Thursday, December 30, 2010
Strip Mall Dentistry
So I had to break down and go to the strip mall dentist because we are cancelling our dental insurance and we needed to all get our teeth cleaned and checked up before our plan is gone. Lets just say by way of explanation that the cost of my husband's insurance has gone up so much that only a single resident can afford a comprehensive health care package. I am working on not being bitter about this and thankful that he only has 6 more months left.
Anyway, I hate this place, I hate it so much. The Spanish speaking dental assistants and dental hygienists stand outside the examination rooms and chat each other up one side and down the other in Spanish. They do not seem to take much care about their subject material, they talk about the people sitting in the examination chairs and joke around and since the majority of the people who go there are either Indian or Asian, I guess they feel comfortable in the anonymity of the Spanish Language. I never thought that I would live in California and say that but I had never lived in Silicon Valley before.
Secondly, the dental hygienist is a Hun. Somewhere, sometime, in a past life, she was tortured by Pol Pot and his friends or she was chased and beaten up by gang members or maybe she had to hide from dinosaurs to avoid extinction, whatever the case, she is rough and scary. She looks like someone's grandmother but she is mean with a silver picky thing in hand. The last time I was there, she cut my lip with that silver thing and the time before she cut my gum so badly with this metal temporary crown that I thought I was going to actually cry.
Let me back and and just tell my faithful readers (yes, I have faithful readers now) that I am no stranger to dentistry. Being a recipient of military benefits as a child, I vividly remember sitting outside of dental offices and waiting my turn like the VA guys around me to get my teeth cleaned. I remember once asking for a fluoride treatment to be made longer and having only the top tray done by itsself so I didn't vomit or gag for 5 or 7 or 20 minutes or however long they tortured children back in the 70's but I was denied and when I started to gag repeatedly (as any 7 year old would) the dentist snapped, "Now you cut that out!". So I am not a wuss or a softie and I have never had a dental procedure that made me wince or cry out - I sit my ground!
Today was the final straw when we took our oldest to her appointment only to be told that her appointment was 2 hours later. When I produced the card with her name and the time on it, I was met with a blank stare. Then they gave her a procedure we had not signed on for and they asked me to pay for it as I was leaving. I asked my husband if he had approved this procedure and he said he did not. I told the receptionist that I had not authorized this procedure and she said that they had done it anyway. I told her that I was told that no services would be done without consent from the parents. She said they wouldn't charge us and we left.
I am glad today was my last trip to this dental office. I don't feel badly for the dentist, after all I never saw the same one when I was there, I think there have been 3 new dentists replacing old ones in the 3 years we've been living here. I only wish that I had not been limited to this dental office and dental staff - and I'll be checking my statement when it comes because something tells me that while they said they would not charge me, they most likely will anyway.