10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too

Now that I’ve left my career and cut some dead weight out of my life, I feel ready to look back and have a laugh– or just finally be able openly bitch about it.  So here’s my confession: I am a dentist who really didn’t love the dentist either being a dentist.  A few months ago I came across a funny post titled, “10 Reasons I Hate The Dentist.”  It appeared right when I was in the thick of my career transition.  It inspired me to write this, so, RedHead Chronicles, thank you for the inspiration.

10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too

1.  The first thing you say when you sit down in my chair is, “I hate the dentist.”  Really?!?  Did your parents teach you any manners?  Did they ever teach you that it is impolite to tell someone you hate them the moment you greet them?  What I really want to say back is, “aww, I hate you too.”

2.  You come to your appointment, and it’s obvious you haven’t brushed your teeth in days.  I’ve had some people with great hygiene come in and apologize because they’ve just eaten lunch and couldn’t brush.  This is not what I’m talking about.  I mean food and thick plaque everywhere.  After 10 years of seeing blood and rotten teeth and some really nasty things, this is still the 1 thing that makes me dry heave.  You know when you come to us that we have to be in your mouth.  Would you clean your home before having company?  Additionally, I have spent hours literally bending over backwards repairing your teeth.  Could you at least pretend that you are caring for the work that I have struggled to complete for you?

3.  After we have spent hours of meticulously repairing your teeth, you complain about the bill.  Would you walk out of the grocery store with a bag full of groceries and expect not to pay?  I’ve just helped you to continue to smile and eat comfortably, two pretty valuable things that help your quality of life.

4.  I tell you that you have a cavity and you need a filling, and you wait months or even years to get the necessary work done.  Eventually the tooth starts hurting.  Two weeks of pain go by, and you call me on a Saturday night while I am at dinner with friends because your tooth that needed a filling a year ago and that started hurting 2 weeks ago is suddenly an emergency.

5.  You come to me so I can help you, but you make it hard for me to do a good job.  You wince and make faces when it’s not hurting.  The idea that I’m hurting you makes me just as uncomfortable and stressed as you are.  If it hurts, please tell me, and I can help you with that.  But if it’s because you don’t like the whole experience, you are only causing me to work in undesirable conditions, making it harder to do my best.  And when you push your tongue in the way, or you don’t open wide enough, it makes it physically impossible to get my work done.  Don’t you want it to be easy for me to do the best job for you?

6.  You call and say, “my tooth didn’t hurt before you worked on it.”  You came to me with a cavity.  I did not put it there.  You did.  I am simply fixing a rotten hole that was in your tooth.  To do so, I must use a tiny drill to cut the rot out of your tooth.  If I took a drill, cut a hole in your femur bone, and then filled it in with a foreign material, don’t you think it might be sore for a while?  Same concept.

7.  When we try to take an x-ray, you won’t bite down on it.  We have to do this to see what is going on with your tooth.  Without knowing the problem, we can’t properly treat you.  I know, in some cases some people really can’t do it; but some people could and won’t just suck it up for 15 seconds.  I’ve had x-rays too, and they hurt and dig into my gums, but I just do it.

8.  You tell me that you bought my car for me after having a crown done.  Contrary to how it seems, you actually didn’t buy me a car.  You bought yourself a crown.  I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education, and have spent hours making this crown fit precisely in your mouth, so maybe you helped me make a portion of a student loan payment.  But you certainly didn’t buy my car.

9.  You no-show an appointment or cancel last-minute.  Some things are unavoidable, but when it’s because your hairdresser got a last-minute cancellation and you had to take that appointment instead, this is just rude.  Not only am I unable to fill the 2 hours of my schedule that I reserved specifically for you, but someone else who wanted to get in had to wait 2 weeks for his/her appointment.  And on that note, when you have the first appointment of the day, and you show up late for your appointment, I am late for every other patient the rest of the day.

10.  When I tell you that you grind your teeth, you deny it, as if I am accusing you of having a horrible disease or being a baby murderer.  It’s not that bad to be a tooth grinder.  I’m just pointing something out and maybe offering a way to prevent more problems in the future.  This observation is concluded from signs or symptoms that are based on real science, not myth.

And along those lines… bonus #11. You tell me a diagnosis I make is simply wrong without listening to me.  If you know so much, why are you coming to me?  You do the filling or root canal yourself.  You obviously don’t need me.

Aaahhh… I feel much better now.

If this isn’t you, I am sure your dentist loves you.  You are probably the bright spot of his/her day.  But it makes you wonder, how do you behave when you go to the dentist?  And most importantly, are you making it easy for your dentist to give you the kind of care you want and deserve?

About these ads
This entry was posted in Career Change, Life's Lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,403 Responses to 10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too

  1. You’re right people can be annoying to dentist. But dentist are greedy basterds that want to work out you as fast as possible not letting you close your jaw for a moment. News flash: having your mouth open for too long can give you a horrible condition called TMJ. Also, if someone complains of jaw pain after you work on them, guess what you do? You prescribed pain killers and make sure there filling was properly shaved down. Most of the time jaw pain is caused by an “over-filling” so to speak.

    • lolabees says:

      You are right– there are SOME dentists out there that are greedy bastards! I know some of them ;) However, we are not all like that. If you feel that way about your dentist, I suggest you find someone you like and trust. If you were my patient and thought that way about me, I would prefer you to find someone with whom you are happy. The dentist/patient relationship is a 2-way street. The relationship is way too important to put your health in the hands of someone you don’t trust or you think doesn’t care about you. Thanks for visiting! Great comment– I may have to address it in a future post!

      • john says:

        heres another news flash. TMJ is not a horrible condition given to anybody by making them keep their mouth open for an extended period of time. TMJ is an acronym for tempormandibular joint. the complex of muscles, ligaments and bones on either side of your skull that allow your jaw to function (of which most people are born with). do your homework before you give another dentist a “news flash”

        • MMSDMD says:

          I’m so glad u posted that! I was going to say something along those lines. :)

        • JOON HAN says:

          You seem to know dentistr, but that’s not the point here. Cocky dentist like you, I just wonder if you have any decent relationship with your patients.

        • michele says:

          Well said!! The general public don’t realise that it’s no joy working in an area the size of a duck’s arse. They should try our job for half a day and they wouldn’t moan so much!!

        • Katie says:

          I just want to point out that while TMJ does stand for temporomandibular joint, in the medical profession, we refer to temporomandibular joint disorder as just “TMJ,” so maybe you should also do your homework before attacking people. I am not claiming that someone is likely to get TMJ from a dentist’s visit, but really, “TMJ” is a legitimate way to refer to temporomandibular joint disorder.

        • Makayla says:

          Most people are born with TMJ Like myself and its not that horrible. I have a servers case and come on! You don’t need pain killers.

        • John, Thank you, she obviously didn’t understand the original message in the

          blog :-)

          “News Flash” LOL, “suggests magic” you made your self look really naive’ in just one

          paragraph, AMAZING :-)

        • Phil says:

          Katie, I could be wrong (but I’m not), but TMD is how TMJ disorders are currently referred to in the dental profession. I don’t care about how its referred to in the “medical” profession. do your homework

        • bmRDH says:

          Thank you for the TMJ correction. This is one of my pet peeves. I cringe every time I hear someone say, “I have TMJ”. I want to say back to them, “I have knee”, or “I have elbow.”

        • Barbara K. says:

          Well said!

        • CBT says:

          I wonder ??? Other acts keep your mouth open for a long period of time..?? but I’m sure you don’t complain about keeping your mouth open then or it causing TMJ..;) “It is a pitty I can cure a toothache but I can’t cure ignorance”.

        • Alex Guizzotti says:

          I am amazed how un-professional your approach to these circumstances are. You are Dentists who are personally outing your career over a social interface webpage. It is embarrassing. Comparing the gap between a patients mouth to an animals ass? Who the hell gave you a dental degree and license to practice? You should feel ashamed to attack patients like this.

          credentials : been in dental practice since 12 years old. Father is a dentist. We own two practices in North Carolina and Ohio.

        • Tonia says:

          Thank you for that. I am a massage therapist. I swear, the next time someone tells me they have TMJ and look surprised when I explain that we all do, I will scream!

        • Paige says:

          Well I have TMD but was never told it was referred to as such so thanks for that correction. I inherited it from my mother and only ever heard of it as TMJ so maybe try not to be so hard on people for not knowing every proper way to refer to things. I’m not a huge fan of what happens at the dentists office but I don’t hate my dentist. Its nothing personal it’s just their job. And if you don’t like the quote they give you (yes you can call ahead of your appointment and ask how much it is going to cost before you go) then call a different dentist and find one you can afford. But just remember you get what you pay for.

        • Carmen says:

          Amen

        • Dr.Ken says:

          Also, as a Chiropractor I can tell you that TMJ disorder does NOT have to be a lifelong condition. There are very specific things that a Chiropractor can do to fix TMJ disorder. Make sure that you ask your local Chiro if he/she is trained in TMJ disorders. For this reason, many dentists partner with chiropractors in their area for those few patients who experience TMJ disorder after their teeth have been repaired. Dentistry does not cause TMJ disorder, but some people may have TMJ disorder flare ups after dental care. Lets quit with the hate and work together towards better solutions.

        • lolabees says:

          Great to hear from a chiro! You guys do great work with TMJ problems. My husband is a chiro, and he was a great resource for a lot of cases.

        • LDA says:

          Kudos! I have worked chair-side for 16 years, and when people tell me that they have TMJ, my response is usually “you have two”. I am a clencher and grinder, so I suffer from TMD. I premedicate with ibuprofen and get on with my day. My mother raised me to be polite and gracious…I would NEVER walk into someones place of work and tell them that I hated them. We are paid to smile through it, but some days it is just no fun.

        • Behnoosh says:

          Nice reply :)

      • Rebecca says:

        thanks for spelling bastards right!! and not all of them are…I’ve worked for both kinds and any profession has greedy bastards that rip people off. That’s why we have websites that use patient referrals as testimonials both good and bad!!

        • Dr Robert Flynn says:

          Being expensive is not the same as being greedy. Dentistry is very expensive to offer (ie. equipment, supplies, schooling, staffing, medical building, insurances, lab fees, ect.). Most would be surprised at our overhead. Besides, instead of thinking that you helped pay for our car outside, it would be more accurate to say that you are helping to pay our chiropractor bill for literally bending over backward helping to treat your dental disease and neglect.

      • JJ says:

        You don’t know what you’re talking about!

      • Rimma dds says:

        Wow. Finally someone said it. I wish I could print this up and give pts to sign before they sit in my chair and waste my time. Amen

      • dennis says:

        love the comment

      • Tarek says:

        Thank you John for your comment. In addition, you def are taking things too harsh on dentists. I am sure there are compassionate dentists out there who actually care about giving you quality treatment.

      • george says:

        very well said…

      • Karen says:

        I have been in the admin side of dentistry since HS (17 yrs) and I agree with you. As an OM there are always circumstances to the rights or wrongs but the bottom line is its a 2-way street of respect & trust. Practice/Doctor & Patient. It is a struggle in any thing in life (doctor, dentist, hospital worker, grocery story clerk) to find a right balance where every experience is a good one… funny tho how much easier it is for patients to leave us with unpaid bills and go elsewhere but we do not have the same courtesy. Whoever said the public/patient is always right but be the same one who invented the girddle.. I guess you have to be in the “moment” to appreciate both sides of the story…

      • chris says:

        Nice…I totally agree with you!

      • Karen says:

        Thank you so much for responding, lolabees. I am a hygienist and have grown up in the dental field. Suggestsmagic, all dentists are NOT what you are accusing them to be and furthermore, your information is incorrect. Yes, some fillengs need to be “shaved down” as you so eloquently put it, but all the dentists I know all ask if yoir bite feels normal before you leave. And if your dentist prescribes you pain medication just because your filling needs adjusted, then you need to find a new dentist. The better question is, are you getting those prescriptions filled?

        I wish all patients were required to read this insightful blot post!!!!

        • Out of all the answers to the unhappy dentist I agree with your comment..he made me uncomfortable!

        • bkratt says:

          Agree Karen!! Not only dentist but even doctors. If pain meds are giving that easily than you need a new doctor or dentist. We never give pain meds for something so small. We fix the bite and patients can tell the difference before they leave the office. On another note..yes SOME dentist (I worked with both over 15 years) are greedy as with many highly paid professionals but I get paid the same no matter what procedure we do and us employees relate to these 10 (+1 bonus) reason as well. I have to say I love most of our patients though. I watch many grow into adults, many into seniors citizens and many who have passed. If you think your dentist is cheating you…then find a new dentist!! There are good ones too!

      • I find this all so amusing. So sorry U have to withstand the abuse but i completely understand it. I have had some dentists in my life who hurt me and ruined it for the rest of the dentists. It scares me to call and make an appointment. I am sooooo lucky to now have a dentist who I can relate to and I look forward to seeing. Love my hygenist. Like the staff and it is a pleasure to go there.
        On a slightly different note, As an optician who can tell U we have the same issues with our patients . They all think we are out to get them. They never mind handing me a filthy pair of glasses with so much green cheese on the nose pads that without fail there is always someone in the office who asks…” did anyone bring crackers. I can’t tell U how many people want to write their own RXs and or blame the optician for all the ills of the world. When people have vision issues quite often they think it is caused by an optician who made the glasses and not the fact that they have 80 year old eyes. Don’t even get me started on what I have to touch behind the ears sometimes to adjust slipping specs! Good luck to U Dr Laura…. I understand.

      • AciTeh says:

        I LOVE this article you wrote. It speaks my mind! Now I am thinking, should I print this out, frame it, and hang it at my clinic? :-) How I wish all my patients could read this.

      • michael davidson says:

        I’m a dentist too. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy dentistry and decided to leave the profession. I enjoy my job but wouldnt say that I am in love with dentistry. I also can identify with some of the frustrations you have mentioned in your post.
        I do feel however, that your post is verging on the unprofessional.
        Is it possible that you have maybe been a touch over sensitive to some things that patients have said, done ( or not done)? I am quite certain that 99% of patients do not say/do something as a personal attack on his/her dentist.
        Everyone has to take some sort of shit on a daily basis in their job, no matter what occupation they have. The way I see it, this is part of our job and its up to us to look at OURSELVES and see how we can change and influence patient’s behaviour/actions. In the event that some of the remarks /actions that you have mentioned do occur, it is up to us to be professional, mature ( and thick skinned ) enough to not take it personally and get on with our jobs. ie improving our patients’ oral and general health.

        I wish you all the best with whatever future career you choose and hope that you find happiness and fulfillment.
        Just remember though, nothing is perfect.

        • Sue says:

          Thank you Dr. Davidson…Very well put. Sometimes impressions we have of Dentists go back to our childhood. I was not a fan of Dentists either, and ued to see a Children’s Specialist in Seattle. He is WONDERFUL and totally got me over my fear of Dentists. I am now able to come see my new Dentist without having to be given gas.

        • michele says:

          For goodness sakes!! Lighten up! This is a tongue in cheek hilarious article!

        • lolabees says:

          Haha! My thoughts exactly, Michele. I guess some people just take things too seriously. Thanks for “getting it.”

        • Michele says:

          Love your post Doc! I’ve been a RDA/OM for 40 years – seen and heard it ALL – I could write a book! The one thing I taught my own children and all the DA’s I have had the privilege to mentor/train is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and a little some sincere kindness goes a long way. Keep your chin up (LOL) and continue doing “good work”. BTW I have returned to being a RDA after taking a year off – no more management for me. Still love dentistry and (most) patients!

        • Kelly says:

          Michael, will you be my dentist? :D

        • Cheryl Howard says:

          You are spot on, sir.

      • dinkerson says:

        Do you have any advice on how to go about finding someone who isn’t a greedy bastard? And how to tell if the dentist that I’m using is one of those? I’m almost hesitant to ask because it would seem that some of your readers are degenerate, pseudo academians who sit poised and ready to pounce on simple misspelled words and grammatical errors. I too dislike it when I see too many errors in an article, book or newsletter, but in a comment? Lay off!!!

        • lolabees says:

          Yeah, it did get a bit out of hand, but I guess the masses were fired up. I struggled with approving many of the posts, but in the end felt that people wanted to be heard. You would be surprised at how many comments I didn’t approve because it started getting really uncomfortable. As far as your dentist goes, the majority that read this post didn’t comment at all, so you’re probably fine;) There are a lot of good ones out there– maybe I should write a post about that? But really, if you want to know my answer to that question, contact me on my contact page– I’d be happy to answer that for you.

        • Dan says:

          The best way to find a good dentist is through your friends. Talk to people who care about their teeth and find out what they think of their dentist. They won’t be able to judge the quality of the dental work they receive, but they will be able to give you answers regarding the dentist’s behavior.

      • camille says:

        Right on Doc.

      • loren0629 says:

        I think this is sooo funny. I do have this hanging up in my office for all the wonderful patients I see everyday.

        • lolabees says:

          Thanks, Loren! Glad you enjoyed it!

        • Terri says:

          I ADORE my Dentist . I am very lucky to now have a dentist who I can relate to and I look forward to see :) . Love the entire staff and it is a pleasure to go there…..HOWEVER as a child I had to have a jaw tooth pulled because another was coming in . She (Dentist) put her knee in my lap to extract it . She (Dentist) knocked the breath out of me & scared the hell out of me . I didn’t like that nor did my mother . My mother never gave anyone a bad rap , that was up to them . She always told me that dentists were my best friend , they keep my smile beautiful & healthy . I was excited to go , still am :D

        • lolabees says:

          :D I am happy to hear that!!! So sad you had a bad childhood experience, but it sounds like you have a great mom who protected you and supported you! The fact that based on her influence, this one experience didn’t come to define your future dental experiences, is a huge win. Dentists are very thankful for patients like you… and for moms that help their children to have positive outlooks. Thanks for your good vibes!

      • Barbara K. says:

        Great reply!

