Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dentist Drama

I took KennaKat to the dentist for her last wee little 'sugar bug' filling.  She was the best patient ever... again!  It's pretty ironic because when I started taking the kids to the dentist, I took E to our dentist and he did fine, but I realized that they weren't really 'kid friendly'.  When it became KennaKat's turn to go, I decided to find a pediatric dentist because she is the more 'difficult' {unpredictable} one when it comes to dealing with strangers/doctors/...anyone.  

I hunted and hunted and after finally finding a dentist in town who accepts insurance, I figured we were set.  She did splendidly with her cleanings and Ethylwolfe became the more difficult one.  When it came time to get his filling in the Spring it was a total nightmare.  It involved a gas mask, mummy wrap, screaming, crying, a yelling dentist... a complete nightmare.  The only reason this last filling for him was a success was because I had to fight and put my foot down and demand that he have an after school visit as opposed to 8am causing him to miss school {which he hates doing}and he's just not a morning person.  I got "well ma'am, my 15 years of experience has taught me that young children do better in the morning rather than the afternoon."  I said "I understand that, but your 'experience' should also tell you that no 2 children are alike and what may be common for most children does not make it a fact for all.  And if I, the parent, am telling you that my child will do better in the afternoon, as opposed to the morning where he had a terrible experience, then your ignoring my request is actually setting him up to fail.  On top of that, I promised that he would never have to miss school for a dentist visit again, and I don't break promises."  After stamping her feet and refusing to see him and my threatening to find services else-where, and a nervous staff, she finally agreed to let him be seen by a substitute dentist while she was on vacation.  {By the way, that turned out to be his most successful visit ever, plus there was no gas mask, mummification, missed school, or yelling needed.  In your face "15 years of experience"  I am mama, and I know my son!  Ha!}

back on subject...

When I found out KennaKat had 2 cavities, I got really nervous because I didn't want her good experiences to be ruined by the trauma of drilling and filling etc etc.  I actually put it off for fear of it all.  Well, after this last cleaning, I knew I had to get them taken care of before they grew into something worse.

Her first filling went so well, then they told me that we'd have to come back for the other cavity because it was on the other side of her mouth..."oh great", I thought to myself, now they've done it, next time it will be terrible.

The appointment was set, and we arrived 10 minutes early.  After sitting in the waiting room for over 30 minutes, they called us back.  We were in the room for 10 minutes before they came in to get the room ready and give her the numbing gel.  20 minutes goes by and during that time, I hear the dentist go into the room next to ours, give the boy {who arrived 20 minutes after us and got called back at the same time} his shot.  After the 20 minutes is up, she goes back in and starts to work on him.   She tells him that he has 10 cavities and they needed to get started.

I'm thinking "You haven't even given my daughter her shot and we got here before them!".  After the boy was screaming a fit, she left the room and still, no sign of her.  After 10 more minutes, I left the room and started to look for anyone to tell me why we are being ignored.  I bumped into the dentist who had now just finished checking teeth for a room full of kids there for teeth cleanings...who all arrived after me.

I had a really irritated look on my face and she tells me "You're here early!"  {In a fake cheery voice that people give when they know you're mad at them but they try to subdue you} I looked at her and said "We got here 10 minutes early at 8:50, that doesn't give you an excuse to ignore us for an hour!"  and she says "Your appointment isn't until 10..."  (it was just after 10 o'clock at that point).  I said "No, the appointment card said 9 and we got here early like they requested."  She looked at the computer and sure enough, it said 10.  She asked me for said "appointment card" and sure enough, it said 9!!!  {I felt a bit smug at this point and did a little "in your face" mental haha}

I am so glad that I kept the card because the night before, I was weeding through my calendar book and threw away about 10 old appointment cards from the past year, looked at the card for the next day, almost threw it away but decided, eh, why not keep it.

Looking at the card, she looked stupefied, and then proceeded to leave the room and yell at the staff who scheduled me.  After 10 more minutes, she pokes her head in and says "Yeah, they wrote the wrong time down on the card, your appointment was for 10." and leaves.

