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Getting Them To Clean Is Like Pulling Teeth

| Greece | Health & Body

(I am a dentistry student. I have a patient who has severe problems with personal hygiene. She was assigned to me in my first year of practice because of faculty misjudgment. Her BO is so bad I have to work with a facial mask sprayed with disinfectant spray. Before Christmas, I give my patient a dental cleaning, removing year’s’ worth or tartar plaque, and accidentally get some blood on her shirt. She also seems to have gotten some liquid paper in her hair. She comes back after Christmas, a month after the last appointment, with the same amount of plaque in her mouth.)

Me: “Excuse me, but how much time do you usually take to brush your teeth?”

Patient: “Uh… half an hour.” *blank stare*

Me: “Uh. Do you mean maybe, half a minute?”

Patient: “Yes, yes. That.” *blank stare*

Me: “Oh.”

(And right after that, I notice the stain I gave her, still on her shirt, as well as the liquid paper in her hair.)

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A Dent In Your Dentures

| Greece | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Liars & Scammers

(I am a student in dentistry, and I have patients of my own during university hours. I am fully responsible for their treatment, as well as their financial transactions with the university. I am not capable of giving any kind of discount. Students are expected to pay any debt of their patients in order to graduate. Faculty members make sure that we know this is the case. This is a particularly unpleasant patient, who gradually starts complaining about any work I do, despite my best efforts and faculty members fully approving of the quality of my work. Dealing with her, even over the phone, makes my stomach turn from anxiety.)

Patient: “[My Name], the dentures you made me are no good. When I press on the side like that, they come off!” *the patient proceeds to press with her finger in a way that can by no means occurs while chewing*

Me: “The dentures have to come off one way or another, like a shoe. If they didn’t come off at all they wouldn’t be dentures, after all.”

(The patient frowns and obviously does not believe me, despite faculty members backing me up.)

Patient: “[My Name], the dentures you made me are clicking. That’s unacceptable!”

(After I examine her, it turns out it was a natural sound from her TMJ. After I explain this, and show her that her clicking continued with no dentures on, she still looks really upset.)

Patient: “Well, my mouth still tastes terrible when I wake up! It’s because of these bridges! You made them so I can’t clean between my teeth!”

(The patient’s main concern when she first came was the bitter taste in her mouth. The patient has insisted for two years that her blood sugar, a prime cause of bad taste, is on regular levels. A faculty member has me order some blood tests, including blood sugar levels. Despite her adamantly denying it, they turned out to be high enough to explain the symptoms. I book a last appointment for her, to get the remaining amount of money to pay the school and our dental technician. I explain over the phone I need [Amount #1] for school, and [Amount #2] for the technician. Because of a wrong addition, I had underestimated the amount of money when I had to inform her about the total cost of the treatment. I have made clear I volunteered to pay this amount myself, knowing she had financial difficulties. I also gave her the dentures before she paid the full amount, just to get her to stop bugging me, which was a mistake. When she comes for the appointment:)

Me: “Your blood sugar levels are probably the reason for the bad taste you have, not the bridges or dentures.”

(The patient looks at a loss, as she has no grounds to blame me further for anything.)

Me: “So, now I would like to discuss the financial part—”

Patient: “I have no money for you.”

Me: “But, I told you how we need to pay off the university [Amount #1] euros, and the technician [Amount #2] euros! It’s the end of the year, so I can’t postpone it any longer for you.”

Patient: “What? You only said [Amount #3] euros over the phone! This is unacceptable! I am not paying anything. The work you gave me is unacceptable.”

Me: “Please leave now.”

Patient: “What? And what am I to do if I have any problems?”

Me: “I do not care. Please leave now. I don’t care about the money. I’ll pay myself if it means I get to graduate and never see you again. So, leave, because I have to tend to other patients.”

(Her look of disbelief and the sight of her leaving was worth every euro… and it was a few hundred of them, too. The technician was understanding and was already partially paid, so he let it slide and assured me I could do nothing more, as he had met her and saw how rude and suspicious she was.)

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You’re Cheap And That’s The Tooth

| Belleville, IL, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

(I’ve taken my mother to the dentist’s office, and I’m sitting in the waiting room for her to be done. A lady comes rushing in, and has the following conversation with the receptionist…)

Woman: “Hi, I’m sorry, but I have a crazy request! I’m going to a doctor’s appointment, and I forgot to brush my teeth! Can I get a toothbrush from you? Do you have free toothbrushes, like, to give to patients? I don’t have time to go out to a store!”

(This street has a drug store, at least three grocery stores, about four convenience stores, and a big chain retail superstore all within a quarter mile. And this is a small town, where stores are all crammed onto a few main streets that you have to take to get anywhere.)

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We don’t have any dental hygienists, so we don’t carry toothbrushes to give out, even to patients.”

Woman: “Oh, no! But I’m going to a doctor’s appointment. I need to brush my teeth, and I just saw your sign and thought maybe you’d have some!” *laughs loudly*

Receptionist: “Well, sorry. There is a drug store right up the street.”

Woman: “No, then I’d be late! Oh, well.” *runs out*

(I don’t know why she thought walking into a random dentist office and trying to explain all that would on the slim chance that they might give her a toothbrush would be quicker than stopping into a store. Somehow, I got the feeling she just wanted a free toothbrush.)

‘X’ Marks The Stupid

, | NY, USA | Extra Stupid

(I work as part of the front desk staff at a medical office. In order to treat patients they must first sign consent forms, which can vary based on what procedure one is getting. Our standard forms have all the options and we mark where the patient must sign/initial with a red “X” to make it very clear, as well as informing the patient to sign anywhere they see these red “X”s.)

Patient: “Do I have to sign all of these?”

Me: “No, only where there’s a red ‘X.’”

Patient: “So all of these?”

Me: “No, there are only two red ‘X’s there. That’s where you sign.”

Patient: “So I don’t have to sign all of the other ones?”

Me: “No… Only where it’s indicated.”

(After returning the forms to me, I saw that she signed everywhere EXCEPT where I had told her to. I had to ask her to step back up the desk and then physically pointed out each place to sign.)

Hit The Nail On The Head

| VA, USA | Bizarre, Health & Body

(A couple of months ago, the replacement crown on my front tooth fell off as I was habitually biting on one of my fingernails. I set up an appointment for the next day to get it replaced.)

Assistant: “So, what were you doing when it fell out?”

Me: “Well, I was biting my nail…”

(I look over and see a look of horror on the woman’s face. I’m very aware that a lot of people find this habit disgusting, and she was elderly, so I just assumed it was a combination of the two.)

Me: “I know. I know. It’s a bad habit…”

Assistant: “Why would you do that?!”

Me: “…I’m sorry? It’s just biting my nails.”

(I lift up my thumb to my mouth and making a biting motion, and she sighs in relief.)

Assistant: “You mean your FINGER nails! Oh, thank goodness.”

Me: “What did you think I meant?”

Assistant: “NAILS. Like you hit with a hammer.”

Me: “WHAT?! Why would anyone just be biting on nails?”

Assistant: “We get a lot of people…”

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