      • Dena Loparich says:

        Okay suggestsmagic…..my daughter is a D2 student at NYU. Yep, $420,000 for the four years she’ll spend learning the wizardry of becoming a dentist. Like you, I had no idea the amount of training or money that was involved in becoming a dentist. She’s 24 years old. While her friends are already making money, getting married, and having babies, she’s studying for 14 or more hours a day. Clearly, you need to find a dentist you are more comfortable with. Or, perhaps your dentist is intentionally keeping your mouth open so that he/she doesn’t have to listen to your profanity and lack of knowledge!

      • Trina says:

        Nice diplomatic answer. I hate people who say this to me. Granted, I’ve worked for some who are greedy, but not all of them are.

      • Angela says:

        Anyone that works in Dentistry or if your Dentist or Dental Hygienist call the condition TMJD just TMJ then this most certainly is incorrect.
        It would be no different than a GP saying you have Cancer when they are only screening for it.
        It is these inaccuracies and somewhat incompetent answers that are given by people in dentistry that truly are not knowledable enough to advise anyone on their dental
        health.
        Yet they do and in turn it gives Dentistry as a whole a bad name.
        There are truly caring and competant Dental Professionals
        that are in the field for the right reason.
        Everyone deserves a healthy smile, it is life changing.
        May 2014 bring everyone a Happy and Healthy Smile!

      • Emilia says:

        You should ask around! There are many examples of greedy dentists. It is hard to find one that would like to help people! And it is purely insane that the pricing does not match the quality. And how can you people judge your patients?! It is similar to electrical engineer judging you for not knowing what the number on a breaker means! Or do you know what a breaker is? In general EVERYONE WANTS TO HAVE GOOD TEETH, JUST SOME CAN NOT AFFORD IT! Go get a reality check, it will help!

      • chase says:

        I love the way you handled this complaint, thank you for the good read. I have family that are dentists and I hear these same problems all the time.

    • mchygiene says:

      haha everyone has TMJ (a temporomandibular joint) .. it’s actually TMD: Temporomandibular Joint Disease… :P

      • lolabees says:

        Thanks… yes, this has been a popular and very welcome point!

      • I’ve had 3 orthodontists see me for the condition I mentioned, TMD. There all referred to it as TMJ for simplicity. I’m sorry, that my technical error made you all so angry. Also, I want to point out people can be born with a fucked up jaw or someone can fuck it up, either a dentist, a car accident, or any injury that affect your jaw.

        • michele says:

          Reality check! dentists don’t generally ‘fuck’ jaws up. Your technical error didn’t really make anyone angry. There are good and bad dentists and good and bad patients. This article as I said earlier, was very’ tongue in cheek’ and was written to make the reader smile. It is not to be taken too seriously.

      • Dr Aaron DMD says:

        dysfunction (not disease)

      • Q says:

        An Orthodontist is the last person I’d see for TMD. Start throwing in brackets, wires, elastics and moving teeth around an already volatile environment and you may have a major problem. Unless you have a really jacked up mouth, your tooth position didn’t have any affect on you getting TMD.

      • articular disc says:

        * Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (while we’re on the subject of correcting clinical names) :)

      • qwen says:

        It’s actually Temporal Mandibular Joint DYSFUNCTION

    • steffydd says:

      TMJ is not a condition, its an anatomic part of your body. Funny how you post about diseases you know nothing about. The condition is called TMD. And no, the dentist doesn’t cause this either, its your own screwed up jaw.

      • Tarek says:

        Well true, I immediately wanted to comment on that loool specially after “horrible” that she put. So much hate in the world and all because of a dentist who maybe scared u as a child or a crazy parent! Trust me, they form a part of your impression as well as of course your childhood experiences that you might transfer 2 ur children. I’ve been told “I hate dentists” many, many, many times ughhh

      • Chase says:

        That is not true. The Pankey institute teaches the belief that the asymptomatic patient will benefit from what they call or is known as an equilbration or bite adjustment in a supposed centric relation jaw position. The book the Philopshy of Dentistry by LD Pankey teaches dentists that we are customers. The book teaches dentists that the tactics of empathy can be used to build rapport, rapport can be used to build trust and trust can be used to reach rewards…..like money. Some Pankey teachers are promoted in flyers telling dentists not to be limited in dentistry they practice, that patients will say yes to treatment plans whey they learn to uniquley influence patients……..

        Centric relation dentistry as taught at Pankey means taking an aysmptomatic customer (everyone) and manually manipulating the lower jaw bone into a new anatomical position, irreversibly changing the relationship of the lower to upper jaw, permanently changing the psotion of the jawbone within the jaw joints, permanently changing the orbital planes of the eyes and then shaving down teeth to make teh back teeth flatter and shallower and changing the front teeth contacts……..yes, it can seriously impact your normal healthy jaw function……………….

    • lonewolf says:

      Everyone has TMJ even dentists (its a joint that allows you to open and close) you mean to say TMD. And the TMD is from the muscle sourness that you feel afterwards… Dentists have the highest educational debt out of all professionals, which can reach up to half a million. Furthermore, I think id pay any price to keep my smile. If you want to save money just pull your teeth out and have a denture and see how that feels… When a dentists asks you to bite after he places a filling that’s to check if you have any high spots, if you tell the dentist it feels good then he cant remove anymore or if they do, they may change the way you bite.

      • lolabees says:

        Love it! Thanks for adding in a few wonderful points! And let’s not forget to mention (on top of the debt) the overhead and how expensive it is to run a dental practice.

      • Lis says:

        Although I can understand how frustrating it would be for patients not to pay their fees, not everyone has the choice of paying “any price” for a smile. But when your tooth hurts, you have no choice but to go to the dentist and pay. Unfortunately, dentists do pay heavily for schooling; however, the failings of our education and monetary system and subsequent wealth disparity are not the fault of the patient.
        Thus, it is not that people are just ‘trying to save money,’ but that they simply do not have it.

        • Nancie says:

          Then pay $5/mo. to show that you value the service you received. We’re not all ogres.

        • Eli says:

          If you know you can’t pay, brush and floss your teeth in the first place.

        • Sandy RDH says:

          But you have your $1 everyday to buy a huge 32oz soda and your $250 every year to buy your new iPhone with the unlimited texting and data plan monthly…and let’s not forget the new Nike shoes you are wearing and the new tattoo/piercing you have displayed…you afford what you want to afford…

        • Ellen in Oregon says:

          Thank you for commenting about not all people not declining dental treatment, not because they are cheap or not willing to spend their money on dental procedures, but because their income is not sufficient to pay for treatment. I had wonderful dental care all of my life. When I turned 40, I became severely disabled & was forced to retire. I now live month to month on disability benefits that do not keep up with inflation & I have sometimes have to go without food or medications to keep afloat. Because I live in an affluent community my dentist seems to think money is no object for everyone he sees. He refuses to discuss the cost of services or less costly alternatives when they exist. Several times, he did additional work we did not discuss at all and when I went to pay the office manager I was hit with a bill far more than what I had been quoted. It seems that my dentist and many others, find it distasteful to speak about the cost of their services. I finally told his office manager that I needed a quote several months in advance so I could try to save for the procedure. In what other profession would you feel you have cart blanch to do whatever procedures you wanted on a patient and then present a large bill & expect to be paid in full with no questions asked? I finally took my dentist aside & asked that when I came in for work, I needed him to only perform the procedures I had agreed on because I would not be paying for work he did without having my approval. A couple of times when I had to go without treatment I needed, the dentist responded by suggesting I just use credit, as if that solved the issue. I explained that if my budget was too limited to pay for dental treatment, then it was too limited to make a monthly credit card payment.
          There is something intrinsically wrong with how America fails to provide basic health, vision & dental care to it’s low income children & adults. Very few people now have dental insurance and most dental insurance yearly premiums cost more than the dollar amount of services the insurance will cover each year. I used to feel good about all those crowns, fillings & implant I had done before I could no longer work. Now, I just live in fear as all that expensive dental work begins falling apart from age & needs replacement that I know will not be happening unless I win the lottery. Dentists, like everyone else, should understand that not every patient who doesn’t follow through on their treatment recommendations is doing so because they are cheap or tight-fisted with money.

        • Sheila says:

          In response to Ellen, I think you need to find a new dentist who will provide you with an estimate and payment plan for any dental treatment prior to the procedure. I have worked in the dental field for over 30 years, (DA,reception, RDH) and have worked with many great dentists and others who were unethical. Unfortunately finding a good, caring, talented dentist is difficult. I suggest reading patient reviews and talking to friends and family as well as other health care professionals and asking them which dental office they go to. Then call the office and ask about their policy when it comes to treatment plans, estimates and payment policies. Good luck and “keep flossing!“

      • DDs says:

        Lis – regardless of cost, the bill must be paid just like for any other service. The wealth disparity, societal failings and so on you mentioned are definitely not the fault of the patient, however by the same token – people’s financial situations are not the fault of the dentist – if you need the work, you need to pay for the work – why should the dentist have to absorb the cost to provide you the service? It takes a great deal of time, staffing, and material costs to complete dental work and that is why the cost is high, that is the sad reality. No one is blaming people for being poor, it is a matter of paying for the services you receive in a timely manner even if it is expensive.

      • Dr. E says:

        For all the patients who wish to save money, buy a toothbrush…

      • laflyby says:

        @Dr. E . don’t forget floss to go with the toothbrush

      • geri says:

        I like what you just said. I think it all comes down to whether or not you’re smile is worth it to you. They charge as much as they do because not everyone can do what they do and it is a very physically taxing job. So who is really being greedy? The person that wants this specialized skill done for next to nothing after that dentist spent years sacrificing their time to study and go to school and learn how to do it or the person that spent the time to learn their trade so you can have the BENEFIT of a healthy mouth? And yes it is expensive but they’ve earned the right to charge what they do. It is a grueling educational process to become who they are. It’s hard to have sympathy for people who say it’s sooooo expensive and then buy a 2 week vacation or an iphone or ipad or over priced clothes. Who’s going to spend 7-8 years of their life basically being owned by their school and studying to come out and charge discount dental prices. They might as well just take a job as a common laborer and skip all the headache they went through if they are going to do that. It’s funny how it’s the people who haven’t made these types of sacrifices in their life who like to complain the most. Dentists make these sacrifices to have a better life for themselves and in turn you get a better life too. Maybe you’d rather have your mom tie a string to your tooth and slam the cupboard door to pull your teeth out when you get a cavity that hurts, or just simply let them rot out of your mouth on their own. Have a little respect for the service they are providing. If you want discount dental work go to Mexico……I haven’t heard of any horror dental stories coming out of there or anything.

      • Since the patient is usually anesthetized during a filling it is often difficult for a patient to know if a filling feels “right” or to even bite down normally. We use paper to mark the bite but still it can be tough to get the bite perfect. I tell patients to call back if they need an adjustment. Not always convient I know but life is imperfect. If you have surgery and it needs to be revised or enhanced you go back to your surgeon and get it done. Dentistry IS surgery and pretty dang hard to do.

    • Jasdion says:

      Well suggestmagic…. If you feel that your dentist is a greedy bastard, they won’t let you close, etc…then you’re seeing the wrong dentist. Why don’t you consider switching? Ask your friends and relatives about their dentist or look at the online reviews of some in your area. FYI, the average dentist keeps only between 30-35% of what they produce. Dental supplies, equiptment, staff and rent are all very pricey. Sounds like you haven’t had a good dental experience. There are great dentist out here, hopefully you find one.

      • mike future dmd says:

        and the 30-35% that is kept is for the half million in loans that is acquired over 8-10 years of higher level education

      • Thanks for the advice :), and I have switched thank god. And thanks for the interesting info about dentists income. I always thought they made much more profit.

      • Rhino says:

        Don’t forget malpractice insurance, school loans (if any), and all the magazines that are left in the waiting room. The ones that are left are 6 months old because people take the newer ones. Im not sure why people would just take a magazine that isn’t theirs, lol.

      • Jasdion says:

        Suggestmatic, I’m glad that you’ve found a new dentist. I’m a dentist in TX, and I tell every patient before treatment, to let me know when they need a break. During longer procedures, I let them rest for a few minutes even if they’re saying “I’m ok.” I’ve even had a patient that needed to go outside and smoke, DURING TREATMENT! Now that was pretty annoying, but whatever will keep you happy in my dental chair is what I’ll try to do. :-)

      • timo says:

        @lonewolf if she switched, she wouldn’t have anyone to b!tch and moan about. She probably spends most of her time complaining about the size of her thighs, juxtaposing tv shows and photographing restaurant food and then posting it on a blog because her life is so intensely amazing.

        If you don’t like the dentist or what they do, then don’t go :) Pretty sure even in N.Korea most glorious leader Kim Jong Il affords his loyalists that liberty. Over half of what you pay (closer to three quarters) is going to cover disposable equipment, autoclaving, equipment wear and tear, premesis costs (rental, electricity, council rates, water), insurance (so when you claim that you have a TMJ and try to take them to court, the dentist is not out of pocket for having your claim quashed, as well as property insurance), dental assistants, receptionists, storage of dental records (yes those fancy little models of your teeth need to be stored in case you get murdered and disfigured so we can identify you), cleaners, distributed losses from patients who cancel appointments etc etc.

        That doesn’t go to cover reimbursement from the 4+ years we spend at dental school expected to outscore medical students on medical exams, tuition fees, and equipment expenses there so that we are in a position to operate in your mouth and not do you any damage. But hey, you know an acronym (TMJ) and aren’t afraid to use it incorrectly, so I suppose in the ample time dentists have outside when they are trying to meet their expenses, maintaining their education by attending expensive conferences, and trying to have a family, they should subscribe to your blog for a piece of enlightenment from the fountain of wisdom that you are <3

      • StephenM says:

        Teeth are essential for a good standard of life and your ongoing health. The latest iphone 4 or a holiday are not.
        Dental insurance can make dental visits cheaper for the patient, and by REGULARLY visiting the dentist (every 6 months) the patient will actually spend less, and very seldom require services that hurt.

        • Manuela Barreto says:

          I like your comment. I’m a hygienist in Miami and it boils me when I get a patient-dressed to the max, and when they open their mouth…I almost pass out. They don’t have dental insurance, so I ask them how much was their dress, their pedi/mani and hair this month..then I tell them that if they for one month instead of doing their hair and nails would come in for a cleaning at least 2X per year–they would be in better health. Coming in every 6 months we can catch and see things early, nip them in the butt !! better to pay for a filling than to pay for a root canal and a crown. I also try to educate my patient, I believe that if you extend your reach by teaching your patient, not only are they better educated as to what and why you are doing to them but also learn prevention. I care for my patients, I try to educate them and make them see how coming in for routine maintenance (just like a car) is better than coming in when the damage is greater and more expensive. The original article was really funny though, I will print it and hang it on my operatory.

    • Charlie says:

      News flash, TMJ is the name of the joint, not a condition. Also, show us a study that proves that overfilling is the cause of most jaw pain. Foolish.

    • One dentist says:

      first of all TMJ is the abbreviation of temporo mandibular joint, something tha EVERYONE (except for some guy that was involved in a no helmet bike accident has!) second….greedy ??? U are the greedy trying us to work miracles and not cooperating ! we spent thousands to be able to provide you treatment and most of us are still paying the LOANS !!! so unless u are a dentist i just suggest you keep ur mouth like it sould be….SHUT !

      • You should shut up! This isn’t even your blog. Piss off.

      • TwoCents says:

        @suggestsmagic “Piss off?” No… this isn’t YOUR blog, I don’t understand why you’re trying to take over all of the discussion. Dozens of people have already stated the point that has proved your foolishness, accept it and move on. You would not go to a mechanic that you don’t feel comfortable working on your car, why would you go to a dentist that makes you uncomfortable working on your teeth? Whose fault is it that you didn’t take five minutes to research reviews on local dentists…Definitely not the fault of all of the “greedy basterd [sic]” dentists you seem to loathe so much.

        Why don’t you leave the diagnoses to the professionals. How on earth do you feel your speculation trumps a dentist’s four+ years of specialized knowledge in the field?

      • Angela says:

        I love this article! I am a hygienist, and anyone who has to work directly in the mouth can relate to each and every one of the points this Dr. has talked about. I myself have worked with some very excellent, reputable, and caring dentists! I often heard these remarks about buying the Dr that second home, or that boat, and often wondered how some of these patients actually thought! I have had a few comments made to me about this while I was working on them, and I was quick to educate them on the overhead of running a business, the malpractice insurance, all the salaries paid with benefits to the employees because they were visiting a Dr. that cared. I also pointed out that they were probably still paying off student loans 20 years after they have been practicing, and eventually end with, “If I went to college for 8 years, I think I would deserve a few perks myself!” I have never heard a patient with an abscessed tooth come in and say I hate dentists! I am glad to see this article, if you don’t like your dentist or you think they are
        “ripping” you off, then just don’t go. I am sure you will look great with no teeth driving
        that sports car you bought by saving all that money the “greedy” dentists tried to steal
        from you!

      • timo says:

        @twocents the answer to your question… suggestsmagic is a troll :) she probably increased the views on her shitty blog 100x just by trolling on here. She gets like 2 comments on a post and then goes and flicks her bean at her popularity despite the 2 comments being from one person. But hey, she has a face for internet blogging ^.^ if I looked like a busted shoe, I’d probably blog about a tv show that was discontinued 10 years ago also :P

      • JDCPA says:

        yea…about the money part – I’m a CPA and have done taxes for dentists.
        Most of them are in the 200K-400K range per year, take home income from their employment – that means after paying for their expensive equipment, taxes, staff, etc. Even the beginners in their first job out of dental school (without a residency/fellowship) start at 130+ as employees, working 3-4 days per week. Seriously, I have a client who works as an employed dentist, fresh out of D-school, 3 days per week (8-5) who makes 130K base salary + a very nice bonus plan that results in a total annual income of approx. 170K – she’s 26 and this is her first job.

        I realize the debt is expensive and holding it is difficult, but no one should feel sorry for dentists as a group. Obviously Dentists do a fantastic thing that is very important; but (out of the population of my clients of dentists and primary care physicians for whom I do their tax returns) the idea that most of the dentists make more than most of the physicians while working less, with fewer years of training, in a less important (and don’t argue with my that healthy teeth are more important than general overall health – that argument can’t stand up) position is ridiculous.