{Where's my apology???}

5 minutes later, she brings in her helper and they finally gave KennaKat her shot.  They left again, without saying anything to me.  I then heard her in the other room dealing with the screaming boy as she begins to work on him.  Saying that they will only do 4 fillings today.

I feel the blood begin to boil inside of me.  Upset because we didn't get an apology, hungry from not having time to eat breakfast as we rushed to get there early, and infuriated at the thought that after realizing their mistake, she went back to the other patient.  But mostly I was annoyed because KennaKat is still sitting there, getting restless, and I'm thinking, if she had any possibility of having a successful visit, it's sure to be ruined because they made a 3 year old wait so long.

Much to my delight, in the midst of getting no where with the screaming patient, she decided to stop working and take care of KennaKat.  The drilling and filling and entire event was done in under ~5~ minutes!!!

...It only took almost 2 hours to get less than 5 minutes of dentist time...

KennaKat did wonderfully, thank goodness!  I would have flipped out on them if she hadn't had a successful visit.

After all was done and KennaKat received her prizes, we went to check out.

The girl who scheduled me wrong, was also the girl who checked us out, and checked us in that day.  If I was there over an hour early, why hadn't anyone said anything?  Why did they take us into our room 30 minutes before we were supposed to arrive?

Anyway, I got an irritated half apology about the mix up.  Then she proceeds to tell me that she told me 10 and selected 10, but somehow 9 ended up on the card. {what are you insinuating exactly?}  That wasn't true because when she made this appointment, she told me the available times were for 9 and 10.  I chose 9.  She wrote down 9, I wrote down 9 in my trusty pocket calendar, and she clicked 10 on her computer.  Where's the "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, have your services for free...{yeah, in my dreams}"  Actually, she tried to charge me $50 more than the estimated amount.  I told her no, I paid that..  She looked at her computer and said "but it says (blah blah blah)"  I told her "I don't care what the computer says, obviously people don't always enter what's right, but I do know I have my receipt and I know that I paid that deductible."  So after a few clickety click clicks on her computer I get a "Sure enough, there it is, you paid that, you see, it says it right here"...... I give lots of blank stares to dumb people...  But still, no apology, just a "yeah, the person who entered this in didn't put the information in correctly"  never mind she was the person who did it in the first place.

{Again, Where's my apology???}

This is not the first time that they tried to double charge me for services.  When I took the kids in for teeth cleanings, they told me I owed over $160 for E.  After saying, "no, I paid that months ago, I have my receipt at home" I get another clickety click click and "oh look here it is".... still, no apology, no "oh, you're right, I'm wrong".

Why is it so hard for people to say "I'm wrong", "I'm sorry","my bad".  For myself too, I should be better.  Sometimes a simple "I'm sorry" is just what a person needs to hear, especially when someone knows they are in the wrong but just can't push those words out of their lips.


I think I'm going to search for a different dentist.  Every visit, I leave annoyed for one reason or another.

Also, I think I should stop blogging at night, I think exhaustion makes me wordy, sorry for another lengthy post, for those of you who made it through the whole post, hopefully things like this will stop happening to me :)


Marlan said...

so sorry that happened. She is such a good girl.

lovinmesomeKFC said...

Man, I was so mad by the end of reading this! You DEFINITELY need to find a new dentist and make it clear when you transfer their records how many times you were unpleased with them and that was the reason you are leaving. I have worked in two dental offices and we would apologize to stuff that wasn't even our fault just to make patient happy! I know alot of dentists don't file insurance anymore but this area is flooded with dentists so please don't stay somewhere that treats you bad. And Yes they should have given you a price cut! Esp when they have on many occasions tried to overcharge you! You should call and ask for office manager and direct them to this post! haha :)

Candi said...

I would have been LIVID! You sound very witty. I am not. I think of everything I should've said AFTER I leave the office! Oh well, at least you kept your card. Maybe you should find another "kid-friendly" office who actually knows how to perform classic customer service skills (the customer is always right). We have our dental visit next wednesday. Hope it goes well :/

Jane said...

Sorry that happened but of anyone I know, I'm sure you handled it beautifully. Change dentists. Like HC said - we have too many dentists in our area to put up with horrible customer service. Reason I'm leaving one of my specialists this year.