phone calls, so that was a definite bonus.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I hear you on the cute-sy stuff. So NOT my thing. Gretchen gets all squirmy and uncomfortable. Ha, I am lucky if I brush Gretchen's teeth once a day...I DO have to get better at that.....sigh.