        • Nancie says:

          Where are your clients? Beverly Hills? Your observations are just as prejudicial as the patients who say, “I just paid for your son’s college tuition.” Just because you have done taxes for a few dentists doesn’t make you an expert.

        • Flyndoc says:

          Hey JDCPA- the reason most Dentists make more than physicians is because the physicians allowed medical insurance to dictate their fees and procedures. Dentists, most of us anyway, have not allowed insurance to tell us what to do. Insurance broke the back of Medicine.

        • DMD says:

          Hello JDCPA – I can tell you that what you say may be true for the one 26 year old that you did taxes for, but not for all 26 years olds. I am recently out of school as well and I do not make that amount. Especially when my school loans are sucking out thousands of dollars a month from my bank account. Perhaps that 26 year old had parents that paid for her dental school tuition, or perhaps she is practicing in a lucrative area, or perhaps she is just lucky, because I know for a fact that her salary is not the same as mine. I work 5 days a week 9-6 and make about 120,000, I did a residency in general dentistry, went to an Ivy League dental school, and this is my second job. Also, physicians may have more training after residency, but they know what they are signing up for in the long run. It’s not dentists’ fault that they decide to pick a different profession and may make more than an internist. Do you think a CEO’s work is more important than an internist’s work? Then why are CEO’s paid so much more? It is not fair to compare professions, especially when you yourself do not seem to have an medical training. And I know I do not work less than an internist, because I have friends that are internists. Also, maybe some of the dentists you are doing taxes for are specialists, who make more than general dentists which would explain the 200-400G salaries since they have had 2-6 years more training than a general dentist. And I’ll tell you one thing, dental school is no joke. Many of my friends are physicians, and honestly I find that dental school is more taxing than medical school (you can ask my best friend who is a physician and agrees with me – we went through med and dental school at the same time). Dental students have to train their hands, have to study and deal with patients one-on-one every day. Now, if you go on the specialize in, say, surgery, or really anything in the medical field, then the physician will make more than the dentist. Every day, I come home from work tired and I give my best to do my job. It does not help that many people have such a bad impression of dentists in their head that I am trying to change day by day. My mom was a dentist when I was born and my dad later became a dentist. We did not live in a posh house or have Benzes in our driveway when I was growing up. It took them a long time to start making more money (like 15-20 years). Please do not put down dentistry, as you really seem to have no idea how much dedication and hard work goes into the profession both during training and on a day to day basis. So thanks for your input, but please research a bit more widely if you’re going to make a comment like that… Also, where do work? Maybe I should move there so I can make these salaries you speak of.

      • JDCPA,
        Your experience of dentists is very different from mine. My first job out of dental school was for $64,000 in a Federally Qualified Health Clinic. I have now been out 10 years, and have owned my own practice for 8. The most I have ever taken home is $130,000.

        I am not complaining about my income – I live very comfortably. But I also know people who have far less training than I do, and live just as comfortable. For example, my house, which is roomy but by no means huge, I bought from a couple, one of whom pours asphalt, and the other is a hairdresser. Neither put in nearly the years of expensive education I have, but they were able to afford a roomy house, with a fair number of custom features, on a 3-acre lot for their family.

        At my office, my car is the oldest one in the parking lot.

        And as far as dentists making less than physicians – well, dentists were smart enough to say no to HMO’s, and don’t participate with as many PPO’s. We looked at the cost per procedure, and decided we couldn’t take a cut in reimbursement, and still provide the quality of care we wanted to provide. In my opinion, dental care is actually very reasonable compared to medical care. When I visit my physician, my insurance is charged $160 for a 15-minute visit, before any other services were performed. When I have a patient in for a recall exam and cleaning, with x-rays, I see them for 30 to 45 minutes, and charge $140. And I am actually using instruments and performing a procedure in addition to an exam.

        Now, I am not saying physicians don’t deserve to be paid – in fact, I believe mine deserves more. But they are the ones who signed the deal with the devil to accept insurance companies telling them what to charge, and I don’t think I should cut my fees in some sort of sympathy gesture for them.

        • Seasoned hygienist says:

          Sandra,
          I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a dentist or a politician say the ‘oldest car in the parking lot’ bit..

          Do you not have a hygienist working for you? It seems that you would be able to upgrade your vehicle if you would hire a professional dental hygienist who could do the cleanings for you. Be warned though, he or she won’t stay long if you expect them to complete your recall patients in 30 minutes. At least a hygienist who is worth it won’t.

          We spend about 20 minutes performing the oral assessments and rads and recording what we see, all the while prepping patients and educating them about what the dentist ‘could’ see when they perform the exam. Then 20 minutes scaling, polishing, rinsing, listening to TMJ disorder complaints, flossing, setting up recall appts, explaining insurance, and taking intra-oral pictures to show patients what the dentist will discuss with them when they come in.

          Take into account that even though the patient sat in the waiting room for ten minutes, they all of a sudden have to use the bathroom when we go to bring them back, or that the patient came in late, won’t stop talking, wont lie back all the way, etc… And that takes up several minutes!

          We also have to sharpen instruments, clean up, sterilize the instruments, and enter into the record everything that the dentist needs for the treatment plan.

          This simply can not be completed in 30-45 minutes on anyone that has any calculus or periodontal disease.

          I would suggest, Sandy, that you go to the local dental hygiene school and seek out the advice of a seasoned teacher to find out exactly what to expect from a highly-trained dental hygienist. Then, happy car shopping!

        • Sandy Drake says:

          Seasoned hygienist,

          The doctor from whom I bought my practice stayed on and does hygiene in my office. On days he’s there, HIS is the oldest car in the parking lot. That way, I get all the benefits of having a hygienist, without having to stop what I’m doing for hygiene checks.

          Would it surprise you to know that dentists actually DO know what hygienists do? I mean, we treated perio patients in dental school, had to pass a board exam which entailed perio treatment, and, in most states, hygienists are employed by dentists. So frankly, no need for the snark.

      • DMD says:

        comments are made to enlighten both parties…..peace everyone!!!

    • D1 says:

      I have a condition called knee. In fact, I have two.

      Maybe next time educate yourself before complaining. or not. I don’t care.

    • Al Bundie says:

      TMJ….Temporomandibular Joint?…..keeping your mouth open too long gives you a Temporomandibular Joint? I was actually born with those…dont know about you. OHHHHHHH or did you mean TMJD or TMD?….haha and an appointment at the dentist is NOT going to give you TMJD…there is a lot more to it than that. You have just proved what the article was saying….ignorant people should educate themselves…and especially before they comment.

    • Heids23 says:

      Ibuprofin is all you need (along with a wake up call, and apparently an anatomy class) not an rx med. And just so you know… Some materials require a dry field, therefore closing your mouth would compromise your treatment. If YOU would take care of your teeth, your dentist wouldn’t need you to keep your mouth open for a long period of time or “over-fill” your teeth. They’re there to help you, stop acting like they’re all out to get you.

      • evelyn says:

        so true!!!

      • B. W. J. R. Edwards says:

        So true….. people seeking help need to stop blaming the messenger and consider the message…. btw Suggestsmagic we in the health care business (over 85% I would imagine) do not get into helping others only for the money or because we are greedy “B’S” as you so eloquently put it we actually do care about human beings and the suffering that goes along with it……. like periodontal disease……. deep carious pulpal exposure……. tooth rot……. Meth mouth……. poorly aligned dentition….. overbite…… underbite….. draining fitulous tracts….. etc etc etc…… Thanks for choosing a new less greedy “B” to do your work I feel much better you ran into one of the majority rather than the greedy minority!
        I hope this little foray into the “Art and Science of Human Dentition” has been educational and beneficial to you! Wow I feel much better sharing already!

      • B. W. J. R. Edwards says:

        Darn it…… Misspelled “Fistulous” ……. oops

      • Tarek says:

        Well actually I oppose torturing patients by opening for too long. If you can’t can’t “place” an adhesive restoration in less than 10 mins and use cotton rolls and a saliva ejector in less than 10 minutes then you should apply a rubber dam and take all the time in the world. You can’t can’t get a TMJ disorder that easily by opening for too long but we should always be seeking our patient’s comfort, right?

      • Tarek,
        Yes, we should always strive for the patient’s comfort, but not to the point of sacrificing quality of work. It wouldn’t be comfortable to have an improperly bonded composite, right? And with some procedures, like a root canal, they just can’t close for a while, period, without compromising results.

    • Anna says:

      News flash TMJ is not a condition, its a part of your body. TMDD is a multifaceted problem that is not caused by your Dentist!! Dental work can aggravate an already weaken jaw joint, that you can thank a number of people for starting with your parents for handing you some crapy genetics.

    • suggestmagic, something you may not know about some dental materials is that they don’t work in a wet environment, until they’re completely set. This is especially true of anything adhesive, which includes tooth-colored fillings and cements used to hold crowns on teeth. Once the area is dry and isolated, if the dentist lets you close, you’ve just contaminated it again. So, if you want the job done right, you’re gonna have to stay open. Ask your dentist to use a bite block for longer procedures; you won’t have to work to keep your mouth open.

      Also, prescription painkillers are unnecessary after a filling. OTC Advil or Tylenol should do the trick, and sensitivity should improve over time. An exception – if the cavity was very deep, the nerve of your tooth may have died, and you may now need a root canal.

      “Most of the time jaw pain is caused by an “over-filling” – well, that explains all those TMD patients I have who have never had a filling.

    • I just realized how many spelling errors I had in this comment. No wonder people were calling me a moron. Oh well. *shurgs* I sincerely hope they all enjoyed insulting me, a 19 year old with TMJD.

      • It’s not the spelling errors. It’s your mistaken ideas as to the causes of TMD, and your lack of knowledge as to why it is necessary to keep your mouth open, even when it is uncomfortable. Often, the work reqires it. If you want your filling to fall out on the way home, feel free to keep closing and contaminating the dry field the dentist needs for the procedure to work. That’s not being a greedy bastard; it’s trying to do a good job. Some materials set up somewhat quickly once the dentist starts working – they have to work fast, and need you to cooperate. Again, not a greedy bastard; just trying to do a good job.

        If you don’t like being insulted, don’t refer to an entire profession as “greedy bastards”.

      • Christine says:

        Think before you open your ignorant mouth…oh wait, you might get TMJ

      • ILoveThisBlog says:

        You say you’re insulted and that everyone is on you. News flash: you start with an insult and then make an ignorant comment. It’s not your spelling and being 19 does not excuse you. I don’t think you would take too kindly if I started with “ignorant bitch”. You should reflect on this.

      • Dr. Greedy Bastard DDS says:

        It’s not your spelling errors. Insulting you? Hypocrite. You begin with a blanket insult to all dental professionals followed by an ignorant accusation. Being 19 does not excuse you. Try going around calling other people “greedy bastards”, making accusations, and let’s see how welcome you are. At 19, hopefully we can dismiss your comments as immaturity. If not, you’re in for a long and difficult life…
        Unfortunately, ignorant people don’t know what they don’t know.

      • B. W. J. R. Edwards says:

        Please don’t take this the wrong way…… the insults are out of line but what you have done is insult an entire segment of the population who cares and works hard to treat all manner of diseases dealing with the mouth head and neck. We don’t know how you came to have TMJD but it is a real condition with serious pain involved with it! I hope you not only found a new Dentist but have consulted a TMJD specialist because many ot these conditions are exacerbated (made worse) by having your mouth propped open too wide or too long! Please don’t feel like these well meaning individuals defense of their livelihood career and passion in any means is meant to belittle your pain or condition. I trust that someone as passionate and caring as yourself (to blog here you would have to be) can find experts who will help mollify your pain and or modify your condition. Best of luck!
        Remember we zealously defend that which we love….. and we (bloggers here) love Dentistry!

      • Melissa says:

        I also have TMD (although in your defense, even my surgeons refer to it as TMJ) resulting in multiple surgeries and eventually bilateral joint replacements, so I can tell you first hand that your dentist didn’t cause it. Having dental work done DOES aggravate it, so you really should find a dentist who understands that you may need extra time in the chair so you can rest your jaw as you need to. I’ve had some terrible dentists but the one I see now is fabulous. She never lets me keep my mouth open for more 5-6 minutes at a time, even though it makes my appointments longer, and she’s very considerate and careful not to do anything to make me more uncomfortable. Bottom line, it’s not fair to paint the whole profession with the same brush….keep looking for a dentist who meets YOUR needs. Trust me, they’re out there and worth spending a little time to find.

      • Dentist-too says:

        BJWR Edwards, well said. I love dentistry!

      • banana says:

        Come on guys…stop bullying “suggestsmagic “
        She made a little mistake…
        Believe me suggestmagic you don’t know the half of it….I mean I’m reading the comments and I wonder where do some people get their information…

        Like that CPA claiming that dentists make a lot of money,,,I am a dentist and I don’t make that much…
        When I go home at night my whole body is aching ,my head is hurting,and i can’t see properly .
        I got a disease called (X.ray) burn in my right finger as a result of prolonged exposure to X-ray because I can’t afford a professional assistant.
        By the way I work and live in the Middle East.
        9 hours a day, 6 days a week and my paid annual vacation is 3 weeks
        And my annual income is about 30000 dollars yearly and I drive a 1997 Toyota !!!!!
        My patients are sometimes violent and always rude
        I don’t really care for the messed up reality of my life but trust me…dentists are frustrated and they drained all the frustration and anger on you loool.

        • Nancie says:

          Why in the world would you have to use your finger to take an x-ray! In America, you’d be fined a huge sum for doing that. Stop it.

      • Nancie says:

        I think it was the “greedy bastard” comment.

    • Jeff says:

      There is absolutely no literature in the JADA or in any other craniofacial journal suggesting that keeping your mouth open too long can cause tempomandibular dysfuction (TMD). News flash suggestsmajic: “TMJ” stands for tempomandiublar joint, which is NOT a condition. Educate yourself before making an opinion next time. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about…

    • triathletedentist says:

      hahaha…a horrible condition called TMJ…your jaw joint is called the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)…do you mean TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction/disease?). I think you mean your jaw is sore…probably because you grind your teeth incessantly at night and don’t listen to your dentist when he/she tells you that you do, and need night guard to relax your muscles…see number 8 and number 10 above…you fit the mold ;-) No problem though, I have a degree in psych, so I can understand the “root” of your complaint…(all fun and games ;-)

    • Wells says:

      News flash: TMJ is not a condition. It’s part of your anatomy. It’s like saying your “finger” is a condition

    • CJH says:

      I am not going to jump on you about your TMJ /TMJD mistake. I would just like an honest answer to this question. What type of insurance do you have, and how much dental work have you recieved?

    • orangechigirl says:

      The condition is not called TMJ… It’s TMD… TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. Meaning, it’s the joint itself–a normal anatomy of your body, not a disease or condition. On the other hand, TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder. now, that my dear, is the condition.

      Do not generalize all dentist being such. There are dentists who are passionate with what they do. Those who take time in giving you the best care they can possibly offer. Sometimes, they do things fast so that you won’t feel uncomfortable having your mouth open for a long time.

      Regarding the prescription of pain killers: well, dentists prescribe their patients pain killers just to help them alleviate their pain and discomfort until the time they can visit the office again. It is true, so to speak that over-fillings can cause TMJ pains but, you have to understand that dentists make sure that their patients are comfortable before they dismiss them. They ask you several questions about how you’re feeling after the procedure before they send you home.

      I’m surprised you know about tempromandibular joint pains and the like. Are you a dentist yourself or did you just read articles about it on the internet?

    • Rick says:

      Newsflash: It’s called TMD you idiot. The “J” stands for joints. You already have joints. I’m just saying, if you’re gonna be all miss smarty pants, try to be smart

    • chris says:

      Wow…Please don’t comment on things you have no experience in. It only makes you look like a royal idiot. 1st off when considering the what the dentist charges you have to take into consideration the costs for his materials (composite i.e white filling, amalgam i.e silver filling, instruments, over head such as assistants, rent for the office, office supplies and so on…oh and not to mention his/her extensive education!) 2nd the reason behind keeping your jaw open for so long is because a lot of these procedures need good isolation! Meaning he/she needs to work without a break so that there is no contamination of the work area. If that prepped tooth gets wet (by your saliva) the doctor and assistant have to start all over again. The materials will not work if there is not proper isolation. If you want your tooth fixed that’s the price you have to pay. So shut up and open your mouth! 3rd…I’ve never heard of pain from an over filling. Dentists always go in with blue/red paper (articulating paper) to see where they need to adjust the filling. Lastly TMJ is not caused by keeping your mouth open for an extended amount of time. temporomandibular joint is part of the jaw…it’s a network of muscles, ligaments and bones that allow your jaw to function. So in a nutshell if you don’t like having work done on your teeth then you need to brush and FLOSS every day. Simple as that.

      • pepper says:

        Actually, you can have pain from a high filling. It is very common. Even with the articulating paper that is used for adjusting a filling, because the patient is numb, they can have a hard time feeling the high spot until the anesthesia has worn off. Also, if you assume it is just sore from the drilling and continue to bite down on it you can cause such severe trauma to the nerve that the tooth could die and end up needing a root canal .

      • jane says:

        Woa! Lighten up fellas…the original article was I’m sure a tongue in cheek(yes, that’s annoying too) dig at some of our less helpful clients. I’m not sure I’m a great patient myself! I think we all know that most awkward behaviour is caused by our patients anxiety or lack of understanding, so I always explain what I’m doing as I go along..that goes for bills too…If it’s a big one I usual pop in a comment like,’how else will I pay for my foreign holiday?’ before the patient has time to think of it themselves! It gets a laugh and lightens the mood.
        I do wonder though, how many ladies would insist on crossing their legs during a cervical smear test or would put their foot in a dish of saliva, followed by a nice roast dinner after having a toe nail removed, and expect it to heal overnight with no pain!
        Yes, I still love the profession and my patients…well most of them.

    • the dentist says:

      To suggestsmagic:
      First and foremost, if you don’t have a doctorate diploma or even a college degree, your opinions don’t count. If you are talking about greed when someone is trying to help your teeth from rotting, you should try living your life without teeth. It sucks. And besides, we need you out and about of the chair so that the next patient that is hurting can be seen. You’re not the only one that’s hurting or needs “special” attention. Anyways, there will be a day when at least one of your tooth is hurting. You will be doing every dentist in America a favor by going to Mexico for treatment. And besides I heard they charge really cheap. Here’s a tip that applies to a lot of dentists out here in the states: the moment I feel that the patient shows a hint of lack of appreciation, we refer patients out. Me and my staff don’t deserve a stressful day because of patients like you. We have too many patients that are very appreciative of our work. I would rather focus on them 100% than idiots
      And please do some in-depth research about “TMJ”. If you went to doctorate school, you would know.

      – The worst kinds of people are the ignorant and dumb people.
      – To everyone else, sorry about my rant

      • xylina says:

        Wow some of the most dumbest people I know have. Degrees just because your some big shot doctor who probably mooched off his parents for eternity doesn’t necessarily mean you are better or more bigger of a person. Einstein wasn’t smart because some book told him what to think because his own brain could think outside the box. Get off your high horse many of your great customers don’t have degrees but there voices and opinions do matter.

        • #1patient says:

          …”…most dumbest…”…??? I think it’s so weird to tell people off for being dumb while proving you’re ignorant yourself…you need to go back to school and learn your grammar…I think you simply meant “…dumbest…”.

        • #1patient says:

          …”…more bigger..”…maybe you just meant “..bigger…”, correct? It scares me how uneducated a large section of society is today…we need to go back to the basics in our schools and concentrate on old fashioned reading, writing, and arithmetic! Don’t you embarass yourself when you make comments, but can’t even communicate them in plain english?

      • Anthony says:

        xyline is as stupid as suggestsmagic.

      • Caleb says:

        “The Dentist” I agree with everything you said and I appreciate my dentist and orthodontist very much. However, I very heavily disagree with the fact that your opinion doesn’t count due to a lack of “paper” and a huge debt to repay. I run a very successful business and I don’t have a college degree. In fact I’m one class shy of my degree and it’s been that way for nearly 9 years. Why don’t I have it? Because it wasn’t going to do anything for me. There are MANY ultra successful business people who lack a college education. Thank you for solidifying my thougths about over-educated people thinking that they are holier than thou because they spent years in study and accrued hundreds of thousands in debt whom of which most end up having a very average paying career. However, with that said if you are going to specialize in a field… such as dentistry, law, medicine etc. I hope you are the best of the best and the smartest of the smartest. So if you’re comment that “your opinion doesn’t count” is related to this topic alone than disregard my comments. But you may want to consider the fact that you sound a bit high and mighty. I probably wouldn’t use you as a dentist due to that one comment alone.

      • the dentist says:

        xylina:
        – We became doctors because of hard work and dedication. Hard lesson: students don’t get accepted to med or dent school because they “mooched off” of their parents. We got to where we are because we made the right choices, with a help of little bit of luck. There were many hours invested into studying. 3-6 hours of studying EVERYDAY.
        – And are you stupid or just really stupid? Einstein read hundreds of books through HARDWORK and DEDICATION.
        – Actually, people that come into the office are treated more like patients than customers. If they want to get treated like a customer, go to Walmart or Target because your opinion matters to them. But as a patient, it’s best to do what’s recommended by your professional. Your can say your opinion, but it goes from one ear to the next. Once your in the office, the only opinion that matters is the doctors. That’s what you came in for, to hear my professional opinion.
        – So again, don’t put yourself in a situation where you look like an ignorant citizen of the country. You make yourself look dumb.
        – And besides 3000+ patients coming in and out of my office can’t be wrong. I have successfully weeded out dimwits like you who try to diagnosis their own problems. ******That should be number 11 on the list. PLEASE DON’T COME IN THE OFFICE AND DIAGNOSIS YOUR OWN PROBLEM.

        BY THE WAY, TOP 10 LIST. YOU HIT THE SPOT ON ALL 10

      • toothfairy says:

        Very well said.. ;-)

      • brentyam says:

        Xylina, really? Most dumbest? More bigger? Come on you have got to know that doesn’t make you look very smart. And Einstein’s brain could think outside the box? Einstein wasn’t smart because some book told him how to think? What are your qualifications to be able to say these things? Have you studied Einstein? And how do you know Einstein even thought outside the box? Do you have your degree in mathematics? Here’s something to think about, what if not all doctors are big shot mooches? What if Einstein still thought inside the box but his box was just bigger than yours? What’s the difference between your and you’re and there and their? Just a thought, maybe you could read your comment before you actually post it. Preferably out loud.

      • Lis says:

        I agree the worst kind of people are ignorant and dumb people. However, I would never say if you do not have a doctorate or college degree your opinions don’t count! Are you kidding me?! Do you even realize how privileged you were to go to school, never mind for 8 years? I know everyone should be educated, but this is not a world of equal opportunity!

      • DDs says:

        No matter how uninformed the original comment – saying that anyone without a doctorate or college degree does not have an opinion that counts is just as ignorant and rude. Particularly ironic is that your own post has errors (see: “there will be a day when at least one of your tooth is hurting” – teeth?). Theoretically, if you went to grade school, you would know. So much for those theories on education being the only qualifier….

      • DDs says:

        Wow “the dentist” – your second post is even worse than your first. The best dentists discuss with their patients, they don’t just shove information down their throats. “If they want to get treated like a customer, go to Walmart or Target because your opinion matters to them”, “Your can say your opinion, but it goes from one ear to the next.”, “Once your in the office, the only opinion that matters is the doctors” (note another spelling error starting off this sentence, almighty doctor – I believe you mean “you’re”)… What was that again about people making themselves look dumb and ignorant? Your (note the correct form of the word) comments are so rude and disrespectful, I can only assume that the reason you have 3000+ patients would be because you live in a small town with no other practicing dentists for miles around. Get over yourself, you were probably bottom of YOUR class.

        • RB says:

          I agree. He claims he took 3-6 hours of studying per day just to pass his degree? What a dunce. An intelligent person could probably do well in the degree with less studying than that per week.

      • laflyby says:

        I have to disagree with the Dentist. You DO NOT have to have a gedree to be an intelligent and informed individual. My father is ver knowledgeable about different aspects of dentistry and he has had no college education. I can have a conversation with him about things I have done in dentistry and he can keep up with me most of the time. So, you are very ignorant to think you must have a college education to be knowledgeable about something even as complicated as dentistry.

        @xylina – my wife received her doctorate 9 years ago. She by far did not “mooch” off her parents. Her father had no involvement in her life and her mom was physically disabled bringing in around $600.00 per month in disability. My wife made it through her education on hard work and student loans. She makes a very nice salary now, but she earned it the old fashion way – through hard work on her own part!!! If you actually knew physicians and dentists and other doctorate level health professionals, you would know that most DO NOT come from wealthy families where they can “mooch” off their parents.

      • laflyby says:

        Oops … I can’t type. I meant degree, not gedree

      • Nancie says:

        Is English your second language? You disgrace our profession.

      • Flyndoc says:

        Well said. I don’t tolerate people who belittle me or my staff. I say straight up “it seems you’re not happy here. Perhaps you would be more comfortable seeing another Dentist. Let me refer you to the Dental society for some names…I no longer tolerate miserable people.

      • Seasoned hygienist says:

        That comment just proved every single stereotype of the high and mighty, can’t see past his own superiorness, paternalistic, dentist.

        With an attitude like what you just exhibited in your ‘rant’, where you apologize at the end to anyone who didn’t go to ‘doctorate school’, no wonder dentists have a bad rap.

    • Bob Clancy says:

      Another know-it-all hipster… Go ride your fixy somewhere else.

    • maggie says:

      Newsflash!!!! TMJ is not a condition. It stands for temporomandibular joint. we all have one.

    • “News Flash”: Maybe you should sit in on a dental education class or two before you start telling everyone how much you know about dentistry…otherwise you just sound foolish. Amazing how everyone thinks they are an expert…I’m not a surgeon and I would never try to tell someone how to do any type of surgery. Why is everyone suddenly an expert on everything else EXCEPT what they are responsible for?

      • the dentist says:

        I agree! :)

      • dentist wife says:

        i don’t think a lot of people appreciate the dental education, and what exactly a dentist has to go through and learn/know to become a dentist. case in point, my brother once asked my husband why he had to go to 4 years of school just to learn how to drill on teeth. or even my brother-in-law (a little more benign), commenting on my husbands jack-o-lantern this year, said, “You could just as easily be a surgeon judging from the precision with which that pumpkin was cut.” i’ll admit that i didn’t even appreciate the extensiveness of a dental education until going through it (vicariously) alongside my husband. dentistry involves so much more than just teeth. the suffixes dmd (DOCTOR of dental MEDICINE–or some latin equivalent) or dds (DOCTOR of dental SURGERY) signify that. there should be an education class on dental education.

        something to chew on: even when your neighborhood barber was also your dentist, they charged so much more for dental work than grooming–15 cents for a hair cut 50 cents to pull a tooth. now a days, i don’t know too many people complaining about paying $75-100+ for hair care every 1 1/2 to 2 months. school debt, business overhead, etc aside, shouldn’t that equate then that you should be willing to spend at least 2-3 times that much for dental care? and if you take care of your teeth, and get the suggested cleanings/check-ups twice a year, chances are that you’ll easily spend much, much less for dental work than you do on your hair.

    • murali.r says:

      Dont be too rude with dentist,TMJ mean temperomandibular joint it is not a disease, TMD-temperomandibular disease will not be caused by opening too long in a single appointment, more than i think no dentist will make the patient to open wide for long period unless and until it is mandatory and not more than 20 min at a stretch,and pain killer is not mandatory after fillings, make sure about your basic knowledge,Over filling do occur, not in all cases, and most of the time dentist will book the patient for check up and polishing after the filling, if you fail to adher the appointment , it is not the dentist to be blamed, i accept there are some who works unethically but calling dentist as greedy basterds is too strong word

    • Suggestsmagic, your TMJ comment is correct in some ways and for a 19 year old fairly insightful. Up until ten years or so ago, everyone called the dysfunction of the the jaw joint TMJ. TMD or TMJD are the correct acronyms used today. Hopefully, if you really do have TMD, you know this is a treatable condition. I suggest you find a dentist ‘you’ trust and have the condition properly diagnosed and treatment planned. No one should treat the condition without a minimum of the following: a complete history of the condition including any traumatic incidences; impressions of the teeth along with a bite impression mounted on a fully articulated articulator; a two-position bilateral transcranial radiograpgh with your teeth biting together and slightly apart; and a detailed range of motion examination. Simply wearing a nightguard is usually NOT the answer. Not treating this condition early will result in a lifetime of unnecessary pain. Good luck.

      • Thank you for a civilized reply, although her accusation of Dentists being “greedy bastards” and her misinformation, she is probably just a frustrated patient and is venting. All of this meaness and hatefulness is not solving any patient/dentist relations. Thank you for showing kindness and civility in a society that at times is losing those graces.

      • elisa sin says:

        great comment! from one dentist to another, you sound like a dentist I would want to go to. :)

      • lolabees says:

        Thank you, Dr Bueno! Great advice! Elisa Sin and Kristine– agreed.

      • Natasha Larson, DMD says:

        Well said. While reading ignorant comments filled with generalized accusations doesn’t exactly settle well with me, I believe she deserved a thoughtful, PROFESSIONAL response to set her straight. Dr. Bueno estaba realmente BUENO. I’m proud to know I have colleagues like you out there. @suggestsmagic: I am happy to hear that you’ve found a dentist you like and trust. Ultimately, this is the most important factor when choosing any professional or specialist, whether it be a doctor/dentist, lawyer, accountant or even dry cleaner! :-)

      • Nancie says:

        Treatment is successful in 30 to 50% of all cases, depending on the study and if you mean that she can be pain free.

    • JD says:

      Wow you can tell you have never worked in a dental office! Or gone to medical school, they don’t do what they do to be “basterds” they do they best job they can as fast as they can for you (personally I would rather then stay in there a little longer just to make sure they do their best), and pay their own bills like student loan (over $200,000.00 on school alone) to be able to provide that service for you, have you seen how much it cost to run a business? Do you think you can afford a $2000 electric bill each month? Consided that as one of the MANY expenses they have to pay before you can even walk in. And just having your mouth open does not cause TMJ look it up. Overfilling… really you must have been so eager to get out of there you probly did not take the time to show how you bite fits together. So I suggest re-evaulationg. If not let your teeth root out and get dentures oh wait you still would have to go see your dentist…. I hope your dentist never see you comment, for you sake.

    • mrs.dentist says:

      Ummm….Everyone has 2 TMJ’s (temporalmandibular JOINTS). Do some research before you make such ignorant comments. The condition is called TMD (temporalmandibular DISEASE) and is not caused by your mouth being open too long. Next time you give someone a BJ, ask yourself “is my jaw sore?” The answer will probably be no. Stop being a dumbass.

    • Your wrong says:

      Your an idiot, she obviously is’nt familiar with the whole language, and it does’nt matter even a bit, fucktard.

    • dentalknows says:

      TMJ is the joint, not a condition, dental whiz. TMD is a condition caused by your crappy genetics or personal joint make-up, not the dentist. I’m married to a dentist, and he is far from a greedy bastard. I’m also a dental hygienist, and it’s people like you who think they know about dentistry and the mouth who need to be booted out the door. Go to dental school and see if you have the same opinion.

    • smileoften says:

      FYI: Everyone has TMJ (temporomandibular joint). It is a joint much like a knee. After a run, do you tell people you have “knee.” If you are going to diagnose yourself please use the proper terminology. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) encompasses a variety of problems that can affect the joint. Some are of muscular origin, some from anatomical problems with bone of the joint, some from disc inflammation/damage, etc… Be cautious about over simplifying a subject you are not an expert in. If your mouth fatigues during treatment, then inform your doctor so they can take steps to alleviate the problem. The best thing to do is inform your dentist before they start working that your jaw tires during treatment and you would like to take periodic breaks to rest. They will accomodate your request & they can recommend other therapies to do at home and before treatment to make the experience more comfortable. If you are having difficulty communicating with your dentist, you may need to look for someone who can better understand your needs. Best of luck.

    • Another Dentist says:

      Wow! You know soooo much about dentistry why don’t you fill your teeth yourself?!! That way you don’t have to go see a “basterd” dentist that gives you “TMJ”! By the way, TMJ stands for “Temporo Mandibular Joint”. Everybody has TMJ! It’s the name of your Jaw joint! Such a shame that some people with mentalities like you even exist!

      And, I LOVED the article! IT’S SOOOO TRUE! Thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      Having your mouth open for too long is not the only thing that causes TMJ, plus you have to have your mouth open for a long period of time, a lot of the time. And if your in the dental chair THAT often with your mouth open THAT long, then you have clearly neglected yourself. And you do not prescribe painkillers for jaw pain, that doesnt fix the problem, it masks it

    • billy says:

      haha you know nothing about dentistry or tempromandibular joint dissorders! if you did you would delete your post! oh and TMJ is not a condition, its a joint!!!!!!

    • Umm..”Your wrong”, you should maybe check your spelling and grammar before you criticize someone else. First of all, your handle should be “You’re wrong” not your. It appears that you have some serious issues with apostrophes. “Is’nt ” is actually “Isn’t”; “does’nt” is actually “doesn’t”.

    • Sarah says:

      News flash, TMJ isn’t a condition…it’s a joint…everyone has one

    • AT says:

      TMJ is an abbreviation of TemproMandibular Joint, it is not a condition it is simply a joint name!
      News flash: brush your teeth and follow your Dentists instructions and you won’t have to open your jaw for too long! ;))

    • Honey is better.... says:

      Everyone, I don’t think we need to be nasty to correct someone’s ignorance. Just correct it without hurling abuse. Just as in any profession, there are those that are excellent in their trade and those that are just in it for the money. Personally, I can think of other ways to make a dollar than having to put my face that close to someones mouth. I know someone that I can barely have a face to face conversation let alone, correct the issues that may be causing that breath. I take my hat off to you dentists that decided to go in that direction. I just had to change dentists that recently did a filling on me. I had to go back, not kidding, FIVE times to correct a filling. I couldn’t sneeze, bite down, or drink without pain. He also bathed in cologne and made it really hard to breath while in his chair. So, what did I do? Found another dentist… And I have to admit, I have said I hate going to the dentist while in the chair. Never even gave it a second thought. I will not say that anymore. Thanks for giving me that slap on the head.. I should have known better. : ) Good luck to you!

      • lolabees says:

        Thank you, Honey! I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but glad you were able to find someone to help you. The truth is, if you are a lovely person, you can say “I hate going to the dentist,” and your dentist will probably laugh at you and hug you when you leave. It’s obvious that you are in that category!

    • Maryann says:

      I have to disagree with u! Your jaw hurts from 1 or 2 things or both…The shot if a lower injection or the muscles that you use everyday to chew and talk and smile with.I f smile alot or laugh after awhile everyone says “my jaw hurts from laughing too much!” so when you hold your mouth open for a period of time it uses the muscles of your jaw to bcome sore! Learn about the anatomy of the mouth before you think you can comment. And for the “greedy bastards” yes there are some that want JUST your money but not all!

    • cathy says:

      FYI there is no condition called TMJ…TMJ is temporomandibular joint …basically your jaw joint . The condition is TMD temporomandibular dysfunction.

    • Jim says:

      The reason I am a greedy bastard dentist is because of moronic, non-appreciative, ignorant people like you. Time to raise my fees.

    • Dobson Brown says:

      ha a condition called TMJ – that made me laugh :))

    • Kassi says:

      When a patients jaw is numb they tend to bite down differently then when they are not. We use articulating paper that marks where you are hitting wrong. But when you are numb you don’t always bite correctly. Then when you get home and the anesthetic wears off, you begin biting normally, and you hit in the spots that we couldn’t see when you were numb. We mark your tooth as well as possible but we can’t always get it perfect the first time. So all you have to do is go back in and have it “shaved” down a little bit more. It is not the dentists fault. And yes it is common. Also why we tell patients that if they have “pain” to call and come back in. But its idiotic patients like you that think anything wrong is our fault, also that you see to know more despite our years of studying that make our jobs miserable. While I agree some dentists are greedy, most are just trying to do what is best for you. I have seen enough patients to know that some are just miserable and whiny no matter what you do. Like you. Like others have said. Maybe read up on some basic dental terms before you give us a news flash. By the way. You are paying your greedy bastard of dentist. So if you aren’t happy….find a new one!

      • Lis says:

        Actually my mom had a crown done, but it just would not fit in there right and because she couldn’t eat anything solid (because as a consequence the other side of her mouth got extremely sore too) she lost a significant amount of weight. It took a year of trying to make it right and finally my mom gave up and she says it’s better now as long as she doesn’t chew on that one side.

    • nedra says:

      It’s called TMD :P we all have a TMJ hahahha

    • Emily says:

      Condition is not called TMJ, it is called TMD. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, everybody has TMJs. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. And yes, all ten reasons are correct, and I could add a few more to the list :)

    • Dr. T says:

      Correction- TMJ stands for temporomamdibular joint- everyone has one… TMD or temporomamdibular disorder is the problem with the joint. If you are going to bash those of us with 10 years plus of education, please get your terminology correct at least.

    • Mel Dee says:

      I AM a dentist and believe me we are NOT greedy bastards! We are physicians who have the ability to KILL you when you sit down in our chair!! Therefore you are paying us for going to school all these years to do a job that YOU CAN’T DO YOURSELF and putting up with your complaining and rudeness!!!! Clearly we have your mouth open for a REASON!! It’s because if your nasty, slimy spit touches what we’ve already done…guess what?? WE HAVE TO START ALLLL OVER!!! And guess what else…..Stop acting like you know what we know!!! EVERYONE has a TMJ!!! You have NO IDEA what that is obviously!!! Google it so that you don’t sound so ignorant in the midst of your future rants!!

      • Cardiology MD says:

        Remember, though that at the end of the day you’re a denist, not a real doctor.

      • Remind me again, what does the first “D” in “DDS” stand for?

      • DDS says:

        @Cardiology MD – I am thoroughly intrigued by your comment. I have to know all those medications with which you are keeping our mutual patient alive. Do you “real doctor” consult with your patients as to their dental health? People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. I frequently ask my patients with cardiovascular issues if their cardiologist ever inquired about routine dental checkups. The answer is most often a resounding, “NO!” I am also still amazed at the number of new patients walking into my office with a recent joint replacement having never been told (or better yet given a prescription) to take an antibiotic one hour prior to dental visits that could result in any amount of bleeding. I don’t know how thorough a cardiologist you are, but by my observations, we are treating people. We are not treating just hearts or teeth or knees. Let’s work together to help our patients.

      • timo says:

        Oh Cardiology MD, so cute when you guys think you are better (even if you cannot spell). In any case, I will keep my eyes open in case I should meet a “denist” one day so I can tell them they aren’t a ‘real doctor’.

        Oh before I go, not to burst your bubble, but assuming your name is correct, get off your high horse, everyone knows cardiology isnt brain surgery :)

        • Sit on my hands to keep the dentists safe kind of patient says:

          Doctors don’t need to know how to spell correctly, hence the reason for their “chicken scratch” on the prescription pad!! 😝. Sorry, just trying to lighten things up a bit in here. I am sure to never forget that TMJ is a joint not a disorder as it has been pointed out by so very many posters here!! Thanks for the education. I realize that the dental profession is extremely hard work, and want to thank all of the wonderful people who had the bravery to take on this career!! I am 100% certain I would not have the stomach to take on everything you do in your career choice. Kudos to all of you, and my smile is for all of you!! Thank you!

      • DDS, MS in OMFP says:

        @CardiologyMD: Dentist = doctor just as much as physician = doctor. Please keep in mind, a dentist knows WAY more about your field of expertise than you know about dentistry. I think my medical school roommate while I was in dental school told me that they received a 3 hour lecture on dentistry, to include cariology, anatomy of the oral-maxillofacial region, and demonstrations of quick “fixes” for patients who present with dental pain. A 3 hour lecture, to cover tiny bits and pieces of what I learned in 4 years of dental school plus 3 years of an OMFP residency… really? Did you know that when the first dental school was proposed (U of MD at Baltimore), several self-taught dentists went to the U of MD Med School to ask if dentistry could be made a specialty of medicine? They were told no, there isn’t enough knowledge to be had, or skills to acquire, in the field of dentistry to justify making it a separate specialty. Apparently nothing has changed on the medical side since the mid-1800’s… you are still led to believe that the whole scope of dentistry can be compressed into a 3 hour lecture! Too funny. But again, I know much more about medicine than you know about dentistry. You have revealed that you know as little about dentistry as suggestsmagic… however she is a 19 year old patient and I can tolerate her ignorance on the subject. Ignorance from a fellow health professional is another matter, and imo is inexcusable.

    • honestdds says:

      You’re a freaking moron. TMJ is the Temporomandibular Joint. TMD is Temporomandibular Disorder and is what you can get if somebody stretches your joint ligaments but is not usually caused by keeping your mouth open to do a filling. Most dentists aren’t greedy bastards like most priests aren’t pederasts. Oh yeah, and for you nimrods that think you inherited “soft teeth,” here’s a brush and floss–use it.

    • Sacar los todos dientes says:

      To the Oral Health Professionals:
      Please read the previous responses before posting, I’ve read a million or so responses by dentists and what I assume to be educated people correcting a 19 year old layperson because she doesn’t know the difference between TMJ and TMD/TMJD. I think we got the idea after the first 10 posts. It doesn’t need to be repeated ad nauseam.

      Also TMD is commonly referred to as TMJ, if you type in TMJ in Google guess what comes up? In fact all the links are associated with TMJ pain or disorders, not one link on the TMJ itself. Here’s a word for you guys: interchangeability. Kinda like how automobile=car, pop=soda, Ash Forceps= bird beaks, 23= cowhorns, radiograph=x-ray, sutures= stitches, etc…. My personal favorite however is how East West is used interchangeably with Cryer even though technically its not. (You may not do it but I’ve seen it done repeatedly)

      Finally you all seem like educated people so why do most of you ridicule her for her ignorance? Do you treat your patients the same way? She’s 19, probably barely a college sophmore; most dentists are at the very youngest 26/27 when they graduate. You have easily 7-8 years worth of education more than her and she’s a moron because she didn’t know the difference between TMJ and TMD? You might as well call your children idiots for not knowing how to find the Lagrange multiplier equations for the point of the surface x4 + y4 + z4 + xy + yz + zx =6 at which x is largest. In fact most of you probably don’t know how to do that, dumbasses.

      To suggestsmagic:
      I’m sorry they harped on you but you did call the entire profession a bunch of greedy bastards. Believe it or not dentists are part of the 99%,albeit the upper 99%, but 99% nonetheless. And not all dentists make money, they teach you the procedures and theories in school but there is no class titled “Sustainable Business Practices for the General Dentist” or “How to NOT Run Your Practice Into the Ground”. Oh and if you brushed twice daily for 2 minutes each time and flossed correctly, twice daily as well, we wouldn’t have to force your mouth open for extended periods while we drill and fill now would we? ;)

      • lolabees says:

        Thank you for this perspective. And I have no idea what the Lagrange multiplier equations are, so it sounds good to me ;)

      • Natalie says:

        Great post! Yes, the horse has been beaten to death people, let it go and move on. It was a post by a 19 year old girl, she has gotten the point, she SAID she got the point. Enough already! Makes us all look like jackasses IMO.

    • Kelly says:

      Im a assistant and have been for 17 yrs, we give our patients breaks throught the procedure, however when we are working we are using materials that cant get wet, so we can always give someone a break. Yes having your mouth open for a long time causes muscle fatique/pain..the jaw joint is the “TempralMandibularJoint” not the name of the pain. Pain killers dont help tmj pain they on mask the pain, antiinflammatories like Advil and Aleve help with discomfort. Yes a high filling can cause pain in the teeth or if not adjusted can cause pain in the joint, however we try our best to adjust the bite right the first time, but when patients are numb the sensation isnt the same when you bite together, so sometimes this happpens. Im sorry you had a bad experience, but i promise its not done to rush through patients at least not in our office.

      • lolabees says:

        Thank you for a very helpful explanation of what we do.

      • College Kid says:

        I have a question for you not related to the whole TMJ thing though. You mentioned there are materials you use that can not get wet otherwise they are not effective. I was wondering if you could list a couple of these materials because i am a college student and im writing a paper about dentistry and i think its rather ironic that dentist work in a wet environment but the materials they use cant get wet.

      • timo says:

        @college kid:
        eg composite resin, amalgam, glass ionomers. The materials do not set instantly, and moisture can contaminate the bonding of the material. Additionally if some materials get too dry they can also have problems. Moisture contamination can cause problems not just with the strength of the restoration but also its retention and aesthetics.

      • College Kid, the most common materials we use that require a dry environment are composite (tooth-colored filling materials) and cements for crowns, veneers, etc. But most material we use really work best in a dry field, even if we can obtain acceptable results in the presence of some moisture.

        The irony is not lost on us, belive me, but it’s what chemistry has to offer at this time. The reason these materials require a dry field is because they are hydrophobic, meaning they don’t mix well with water. If they contact a wet tooth surface, they sort of “float” on the surface of the water or saliva, much as oil floats on water, and don’t adhere to the tooth structure as we need them to do. If we used hydrophilic materials which would adhere to a wet surface, it seems that this problem would be solved, but such material tend to be water-soluble over time and would therefore actually dissolve. There actually were filling materials in the past that did this – they were great for a while, but then literally dissolved away in the saliva. So we choose the material that needs a dry field until it cures, since we can generally maintain that field for the time needed. We can’t stop a patient’s salivation forever.

        I’m assuming you are not a science major, and therefore tried to use layman’s terms. If you are indeed a science major and this explanation comes across as a bit simplistic, I apologize.

    • Janis Gibbons says:

      I am laughing right now! Once again someone making their own diagnosis. The condition isn’t TMJ. That simply stands for temporalmandibular Joint. If you have trouble opening your mouth it is called Temporalmandibular Disorder commonly abbreviated to TMD.

    • 12345a says:

      Everyone has TMJ.

    • Carmen says:

      I agree that some dentists are greedy, but so are some accountants, some optometrists, some engineers, some governmental leaders, even some librarians. It seems that you have had some misguided expectations of your dentist. I have been to one dentist before who told me I had 15 cavities and gone for a second opinion to find that I only had one or two. We are our own advocates no matter what advice we choose to accept. We are responsible for our own selves. For a dentist to ask that we act properly while they try to take care of our mouth is not unreasonable.

      Tylenol works wonders as a pin killer by the way.

      I personally think people should take Miss. Manner’s classes. If you had them you wouldn’t use the foul language that you are so fluent in.

    • Dr Samia says:

      lol! A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

    • Proud of the profession says:

      After 11 years of school, my daughter came out of school $400,000 in debt and then spend another half million dollars to open a small office. Do you think there’s any hope of her buying her own home any time soon? It’s people like you that just wreck the world for everyone!

    • lolabees says:

      The name calling is really making me sick. I have already blocked hundreds of comments blasting suggestsmagic. This post is fun for so many of us and the nastiness has to stop! If you feel the need to call someone an idiot, a**hole, f’ing whatever, take your comments somewhere else. Sorry. I wanted to give everyone the chance to participate in the discussion, but none of us need to be flooded with such negativity in our lives. Constructive comments still welcome.

    • A says:

      Not all dentists are bastards! I work for one of the few who are not.. yes he has his bad days but he is laid back, conservative and can give some awesome dental care! And news flash that is why they have mouth props to help relax ur jaw muscles maybe ask for one next time! But I agree there are real shady dentists out there and thats why you should go to Academy of General Dentist website and find one that way.. just a suggestion

      • Sandra K. Drake says:

        Actually, I’d say you work for one of the majority who aren’t bastards. In my experience, only a few ARE. Just like any other group of people, you’re gonna find a mix of good and bad – mostly good, a few bad. I’ve heard dentists argue for hours over what is the most appropriate treatment plan for a patient – they’re so passionate because they’re so concerned abouthte patient’s best interests. They all agree they want the best for the patient, even if they disagree regarding how to achieve that goal.

    • Rueben says:

      The truth is. Having your mouth open for a length of time at a dental appt and coming away with TMD means your jaw was already stuffed up before that to a certain extent and the appt just exacerbated the condition. The only way the dentist is at fault is if he or she didn’t advise you of your poor joint health in the past. If a dentist recommends splints to you and you decline that and later end up with TMD from a dental appt that can involve 5, 10 or 30 mins of actual opening time then the dentist cannot be blamed for this.
      Also..not all dentists work fast because they are greedy. Some work fast so that the patient doesn’t need to have their mouth open too long thereby getting TMD symptoms and because the dentist may not want the next patient to have to wait too long because he or she is running late because it only takes one late show to screw the day up.

    • Charles Liggett says:

      I am a dentist and I typically don’t “work out” anyone, at any speed. I think that it would be a good idea for you to do just a little bit of research, before you make this type of allegation. I’m sorry that you have had bad experiences with your dentist, but try to avoid blanket statements like this, it is just silly. There are greedy people in all walks of life. There are greedy preachers, nuns, teachers, stock brokers, etc. But there just as many that are not greedy. News Flash: the only way to a dentist to work on a patients teeth is for him to have his mouth open. To do dentistry with your mouth closed is much more painful than jaw soreness, I assure you. Hang in there suggestsmagic, hope you can find a dentist that treats you with kindness. And try out spell check, it works great!

    • skp says:

      there is no such thing called good dentist or bad dentist ,

    • dr. kartha says:

      hey girl… dont talk of things u dont know alright… i am not a dentist, i am a medical doctor… TMJ is not a disease.. it is the joint of ur jaw.. called tempero mandibular joint… u can always tell your dentist that u want to close ur mouth for a while when he’s doing the procedure..u dont say it and u blame ur dentist… it’s best that u manage ur dental problems all on ur own.. respect him …

    • not bad DDS says:

      Only a dentist (in private practice) as an owner of the practice, understands and feels the pain of our everyday professional life. Talk to your dentist before making negative comments. Very few make it to be a dentist and even fewer can handle the stress of running a practice. Next time THANK your DENTIST.

    • aileen says:

      hi…if by time you feel uncomfortable, sitting/lying in the dental chair, then you can tell or inform your dentist in a a NICE way by raising your hand…letting us know how you feel is important to us…its like a give and take relationship…

    • Scott A Minniear DDS says:

      You need to find a better dentist. If your dentist makes you feel that way, you are probably correct……so why go back to him/her. High spots happen, but it’s the dentist’s job to get you comfortable and back to normal as quickly as possible. I tell patients that I don’t charge extra for doing it right (the first time). Also, that if they think that they have a high spot, they probably do….it will get better as soon as it gets adjusted, and the bite is back to normal. That said, it’s much easier to check the bite when a patient is not numb.

    • DR says:

      ..”having your mouth open for too long can give you a horrible condition called TMJ”…
      I presume you are a female, so I have a question for you: When you go to your Gynecologist for your regular check-ups, do put your legs crossed…or do you actually open them and let the Dr. do his/her job? ……that’s would be as difficult as a dentist trying to work with a patient that opens their mouth about 5mm……

      Just saying……

    • Miguel Pereira says:

      dhuuuuu! You soffer from TMJ? Good for you! I have two… thamks God each side of my skull! Two Temporo Mandibular Joints. If you are not happy with your dentist, find a new one but be sure that him too can have conditions to love you back. Be nice young lady. I am sure that you will find sonner or latter a nice dentist too ;)

    • Dentist says:

      TMJ is a joint. Temporomandibular joint. If you knee hurts you don’t say you have a horrible condition called knee. When you want to hate on a dentist, at least know what you’re talking about. It’s called TMD, hun.

    • 2bad4u says:

      Technically, everyone has TMJ. Two, in fact.

    • Happytimes says:

      Everyone has a TMJ, TMD is caused by your teeth not matching the closing path of your TMJ, you may be sore after an appointment but every extra centimeter you open helps dentists achieve the micron margins that restorations require. And most jaw pain is caused by infections, not overfilled fillings, although they can be painful also.

    • Shawn says:

      You really need to go and see another dentist, if this is your thoughts and feelings of dentists, you have been greatly mistreated. I believe Lolabees is actually commenting on patients with ignorant attitudes much like yours. If you actually knew how much it costs to look after a patient correctly, and in fact how little the dentist gets of the fee, you might retract “greedy bastards”. You have painted the entire profession with one big inaccurate brush. There is a great saying, trying walking in someone else’s shoes a day before you judge. I am sorry that your dental experiences have have left you so angry and misinformed. DMD

    • Patrick says:

      May I ask you which dental school you graduated from? Because there are many techincal things wrong with what you have said. Have a lovely day. Just FYI, TMJ is not a condition it is an anatomical system called temporomandibular joint. TMD is a condition that is a disorder of TMJ. But interesting comeback though. Makes us all feel a lot better.:)

    • j says:

      News FLASH…..all you really have to do to prevent the so called “pain” the dr is causing you is brush and floss!!!!!! HELLO!!!!

    • muks says:

      by the way in which profession are you in miss suggestsmagic? we can have negative voices for you as well…

    • AmyD says:

      Hehe… I had a horrible experience with a dentist in first grade… I couldn’t keep my mouth open “wide” enough, and she hit me, causing the clamp she had over my tooth to cut my inner cheek. I also founde out as an adult, I had the misfortune to have six wisdom teeth, rather than the usual four. What a raw deal!!! I didn’t realize until I was thirty that people actually went to the dnetist voluntarily for a “cleaning”. I get anxious every single time I have to sit in a dentists’ chair, but i also do NOT blame every dentist I see for the actions of that first psychotic idiot i saw when I was five years old.
      I am curious… what is the profit margin for a dentist? ie…What does it actually cost to do a filling, compared to what is charged for it????

      • ignorance_is_bliss says:

        First off i am not a dentist. but i have been in the dental field for many years. to calculate the profit margin for a dentist is a little complicated. but i will just use the office i work at for this example. my Doctor has been practicing for about 12 years. and i must say i think he is one of the best dentists that i have worked with.
        so to break down the profit margin one must calculate all the expenses that are involved.
        we have a beautiful dental office that has 8 operatories. the building was recently built and the cost for the building was about ($1.2 million). the set up and Dental Equipment for the office was about another ($1 million). so that is just the start up cost.
        Employee payroll cost: is about ($35K per/month).
        Supply Cost: our doctor orders every 3month to save because we get a bulk discount but still the supply cost each month is about ($40K per/month)
        building maintenance and gas, electric, security, office supply, professional licencing, continuing education, dental lab fees and all the other stuff that is part of any business is added.

        So when it all boils down a real good Dental office that is running efficiently with minimal waist has an overhead of about 65-70%, that is not including the Doctors own salary.

        so lets say you get a Crown that is $1000 your doctor will make a profit of about $300 for 3-4 hrs of work.

    • Christina says:

      Just to clear things up…TMJ is not a condition, it stands for Temporal Mandibular Joint. The dentist needs you to keep your mouth open because your teeth are in your mouth ad if you close your mouth your saliva will touch the area he’s working on and will have to start over. And he works fast but efficient because he knows it’s not comfortable for you. therefore he/she has your best interest at heart. And the painkillers are for your tooth not your jaw.

    • deadly david says:

      You don’t need teeth to be happy or prosperous or a well respected member of the community. Have all your teeth ripped out, and then you won’t need to go to the dentist. It is an instant fix for TMD too. Smoke and suck as many candies and chocs as you like. Blenders are cheap.
      My favourite pick me up is steakburger soup with the lot. I laugh at those “greedy” dentists
      every day, when I grimace in the mirror.
      I say ” Suck that, you greedy bastards! Just try and rip me off now. ”
      Suggestsmagic, I suggest we start our own club ” Suckers United ” our motto could be ” We suck “. Our mission statement could be ” to make the dentists of the world redundant”
      That would be the ultimate revenge, hey. What a waste of all that expensive education.
      When we have set the world free from the tyranny of dentists and their evil ways,
      noone would ever be able to criticise us for looking like a bunch of dumbass stupid underachievers with poor grammar ever again.

    • Nancie says:

      You sound like you had some bad experiences, but don’t you dare call us all greedy bastards. Most of us really care about our patients. Some of us work our asses off and barely make a living because of all the regulations and overhead. I give too much away because of people like you who make me feel like I have to apologize. Owning a small business can be a nightmare, but I take pride in supporting several families. Next time, think before you make general derogatory statements and leave the diagnosis to the professionals.

    • Dawn K says:

      Learn to spell and learn the difference between there, their, and they’re before you comment on the validity of a dentist. Thank you.

    • ignorance_is_bliss says:

      Yes, having your jaw open for too long can give you a headache, but to say it would cause TMJ is just funny. TMJ is caused by over use of the jaw joint. it is not because you kept your mouth open for maximum of 2 hrs one day in your life time. that’s like saying if you run once for 1hr you get a knee injury.
      but must likely the discomfort that you are feeling in your jaw after your appointment, is the injection that your dentist gave you to make your appointment more comfortable.
      Or if you feel like you have been open for too long just ask for a break. I know your dentist would love to give you a break rather than bending in every direction trying to just get a glimpse of the working site.

    • Lauren says:

      Such a great commentary on the realities of dentistry! Thank you! There are some wonderful, rewarding days in this profession but others are so mentally exhausting that you want to just walk out the door. Ignorant patients like “suggestsmagic” seem to take delight in coming in your office with a bad attitude and fault finding everything you do for them. Brush your teeth and you won’t need any fillings “shaved down.” Ugh.

    • yea right says:

      uhm..that was rude, get a life other than making people feel bad about their job, dentists are very well paid yes, but like the artical said, they worked HARD to get where they are,they deserve it.

    • Mike Anders says:

      First off, TMJ is NOT a condition, its actually short for: Temporomandibular Joint. The disease would be TMD. Everything else you said is nonsense too.

    • Asia says:

      Such a pitty that you make such a commotion over a little thing such as not being able to shut your jaw. Well, if you look at it another patients point of view, would you want to be sitting in the waiting room or in one of the chairs waiting for the arrival of your dentist for hours… Also, if you don’t like the way your dentist works, find another one!

    • Becky says:

      TMJ isn’t a horrible condition it is short for Temporomandibular Joint, that is just the name of the jaw joint. You mean TMD Temporomandibular Disorder, which has a lot of different causes. Opening your mouth for 30mins wont cause anything but an ache that goes away itself.

    • steve says:

      i made an appointment to see a dentist to inquire about being fitted for braces as my teeth are shaped rather poorly from years of using sodium flouride and boxing. i arrived on time was greeted warmly and i asked about braces. the dentist told me i would need to have some work done before being considered for braces so i agreed,although i did not know what i was agreeing to. i proceeded to have two teeth removed ,two teeth which were giving me no problems whatsoever. as i sat in the dentist chair pondering why i was having these teeth removed i could only come to the conclusion this person was using me for practice, anyway, three days later the bleeding still aint stopped and i am now having trouble with the area where the teeth used to be. the NHS ,”never fail to create pain where pain need not be” give treatment where treatment need not be giving,

      • rdhsteph says:

        @steve
        Why on earth would you allow treatment that you weren’t sure why you needed and that ‘you did not know you were agreeing to’? Sitting in the chair allowing it to happen, and all the while thinking ‘why am I doing this?’ IS actually agreeing to the treatment. The dentist extracted TWO teeth and you had NO idea why??? Do you realize how crazy that sounds? It is actually the patient’s responsibility to ask questions and understand why a health professional is performing treatment. I’m sure the dentist didn’t just plop you in the chair and begin pulling teeth with no explanation of the treatment recommended, and if h/she did, that is your own fault. I’m absolutely sure that is wasn’t just to ‘practice pulling teeth’, that’s ABSURD. If you don’t understand why someone is treating a part of your body, how about ASKING THEM (preferably PRIOR to the extreme pressure and loud popping noises coming from your jaw)!

    • Sarah says:

      Yes it may cause discomfort. As a dental professional I’ll tell ya, if you raise your hand, chances are we can stop to give your jaw a break. News flash: TMJ is an anatomical part of the body, not a condition. TMD is a condition. TMJ is essentially the joint that opens and closes the lower jaw. TMD is a disorder of the TMJ. And the jaw joint is usually sore from the muscles working to stay open during a procedure, so pain medication or muscle relaxers can help. I am not a fan of unnecessary medication, so resting it, and things like ice can help as well, but most people prefer the medication.

    • Christine says:

      Sorry, suggestsmagic, but I must correct you on your statement made in 2011.
      I certainly hope you have TMJ. In fact, I hope you have two of them, for your sake. News flash: TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and it’s basically what allows you to open and close your mouth. There is one on each side of your jaw, located just in front of your ear. The condition you’re referring to is TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder. And this will not occur from having your jaw open for a mere hour to 2 hours. Just deal with it. Wearing ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes or running for an hour or two probably does more damage to joints than keeping your jaw open for an extended period of time.

      Also, jaw pain is most commonly caused from either A. Improper occlusion (when you bite down and the restoration is too “high.”) or B. Bruxism and/or clenching (when you grind and clench your teeth, thereby wearing out the muscles and ligaments that keep your jaw aligned and functioning properly). A restoration needs to be overfilled initially to determine the proper contours to fit to the tooth properly–then it needs to be adjusted according to the patient’s bite. However, when the patient is anesthetized, it’s difficult to determine if the restoration is “high,” so sometimes another appointment is required for adjustment if the patient is feeling uncomfortable.

      I find your greedy bastard comment to be quite hurtful. You must have had a run-in with one of those, and I’m sorry for you for that. But please, don’t lump all of us into the “greedy bastard” category. Nearly every career involved with entrepreneurship can have their fair share of “greedy bastards” out there, but we’re not all like that. We just want to help you. We work hard for our money, just as you do, but with +$300K in student loans plus running a practice at +$300/hr/day (including weekends), our quality care comes with a price tag and a great deal of stress. We have employees to take care of (pay, benefits, vacation, etc.), inventory of materials to keep, bills to pay, all while trying to take care of ourselves and our families at the same time.

    • partytoes says:

      Also, if somebody has horrible grammar and spelling, guess what you do? Ignore their post. Please proofread your entries if you want them to be taken seriously.

    • Stephroberts@hotmail.com says:

      The condition is called TMD. Everybody has TMJ because that is the abbreviation for your jaw joint. Also every person has a different bite. When a filling is placed the dentist adjusts it to the best of their ability. It is hard for you, the patient to feel if it is adjusted right because you are typically still numb during this process. So it is perfectly acceptable if a filling is too high and the patient needs to come back in and get it adjusted when they are no longer numb. Before you accuse all dentists of being horrible, then blame them for problems you don’t even know the proper name for, get your facts straight. There are unfortunately many Dentists who are greedy, I have unfortunately worked for one. There are also many greedy physicians, pediatricians, lawyers, nail salon workers, carpenters, plumbers, car mechanics, the list goes on and on. The great thing is, if you don’t trust them, you can go elsewhere, just like I left my employer who was in dentistry for the money, and not for the patients. He actually was legal in diagnosis and treatment, but his heart was in the wrong place.

    • Michelle says:

      TMJ is not a condition. TMJ stand for Temporomandibular joint . Sounds like you went through 8 years of college to do proper dentistry. You are an idiot. You have zero idea how hard dental professionals work for their patients. Your perception is not reality. If someone does surgery on a part of your body there’s a chance it may hurt. Imagine that!. Also, the reason they may not let you close is because there are critical steps that need to happen. If the prepped tooth gets contaminated by saliva, guess what you get to start the procedure all over again. Why don’t you stick to criticizing something you know two shits about.

    • You are wrong. I have worked for several dentists and while there were two that were greedy bastard and bitch, they were the exception to the rule. You think it’s a “newsflash” to them that your jaw might hurt? You obviously don’t know that EVERYONE has a TMJ….look it up. A reputable dentist wouldn’t prescribe pain killers for a sore jaw, they would suggest that you take an over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen or Tylenol. Yes, they overfill the cavity preparation but then they carve it down so that it fits your bite. They use articulating paper to “highlight” the high areas and they do the best they can, but they are working on people like you, who complain about EVERYTHING and don’t follow instructions that a 2 year old could understand. Dentists and patients need to work with each other for the best outcome. If you don’t cooperate, don’t be surprised when you experience a problem…..but don’t blame the dentist.

    • MzKimRDH says:

      Invest in spell check!

    • Dr. Dean says:

      I am sorry you feel this way. It seems that the dental care that you have received is not only below par (which I see way too often) but lacks the intellectual input that your dentist should be proving you with. I always say that you get what you pay for and that is just as true for the car you drive or the shoes you buy as it is the health care you choose to provide yourself with. Not only should the dentist be able to inform his/her pt about dental diseases, but the pt themselves should be a smart consumer. By doing the proper research such as reading reviews, asking questions, google searching, and more importantly meeting your health care provider/ seeing their office, a pt will have a wonderful and thought provoking experience with the proper health care specialist. Remember that you dental team is in charge of your health. If you do not trust them then you should find another dentist that you do trust.

      Dr. Dean

    • chris says:

      Well…your argument doesn’t make sense. First-TMJ is not a disorder. TMJ is the abbreviation for temporomandibular joint; everyone has two of these. “TMJ Disorder” is an actual disorder. Second, “most of the time jaw pain is caused by an over-filling”….?? Jaw pain in general can be caused by hundreds of things. If a dentist “over-fills” a filling, you don’t understand how minuscule that really is. It is most definitely minimal enough to where it will absolutely not cause jaw pain. It may cause tooth discomfort and the occlusion must be adjusted, but it will not cause jaw pain.

    • You have a TMJ. Everyone has a TMJ – its the TemporoMandibular Joint. When that joint is irritated, is called TMJD (TemporoMandibular Joint Disorder). Please do your research before you post unreliable information. The problem with comment boxes is that anyone with a voice can be heard. You don’t deserve to be heard.

    • br989as says:

      Thank you webMD for providing this woman the insight necessary to compose such grammatically sound feedback.

    • DeVinci says:

      Actually, the cause is unknown for TMJ. There are theories, but non are proven to be the cause.

    • Patty Banner says:

      Nice try, but I must ask, where did you get your dental degree? Perhaps you should go back there and demand a refund, and continue your job at the fruit stand.

    • Terri says:

      I think you’ve missed a couple of important points. You can choose your dentist. You can also choose how often or if you go to the dentist. If you take care of your teeth, you shouldn’t have to go in for any comprehensive treatment very often. Remember, the dentist didn’t put your decay there, you did. Jaw pain is not his fault. You have to keep your mouth open to have work done effectively. If you think you will need a couple of breaks, tell the dentist ahead of time and put your hand up when its time. He may need a couple of moments to get done with the tricky thing he is doing right then, but should let you have a breather soon. Communication is important in any good relationship, and that includes the relationship you have with your dentist. If your dentist is a butt head, get a new one. There are good ones and bad ones. Do some homework before you pick one.

    • Katie says:

      I’m a greedy bastard because dental school cost me $250,000- not including any living expenses, undergrad cost me $100,000….. right out of school I am $350,000 in debt. I’m sorry for being a greedy bastard. I should be working for free.

      • Katie says:

        On on top of that- while all of my friends had houses and CHILDREN- I had to wait 8 years for all of that AND come out in debt. I will not be out of debt until I am nearly 50…. all so that I can provide a nice life for my family. It’s called striving to make a good life for yourself. Stop whining about your life and DO SOMETHING TO MAKE IT BETTER.

    • Rich says:

      I’ve been a Dental Lab Tech for over 30 years now. I have specialized in Implantology for the last 15 years. I have, for the most part, always had a good relationship with My Dentists. However, when working with some of Them, I find I really have to hold back when discussing particular cases. Merely because They think They know more than I do about a certain procedure. (Implants mainly) They go to a 3 day weekend course on Implant Placement and Restorative Techniques and They are suddenly ‘Experts’. Makes Me laugh sometimes how little Some of Them actually know.

      I saw where someone listed Their Lab Fees as part of Their ‘Expensive’ overhead..that’s a laugh! Most Dentists try to get Us to lower Our cost per Crown before They will do business with Us. On average, for 1 crown, the Dentist’s Lab Fees are going to be less than $100.00. Compare that to the 1,200 to sometimes over 2,000 dollars that They are going to charge Their Patient. (I’ve seen some Dentists charge over 3,000 for a single crown.) Lab Fees are only 5 to 8% of Their overhead.(less than 3% when over 3 grand). Oh yeah, and We can’t Unionize either, the ADA will not do business with anyone who even speaks of a Union. Heaven knows They wouldn’t want to actually have to pay Us what We’re actually worth!

      Then there are Dentists who, after running up a 10,000 dollar Lab Bill, will simply not do business with You anymore and will go to another Lab and do the same damned thing.
      (dealt with a few of those over the Years). Many times We have had to take Dentists to Court just to get paid for the work We did. And don’t forget the Dentists that really shouldn’t be Dentists because They really don’t possess the skills necessary to produce quality Restorations. I know of one Dr. that was high up in the ADA ranks, that can not do a simple Preparation for a Crown without gouging out around the Margin or causing massive undercuts in the Prep. On top of that, He sends Us a crappy Impression full of bubbles and pits that really isn’t an accurate representation of what’s in the Patients Mouth. But He expects Us to do a wonderful, well fitting restoration on a piece of garbage that would never pass muster in Dental School.

      Can You tell I’m frustrated?

    • Kason says:

      I AM POST NUMBER #1337 BOOYAH!

    • Annoyed dentist says:

      Your response makes no sense you don’t get TMJ from having your mouth open too long that’s just a muscle ache like any muscle fatigue. If I overfilled your tooth for you after you had a hole in it due to poor oral hygiene and diet do you not want it contoured properly. We are self employed and have to work to get paid . Dentists are not greedy bastards they want to help. Sounds like your one of those people who just wants to be negative and not help yourself. Maybe if you actually spoke to your dentist you might get the service you desire. The problem is the patients don’t appreciate the cost of the work they are having done (some dental materials have a higher price per gram than gold by a considerable margin). Do you expect the dentist to pay for your mistakes and lifestyle that has causes your tooth decay? Maybe you should read the article again.

    • BB says:

      You are going to the wrong dentist. Most are caring individuals who want to provide you with the best possible outcomes. Unfair to say all are greedy!

    • Wayne Reimer says:

      And….you studied dentistry where??? “News Flash”…TMJ is not a “HORRIBLE CONDITION” ; it’s a body part. Tempero-Mandibular Joint. MOST of the time, jaw pain has nothing to do with “overfilling”…most jaw pain is minimal and caused by bruising at the injection sites, and by the fact that because you don’t brush your teeth properly and the food accumulating near the gum line caused the cavity to extend below it. The gum is disturbed because the dentist had to move it away a bit to properly fill the tooth. You got pain killers not because you need them; you got them because you whined about how badly it hurt. A couple of days for the minor bruising to subside and you’ll be as good as new.

      Before you slam a profession in a public place like this, you really should at least try to educate yourself, even minimally, so that you don’t look like such a moron

    • Mdot says:

      I’m sorry I’m not even a dentist and I think you are a moron.

    • Dr. NPGarcia says:

      Greedy!! Who’s your dentist!! Because we give small breaks constantly; however, you can’t expect a dentist to invest the whole morning on a 20min. fiñling. Fyi: TMJ! Everyone has one, it stand for temporal mandibular joint, you mean disfunctions of the tmj… (Look it up). Finally when your dentist asks you to tap your teeth and grind is adjusting your bite and it can always be adjusted again if after the anesthesia wears off the patient feels the bite is not right. Furthermore, for fillings a simple over-the-counter pain med. will do just fine, why prescribe for a simple soreness after a simple procedure.

  2. rumpydog says:

    I don’t hate the dentist, but I do fear going. Sorry, I still have those shrill-sounding implements from childhood in my head.

    • lolabees says:

      Your dentist probably doesn’t hate you either, rumpydog ;) I think many of us understand fear and are very sympathetic to it. I always used to tease my patients that there were probably other places they’d rather be than in my chair. As long as we can laugh together a little bit, it makes the visit a lot easier. Have you ever tried the laughing gas aka nitrous oxide? It really helps some people with anxiety.

    • deadly david says:

      HI Rumpydog type real person
      I am with you on this. Believe it or not, I am a dentist.
      i think dentists should get on the receiving end each year just to keep them honest and empathetic. but then I’m a bit different.
      My suggestion is simple and easy. Wear some close fitting dark glasses like motorbike riders wear. It is amazing how this makes you feel removed from what is happening.
      AND wear some noise cancelling headphones. Not earplug type , I mean full cuff over the ear old fashioned sort but with noise cancelling technology. Cuts out that aweful whine of the drill and the horrible pervasive sucking sound.
      Make sure your dentist has something on the ceiling to focus on.
      DONT close your eyes !! this just makes you more jumpy and anticipating that something aweful is going to hppen. establish upfront signals like that nice Dental Assistant suggested to Suggestmagic that enable you to feel IN CONTROL.
      Dentists work really hard, Its not that easy drilling 50micron accuracy on a moving target.
      But ultimately it is your mouth and you are paying for the benefit of excellent dental care.
      so it is not unreasonable for you to set the agenda and feel in control.
      I tell my patients that > ” You are the driver, I am just the navigator” ” I am here to help you. You are the one in charge of how we spend your time and money ”
      It is not that hard. when you treat people like real people, and ask for and give mutual respect, I have found over 30 years that very few people abuse the relationship of trust and care. Thos e very few that do … maybe they are having a tough time, a bad day or just need to grow up more. Suck it back and move on. I love dentistry and my patients
      ( even if they dont love me sometimes )

  3. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    Yep I’m another one that fears the dentist, I don’t say a word, but I grip the chair arms like you wouldn’t believe, and I’m sure the fear is showing all over my face, especially the eyes, and that’s before the dentist has even looked at my teeth. :D
    Loved the post, it’s good for a change to see things from the other side of the chair. :)

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, magsx2! I really wanted to share the other perspective. It’s not really the fear that bothered me so much as a dentist, but it was the way people treated me as a result of their fear. We really just want people to be comfortable in the chair. I hope you have a dentist that does that for you!

      • i fear for you says:

        “The way people treated YOU as a result of their fear!!!!” Do you have any comprehension of what empathy entails? Well i guess not otherwise you wouldn’t be spouting such garbage as you have done. i’m glad you’ve moved on to other pastures that leaves less chance of further patients being subjected to the selfish principles of another uncompassionate fuck wit and perpetuating this cycle of dentist on one side and the patient on the other. all the luck with your new beginnings.

      • So, it’s not selfish to be disrespectful of someone who’s trying to help you? Dentists aren’t deserving of the respect that should be shown to any human being, just because people don’t like what we do for them?

        Every dentist I know does their damnedest to make a procedure as comfortable as possible, and to provide the best treatment they can. All of my patients, even the ones who annoy me, are treated with respect. All I ask is the same in return.

        Who’s putting the dentist on one side and the patient on the other again?

        • Mike Anders says:

          I agree. I am actually really good to my patients, even the ones who are rude and disrespectful. I like a lot of BS but like any service industry, the customer is always right!

      • lolabees says:

        Sandra, thanks so much for your constructive and informative comments on the topic.

      • timo says:

        @i fear for you… hahahaha ‘selfish principles of another uncompassionate f***wit’ rich coming from someone with such mastery and command of the king’s english… empathy is one thing, dealing with crap off people is another. But judging from your comments, you have a sense of entitlement and would probably expect someone to respond to your foul mouth with compassion and sympathy with something along the lines of “oh ‘i fear for you’, i get a sense of displeasure from your comments about my post, how does it make you feel, did your step father touch you in inappropriate ways”. Dentists are not payed to be psychologists. Yes we are empathetic, but no we did not pick dentistry to address people’s psychological problems.

    • Dr. P says:

      Lovely friend,
      Please ask your dentist if he performs procedures under minimal oral sedation. takeing small dose of benzodiazepine under complete supervision of your dentist is the best way to go about it. You will have a very enjoyable visit and feel no stress, therefore, your healing time would be a lot shorter becasue you have not had the anxiety. Hope you enjoy your next visit

  4. This is a great post!!! So funny and yet so true! Glad you wrote it b/c I am guilty of a couple of these – but I will work on it!

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Boy Mom Blogger! It’s good to get the dialogue going, and these are things we can never say to our patients! Just be friendly to your dentist, and all of those things are easily overlooked!

  5. martineden says:

    I was just glad that I only could tick off 1 of these annoyances. That x-ray/bite down thing is just way too much for my gag reflexes. I am hoping this gives me a 94% Dentist Likes Me Score.

    • lolabees says:

      Haha! Some people do legitimately have that gag reflex– I forgot about that one. That may have to appear in a future post! It sounds like your dentist likes you! A 94% is an A, right?

      • JonB says:

        There’s also those people (like me) who have those extra little bone bumps in their jaw. On the opposite side of the bone from the canines. They’re not bone spurs… Can’t remember what my dentist called them.

      • @JonB,

        They’re called “tori” (singular is “torus”), and yes, they can make it very difficult for some people to bite down on x-ray films. Sometimes physically impossible.

      • ddsmile says:

        My husband had a peanut stuck underneath/between his bilateral mandibular tori once. I was at the office busy working my ass off fighting cavities so he decided to take care of it by fashioning a small tool made out of a couple of toothpicks to remove it! He said it took forever and almost had to see me with a “TA”. This would have been my first peanut removal treatment……not sure how much to charge my husband in the future if it happens again. Anyone?

        I’ve been practicing dentistry for over 17 years and I love dentistry. Yes, it is back breaking work but it is so rewarding when patient’s smile and appreciate our hard work. When patient’s throw up on you, bite your finger, come in with thier tuna fish sandwich in between their teeth and gums…….no that is not fun. We don’t deal with life or death situations daily but many times, I was the one who pulled the thorn out of the tiger’s paw and became their “life saver”. I had a fisherman who was at sea for more than a month with a terrible toothache and nobody to help him. He came into the office as soon as he was on land with a very loose tooth (mobility +3) and smelled like a very ripe fisherman. He was so happy I was able to remove his tooth without pain, he came back later on that day with a big bag of fresh scallops already shucked and a big hug. That was one of my most awesome dental moments.

        This forum is making me laugh because it reminds me of when I get together with my dental friends, all we do is talk about dentistry and it is our only way to vent some of the frustrations. I bet you were an awesome dentist who just burned out too early. You can always come back to it after a break. Dentistry will always be there for you. There is
        too much decay :) Good luck Lolabees!

      • lolabees says:

        JonB– yes. I have seen people with tori under their tongue that cover the whole floor of their mouth. It is physically impossible to get x-rays on them so we do our best– and yes we understand!
        ddsmile– I love to hear that dentists love practicing dentistry. I wish I did too– I still love it, but I just don’t love practicing it. Those patient stories like the one you told are the best. I love most of my patients. It was so hard for me to leave because I felt like I was abandoning them. And I did make sure to give them my best all the time. Patients want and deserve to have someone like you as their dentist. Thank you so much for the encouragement, and I’m so happy you are having as much fun with this as I am!

  6. Kristy says:

    Someone had to say this… Back in the good old days, they were really BAD old days for going to the dentist. No air drills–just RRRrrr RrrRrr RRRrrr–vibrating and grinding, seemingly forever. Leaky syringes for anesthesia that left your mouth tasting awful. Much more time sitting in wretchedly uncomfortable chairs drowning in your own saliva because there were no spiffy little suction devices. I can’t say I love going, but I’m happy as a clam to have my own teeth in good working order. And happy I never have to rinse and spit with numb puffy lips ever again.

  7. It’s great to be able to see the other point of view, to walk a mile in the dentist’s shoes. Thanks for enlightening us. :)

  8. Noel Tendick says:

    This post is hilarious – thanks for writing it, it’s good to hear the perspective from the other side of the bright light!

    My last trip to the dentist was actually quite nice – it was my first trip in 12 years, and everyone in the office came by to see the miracle of healthy my mouth was. I also made the hygienist nauseous by telling her a Mitch Hedberg joke. Have you ever heard his stuff? He once said, “I have so much tartar, I don’t have to dip my fish sticks in s**t.”

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Noel! It’s good to see that it’s a welcome rant! Glad to hear that your last trip to the dentist was so successful– I hope that means you’re doing something right ;) Haven’t heard that joke, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that mouth before. Thanks for sharing it. Ewww!

    • LOVED the comedy of Mitch Hedberg! I was sorry to hear that he has passed on from a drug overdose but his comedy was HILARIOUS!

  9. Monica Jefferson says:

    News flash: TMJ is not a disease, it’s a joint. Hence the name temporomandibular joint. We all have two TMJs. What you were trying to refer to was TMD, a disease of the joint. This should be #12, patients that say that the dentist gave them TMJ. No, idiot, you were born with a TMJ.

  10. Panagiota Vasiliadis says:

    This was absolutely histerical! Seriously just made the rest of my work day better. Cheers!

  11. Very nice…did not leave anything out!! Thanks for airing it out ;)

  12. Cindy Sherman says:

    As you know, I’ve always been frightened of going to the Dentist. But I figure that teeth are something that I just wouldn’t be happy without! So, it’s a case of grin and bear it for me! I try to be a good compliant patient… Thanks for your thoughts on this subject, and I’m happy to you have made a decision that is good for you!

  13. Natalie says:

    I think you are my long lost twin. I am almost 10 years into this dentist thing and MAN would I love to get out. I’ve worked in a high end small group, a corporate chain, a large high volume group, and now have my own practice. How did you do it? How did you get out? I have only just found your blog from this newest post, I think I have a lot of reading to do. I think you might be living my dream life? Seriously, this just blew my mind. Also, love the hair (looked at your last post too)

    • lolabees says:

      Natalie, thanks so much! It’s so reassuring to know that there are other people out there that feel the way I have felt for so long. Making the change was so hard, but so worth it! I was planning on writing my whole story through this blog, and now I will do it for sure! Email me anytime! Good luck– you can do it!

      • Natalie says:

        I would like to e-mail you, I really want to pick your brain. You have to understand for a Food Network/Travel Channel/HGTV junkie who hates being a dentist, your story has really got me thinking. My wheels are spinning in my brain. You are living the life now! How do I find your e-mail to contact you? I have to confess I’m new to this whole WordPress scene. I love how this has completely exploded on Facebook overnight. You’re going viral!

    • Sorry to hear you ‘re looking to leave dentistry. I’ve been practicing for 26 years and love it! My advice is to go and take some courses at LVI. They have many stories of dentists who felt as you do, and now wouldn’t leave for anything! Being able to rid a patient of a lifetime of pain is immensely gratifying!

      • lolabees says:

        Thanks, John! Believe it or not, I am sorry to be leaving dentistry too. I wish I wanted to stay, but it’s just not the right match for me. It’s like breaking up… “it’s not you, it’s me.” ;)
        I did do a lot of courses at Pankey, and I loved them. I thought I would be able to turn it around with that education, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. So glad you love it– we need people like you!

      • Bharris25 says:

        I’m a dental assistant and studied at LVI it was very rewarding and changed the way I look at dentistry! You don’t know what you don’t know!

  14. Al Mendez says:

    Very funny!! So true!! Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Sarah says:

    It’s really impressive to see you walking away from dentistry, Hats off to your courage. I am a dentist myself and I feel you on all your points. I was so tempted to walk away as well but I wasn’t brave enough. So after 6 years of general dentistry,I still have hope that maybe after I’m done with endo residency things will change or maybe i’m just temporarily running away :(

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Sarah! It was definitely not easy, and I tried to stay just like you are. It took me 10 years. Hopefully you’ll love endo, but if not, it’s never too late!

  16. Dave says:

    I am a periodontist and you are my hero!

  17. The manager says:

    Lolabees, i loved your post, it was hilarious. So true for many dentists out there that probably think it but will never have the courage to say it out loud. I have been an office manager for over 9 years and have heard every one of these comments at least once or twice a day. We have done the best we could to re-educate the patients, be kind to them in hopes that they would return that. In most cases, we want to think that we have succeeded. However, there’s always that percentage of people that feel like crapping on your day just to make sure they’re not the only miserable ones. Well said, I commend you for your courage.
    I have a curiosity, why did you leave dentistry? You really disliked that much? I saw you travel a lot but I’m curious, did you go back to school or have a total career change?

    For all the patients out there that fit at least 1 out of the 10 listed above, no worries, we’ll tolerate you. However, we’ll never love you unless you love us!!! Something to think about

  18. Annie says:

    I love this post, u go lolabees ;-). I’m a dental assistant and can get a little blunt with a patient that may work my nerves, like the ones with the jacked up mouth and blame the dentist for not being able to make a mountain out of a mole hill in a day. Ugh, but for the gaggers i give tell them a trick i learned in school, breathe through your nose, it works 95% of the time, but you have have your ones that don’t want to listen to the assistant b/c of well we are the assistant. But 1 patient who has always had a gagging problem at every dental office shared how happy and comfortable she was for me taking her x-rays. She stated that i need to share that trick because it definitely helps a lot. So for all you gaggers, please believe we are not trying to clean your vomit so please breathe deep in and out your nose. And lolabee, you are a breathe of fresh air.

    • lolabees says:

      Wow, thanks Annie! Isn’t it great when we make huge breakthroughs with 1 patient… and they are appreciative! Those were the precious moments that made it so worthwhile for me. Until they didn’t!

    • polly says:

      I have a very effective trick for gaggers (in addition to breathing in and out through the nose). If I’m taking radiographs then I ask the client to first curl the toes of there right foot… count to three, release and then curl there toes on there left foot. Then of course they would repeat until the picture is done. If I’m taking impressions then I ask the client to lift the right foot up, count to five then put it down and then lift the left foot for five seconds and repeat as needed. It’s proven to be very effective for even very strong gaggers.

  19. Haha, I liked your post! Nice to hear the opposite perspective, I’m glad you liked my post and that it inspired you! :-)

  20. rubysongbird says:

    Hooboy. I definitely am not a fan of visiting the dentist and still haven’t found one I like. One of them insulted me, another said she ONLY uses the most expensive things which my insurance does not cover. But I brush my teeth before I go, and I floss sometimes! I’ve heard hygienist horror stories about people with gingivitis and other horrible mouth issues where their teeth are rotting out and haven’t been to a dentist in years. And yet, someone still offers to clean their teeth and help them get it fixed. I wouldn’t wish that job on my worst enemy. Glad you could get that off your chest. Good luck in your new career!

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, rubysongbird! You are not alone! I do hope you can find a dentist you like. The friendship between a dentist and a patient is a really cool thing! Maybe I can help you find someone in your town?

  21. Rich says:

    My favorites:

    “Doc, I’d rather have a baby than go to the dentist.”
    “I’m allergic to epinephrine.”
    “Novacaine doesn’t work on me.”
    “My last dentist had to put his knee in my chest to get the tooth out.”
    “My roots are wrapped around my jawbone.”
    “I had a bad experience as a child.”
    “My insurance covers 100%.”
    “Are you sure this gas is all the way up? I don’t feel a thing.”
    “I lost my Vicodin prescription, can you write me another?”

    • lolabees says:

      Rich, this is perfection! Thanks for adding a bunch that I forgot about! I love how we can all get together like this!

    • Toothfairy says:

      The baby line’s my favorite! I always wish I could say, “Well great! Go get knocked up and brush and floss your damn teeth!”

      • Toothfairy says:

        If a patient’s mouth is really jacked up I can’t help but think with their halitosis and mountains of plaque how could someone handle kissing them long enough to make a baby? Terrible I know but we’re being honest, right?

      • lolabees says:

        Maybe there was no kissing? Haha!

      • I’ve thought the exact same thing. And people with lousy oral hygiene are often lacking in hygiene practices in other parts of their bodies, too. Blech!

      • Luke says:

        Meghan, the baby leeching has also spread to Colorado and Pennsylvania…seems like its almost as big an epidemic as childhood caries. Toothfairy, I agree 100%. In the past year I have seen no less than 12 pregnant women 27 or younger who needed all of their posterior teeth (and sometimes more) extracted and think to myself, “Good Lord, who would kiss this?” Then I feel bad because I know that they are going to pass this gross bacteria on to their innocent child. Literally the kid didn’t have a chance, and will go on to say it was “bad genes.”
        One thing that really makes me hate a patient, though, is when they STINK! I mean smelling like cat pee, severe BO, smoke that permeates throughout the office and offends other patients. Not to mention that no mask can defend a dentist of an assistant from such an odor.

      • lolabees says:

        Sandra, just got that one. Hilarious!

    • efda0609 says:

      How about ” do i get a credit cause I dont have insurance”?. or “Do I have to pay for that today”?. I really love it when the patient has, like you said before, needed treatment for a year or so, tooth started bothering two weeks ago, and they are in agonizing pain. But….when you tell them a time you have available they ” are at work, can I come later”?. if we say we have time to see you at 1 we mean 1. our schedule is already full. why should I work late or through my lunch because you don’t like to have fillings and put it off?

      • Yup. If I’m sick and call my doctor’s office for an appointment, I take what I can get. It’s MY emergency, not hers, and not her other patients’, who would have to wait if she sees me when she doesn’t really have time to work me in.

      • Pain is a great motivator to see the dentist. But patients create the thing they fear the most by not acting until they are in pain. No reason you should accommodate patients who choose not to act unless they are in pain. You don’t have to support that behavior if you don’t want to. You know the State Farm commercial where the guy (Jerry) calls his old agent when he’s in an accident – “I’m sorry Jerry, you switched your insurance and I can’t help you”….Same in the case of an “urgency” (if it was truly an emergency, they would go to the ER). You empathize, offer the options you have and they get to decide. With your support, they could experience a shift in their thinking in the future – ie: “Terry, you expressed that you want to avoid pain at all costs. If you don’t ever want to go through that again, we recommend (fill in the blank).”

      • lolabees says:

        That one has always gotten me. If it is truly an emergency, they will come when you tell them you can see them. I don’t know of a single dentist that doesn’t offer to get an emergency in the day they call. That’s customer care.

    • Linzy says:

      The first thing that came out of a root canal patient of mine was this: “there were 2 things I fear most in life child birth and going to the dentist. I already had a kid, now I have to see you. ”
      I just had to smile and nod thinking oh brother! However, when we were finally done I got a huge ” thank you for putting up with me, I know I’m a psyco path patient!”
      Now that comment made my day :) it makes all the difference when patients appreciate you work and admit they were tiresome.

    • Howard W Walker DDS (Retired after forty five years) says:

      Another is “I did not have time to brush my teeth.” My reply has been “that’s alright, I don’t have time to wash my hands.”

      • lolabees says:

        Are you recently retired? Congrats!

      • Howard W WalkerDDS, LOVe your reply to the patient that didn’t have time to brush his/her teeth! I am a practicing Dental Hygienist of 20+ years. I may have to use that line myself. I did have a patient once that every time he came in to get his teeth cleaned, informed me that he didn’t brush because he knew I was going to clean them. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an answer at the time as I was a “beginner” in my career.
        I do wish I could retire too!! I practice in an “unconventional” setting, and have no desire to practice in private practice. So once I do retire I will no longer be interested in doing any dental hygiene work. Congratulations to both of you on your retirement~~ ENJOY!!!

    • Lissiloodle says:

      Rich and lolabees, I love this. I hear these all the time. I’ve said the “It’s ok, I forgot to wash my hands” one before. They give me the funniest looks.

    • baysameh says:

      Oh, my front tooth here is a crown (as they point to a 30 year old monochromatic PFM that is 5 shades to light)

  22. Mark Feldman says:

    Great post. I’m also a dentist and almost fell out of my chair reading this. Im ready to post this in my waiting room. What are you doing now??

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Mark! This is so wonderful that people are having such a good time with this! Right now I’m having a blast connecting with a bunch of dentists who finally feel heard! No, I think you mean with my career– I am helping people lose weight. Will have more on that later :)

  23. Maureen Collier says:

    I have just come back from my 2nd visit to the dentist in two weeks. I am numb, my jaw hurts but I no longer have a mouth full of amalgam fillings and I love my clean, whiter smile. The discomfort and short lived pain was so definitely worth it! Not only is a routine check up at the dentist a smart one for aesthetic reasons, but bad oral hygiene is also detrimental to the health of the whole body.
    I’m wondering if people who go under the knife for plastic surgery also have a fear and distain for their surgeon?

    • lolabees says:

      Maureen, it’s so great to hear this perspective! You have hit the most crucial part of all: our whole health is dependent on our oral health. I always say, “you know, the mouth IS connected to your body!” I’m glad you value this, and your dentist probably loves you!

  24. J Bear says:

    Great post – so much truth there – it needs to be posted on every dentist’ wall – right where the patient can see it… maybe on the ceiling above the chair!
    One thing though… #8… if you were spending hours making a crown fit – you were using the wrong lab! A good lab that knows what they are doing is dedicated to helping you have a great day – not the other way around. Our crown seats take 20 minutes or less with virtually no adjustments.

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, J Bear! Yes, I agree about the lab. Years ago we had major problems with our lab work and it was the worst. Now in recent years, I’ve worked with a great lab, and they do beautiful work. But, if you factor in prep time, patient management time, lab time and seat time there is a whole lot of TLC that goes into making something fit perfectly for the patient.

  25. jmichaeldunn says:

    That was just awesome! Thank you.

  26. Curt says:

    Great list. Things I’ve had to bite my tongue and not say for over 40 years in practice. Here’s another one. “My insurance won’t pay much on a crown – just do a big filling.” They are letting some insurance secretary that hasn’t seen their mouth diagnose and treatment plan what dentistry they need.

  27. Diane says:

    Thank you for posting this Lolabees! You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth. Another thing I hate is when the patients complain, “I don’t know why I get cavities. I brush my teeth everyday,” and yet their plaque levels indicate that it’s been weeks since they’ve brushed. Talk about lying through your teeth!

  28. Bob says:

    I spend most of my time with the dental hygienist for routine cleanings. My dentist barely makes a cameo; and is usually working on someone else. I guess when your teeth are straight, healthy and clean; there’s no need to hate, fear, despise, or complain to your dentist about anything. However, I think anything as invasive, uncomfortable and painful (yes, there is ALWAYS pain involved) as dental work will ubiquitously rank as an undesired and unwanted chore of human maintenance. That’s just the way it is; and the fallout from those negative perceptions are forever attached to the dentists’ career.

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Bob! Glad you don’t have the negative experiences yourself. However, while I’ll agree that it is invasive, it is not true that it is ALWAYS painful. These are stereotypes and only true in a few cases. You’d be surprised by how many people left my office saying that it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was going to be. Still a negative slant, but I’ll take it! Also, many people who have a lot of dental needs are still lovely people and do not possess any of the 10 qualities on my list. Life is about choices, and we choose how to react to what we need to do to maintain our health. Thanks for adding in the non-dentist perspective! I hope you continue to have great dental health! I always say, “you never want to get to know your dentist too well!”

      • Diane says:

        I agree with Lolabees here on this one. I’ve had plenty of patients say that they didn’t even feel pain during the injection or the drilling. Everybody has a different reaction.

  29. Ritu says:

    Wow lolabees! Way to have a voice from the other side. One of the things that has always bothered me is how negatively most people perceive and talk about the dental profession, and thus our (yes, I am one) POV is just “not worthy”. I’m sure many dentists have had many, if not all, the thoughts you’ve pointed out here :p

    Congrats on the career change; I believe life is too short to be doing something that makes you unhappy. Looks like you are enjoying yourself much more now :) Would love to hear the hows and the whys of the transition, I find them interesting, Also the writing. I’m a fan (of writing) as well.

    Wish you continued luck and joy.

    PS: You may consider adding an email address/contact form on your blog

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Ritu! I love your website! What a great way for people to connect. Yes, I think I’ve struck a chord with many in this post. Don’t we all wish to be heard?!? Thanks for the kind words, and I will take your PS advice. This whole thing blew up in a way I never would have expected!

      • Ritu says:

        Well, there’s more coming….I put in on my Twitter feed and saw it on a couple others’ later on as well…..Enjoy the limelight!

        And thanks for checking out my website. I have another that you might enjoy since you like humor:

        http://raodentistry.wordpress.com/

        BTW, would love to chat more sometime…hence the request for an email address:)

        Keep doing what you’re doing!

  30. T says:

    Is it true that dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession?

    • lolabees says:

      Great question! I don’t know, but I have always heard that. I tried to do a search on it a while back and never came up with anything. I wouldn’t be surprised though, because it is a very high pressured career. Can anyone weigh in on that?

      • Melanie says:

        Fantastic blog lolabees!

        I have not heard about dentists having the highest suicide rate, but I have heard dental technicians do. This question did make me curious, so I looked it up on the American Psychological Association’s website and they claim….. “But experts on suicide say that statistics on its relation to occupation are not clear. There is no national data set on occupation and suicide. Local studies indicate elevated rates in different occupations, but the data usually “turn out to be frail,” says prominent suicide researcher David Clark, PhD.
        And in fact, points out Ronald Maris, PhD, director of the Center for the Study of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior at the University of South Carolina, “Occupation is not a major predictor of suicide and it does not explain much about why the person commits suicide.”
        I still maintain my CDA/LDA, but have not practiced in 8 years now. I don’t know how many times I would say to a patient who would say to me ” I hate the dentist” and I would look at them and say something along the lines of …”Boy, it’s a good thing I am not the dentist then huh”… just to lighten it up a bit and get them to be more comfortable.

        http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan01/suicide.aspx

    • doc says:

      That is actually not true. However, if you consider the fact that dentists are generally over achievers, otherwise they would not have been able to complete the education required for the profession, the criticism they draw from some of their patients is enough to push anyone over the edge.

  31. Dr Shoaib says:

    Hi, I am a dentist too… i would like to add to your points (perhaps number 12) that some patients burst on us if the treatment does not go accordingly or if there is temporarily some discomfort (despite the pre-warnings). The patients need to understand that most issues are resolvable if only they can sit patiently and discuss this with their dentists’. This only creates a crack in the Dentist-Patient relationship and sometimes the patient may forget it (once the issue is resolved) but the dentist may feel it for days to come.

    On the flip side… we dentists are human too… I want the patients to know that if you have a concern (like pain after treatment), we are truly concerned and it saddens us too. For all the drill noise haters… your dentist and companies are working towards catering your needs. It’s just a matter of time. Imagine the old times where the “doctor” hammered holes into teeth and our ancestors extracted teeth with no anaesthesia. We are in a better era and better is coming up still.

    And please.. It’s not always about THE MONEY !!!

    • Dr Shoaib says:

      Apologies for being rude Lolabees.. but I forgot to praise your blog. I am 35 and my specialty is Restorative Dentistry and I prefer to do more Endodontics. I have a lot to experience as a practitioner. I find this a very interesting read and have experienced all that you have mentioned. Thank you for voicing it out. I am putting this up on Facebook for others to read :-)

      • lolabees says:

        Rude? No way! I just did cartwheels over your other comment! Thanks for sharing your experiences, and thanks for the praise (that’s always accepted!) Thanks also for sharing it on facebook. I am astounded at how many people are moved by this! It feels so good to finally express how we feel.

    • lolabees says:

      Amen, Dr! Well said, and kudos to you for adding such valuable insight into this discussion. THANK YOU!!!!!

  32. This is a funny list, good thing I really like my dentist!

  33. Amanda says:

    I LOVE the dentist! (and the clean, smooth feeling of my teeth after they are cleaned!). Thanks to dentists all over the world! I also typically spend most of my time with the dental hygienist, but the final check up of my dentist is pleasant, too. If I don’t understand the dental jargon, I um…I dunno…ask..isn’t that how you usually find out information? ;D She’s always happy to answer, too!

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks, Amanda! The world is so lucky to have people like you in it! I will speak for all dentists when we say we appreciate you, and you are probably the bright spot in your hygienist’s and dentist’s day!

  34. Brian says:

    Dentists are funny

  35. I want to photocopy this and give it to all of my patients!

  36. Dr. Saquib says:

    Absolutely fantastic

  37. cazbag says:

    I just love the way you find the time to reply to every single comment that people post and you’re always so nice, positive and smiley! Keep making these emails pop into my inbox!

  38. Dr. M says:

    Hilarious! I love #5. I always tell my patients, “I can only do good work on good patients”. Those people who can’t/won’t open wide enough for me to see properly don’t necessarily get my best work!

  39. nice entry, enjoyed reading it and I am so guilty of the 1st one!

  40. Dr M says:

    LolaB, I am disappointed in your post. how could you come up with only 10? LOL! j/k…Surely, there are tons more. I read the ‘redhead’s top 10 list, too’ jeez louyse! Believe me, when I do my career shift (5-10yrs forthcoming,) I’ll have plenty to say as well. congrats on following your hopes and dreams…now you get to give people smiles in a different way. mad love, P

    • lolabees says:

      Dr M-dog! So good to hear from an old friend! Haha! You’ll have to start taking notes so you can be my guest blogger when that day comes! Mad love right back at ya!

  41. ab says:

    Epic. It’s so true with EVERYTHING. I’m a new dentist and people spend more time asking me how old I am or if I’m actually old enough to do dentistry then I spend telling them what’s going on with their mouth.

    Though in response to #1, I once had a bad day during my first few days working. Patient said “I hate dentists, they all SUCK.” So I said to her (not jokingly either), “You know, I hate patients. All patients.” She looked at me and laughed when she realized how ridiculous what she and I had both said. We got along great after that.

    • lolabees says:

      That used to happen to me all the time until I found the perfect response. They’d say, “How are old you? Wow, you look so young?” My response: “I know, aren’t I so lucky?” They quickly saw that I was going along with it, and they started to have fun with it. It was weird because the more I said that, the less people questioned my age and experience.

      Humor is the key– perfect way to handle a comment like that! #1 really got me for a long time. Your skin gets a little thicker the longer you are at it. Good luck to you– sounds like you’ll do great!

      • EB says:

        As a hygienist , when I hear that ” I hate the dentist” I reply, “Really? Wow, I haven’t heard that before, She’s a really great person and an awesome dentist! I’m really sorry you feel that way… I guess we’re okay though, Right? I’m just the hygienist. ” MOST people smile back, and recant, but a few get nasty and say, ” No, I don’t like you either/more”

  42. Dead on. It’s a love-hate relationship dentists have with their patients. For over ten years now I have been helping dentists understand human behavior and why their patients do what they do and I hear the frustration! (Dentist; “Honestly, sometimes I just want to slap a patient upside the head!”) I believe it’s OK for dentists and their teams to challenge patients on this stuff – by replacing judgement and becoming curious, gaining trust and being honest. Yeah, it takes time and skill but how else will the patient’s perception of the dentist change? Thanks for your honesty and humor – and best of luck with your new career!

  43. OPENWIDE says:

    This is so cool ! I am a dentist too and I understand you 100% .You make my day today!

  44. I am going to copy your posting to my blog (full credits). Too good to pass up!

  45. Heidi Tyrrell says:

    Hi Lolabees… As a former patient of your.. who is in the profession (hygienist) and has had horrible experiences with the dentist… YOU are a GEM of a dentist. Intelligent, meticulous, funny and kind… the profession lost a great one when you changed careers. Also, this blog.. flipping hysterical.. Miss seeing your face around the corner and hearing you laugh.

    • lolabees says:

      Heidi, coming from one of the best hygienists out there, I take that as a huge compliment. Thank you for everything, always.

      • Heidi Tyrrell says:

        Thank you Lolabees.. Going to Virginia for the next two years… hope to do a little volunteer work at the VA to keep my “fingers wet”. However, when I return we will have to revisit old ideas, no??? Learning to scuba in February.. maybe see you down south, pura vida amiga. stay in touch.

  46. Zain ul Abadeen says:

    Hey! I just read it and it feels so good to hear our part of the story too, me being a dentist aswell.
    Kudos! :)

  47. Capt Mehari says:

    I am going to print this and share it with my clinic…. Thank you.

  48. farce says:

    I dont disagree with your list but you come off like an asshole making a whole blog post about it. I dont see people who are waiting tables making FAR less than you complaining about the idiots they serve. Maybe try being grateful youve had the opportunities that youve had and even the opportunity to leave your job when so many are without.

    • Capt Mehari says:

      Seriously… thats what you got out of this? You really missed the point.

    • Really? Someone expressing an opinion about their profession with humor and wit in response to someone else’s rant on their OWN blog is an “asshole”? Why don’t YOU express your crappy, negative opinions on your blog? Oh right, because no one will read it.

      FYI, everyone complains, it’s human nature. And in your comment, you are doing the same.

      So what does that make you?

      So what does make you?

    • Spunky Duck says:

      wow .. to be honest. you seriously didnt get anything from this farce. I pity you.

    • Actually, YOU come off as an asshole by posting this comment. To compare a dentist, who went through 4 years of undergraduate work, as well as 4 years of dental school, and then possibly additional schooling to specialize, which costs approximately $350,000++ (not including all the interest on student loans), to a waitressing job??? That shows how badly you did not understand this comedic article.

      Do you really think waiters don’t complain about the idiots they serve who don’t tip them enough or who yell at them when the order is wrong?

      She’s not being ungrateful by posting this, she’s just voicing an opinion about her profession that she paid several hundred thousands dollar to get too. It’s not like this high-paying profession just falls into individuals laps; dentists work unbelievably hard and long for their degrees and the title of doctor.

      • lesson learned says:

        I am completely guilty of saying I hate going to the dentist. I absoutly love my dentist! She does amazing work. I think as patients we look at our dentist appointment as a grade card on how well we take care of our own teeth. When we are told we have a cavity or need a root canal its like I’m being told I failed at doing something as simple as taking care of my own teeth:( So in al actuality its not the dentist I hate, or the appointment… It’s the results of how well we did our job in-between our visits to the dentist. I have to say as an adult I do a great job, but as a child I wasn’t so great at keeping up on my teeth. Therefore, visits were never great as a child which resulted in fearing the dentist and carrying that fear with me as an adult! So this is a learning experience for me also! I will never let the words “i hate the dentist” come out of my mouth again! :) My dentist went out of her way to hand write a “happy birthday” letter to my daughter. My daughter loved writing her back and even invited her dentist to her b-day party! I love my dentist! And as for the comment of being rude, i am a server and I have posted blog’s about the top 10 things not to do to your server! All my server friends laughed and everybody else that read it learned something from it! Loved this post:) thanks for letting us see what its like to be in your shoes. Valuable info:)

      • lolabees says:

        Well said. Glad to see most of you got the point of this post.
        @lesson learned– it is very obvious that you are NOT one of those patients on the list because it is obvious that you have compassion and care about those around you. I love to hear about how great your relationship is with you, your daughter, and your dentist! Thanks for sharing!

      • Meridyth says:

        Don’t forget the Practice Payment Loans to pay back in order to start a practice from scratch–~$6k/mo. So in all actuality, after all the bills and the student loans and the practice loans, and how LITTLE the insurance companies actually pay their in-network dentists, a dentist DOES bring in about as much as a waitress. That’s why my husband had to get a second job. That’s what happens when you start your own practice a year before the economy tanked.

        BTW: I loved the list SOOO TRUE!!! :)

    • lolabees says:

      Farce– It’s easy to point at different issues and say that because they exist, nothing else has the right to exist or be important for another person. Judgement comes very easily to many. The true strength comes in finding compassion where you might not think you are capable of finding it. And btw, this asshole didn’t have those opportunities. This asshole made them. :-D

    • Nancie says:

      I used to wait on tables, and I made a lot more money doing that than in dentistry! They are both very stressful jobs, so letting off a little steam is a good thing. I used to tell hilarious stories about the patrons of my restaurant as well as my patients today. Just because we laugh and joke, does not mean we are not grateful….but I wish my patients were as grateful as I am! Ha Ha

  49. jclarkdds says:

    I am a dental student and I agree with everything you just said! I have some of the rudest patients and I just bite my tongue and be polite. You know how chewed up my tongue is at the end of the day? Hurts more than your TMD. Lolabees what did you change your career to? I was thinking of paying off student loans and doing the same. :) I’m in my 3rd year of dental school.

    • DDStoMD says:

      I was a dental student too and was going through this kind of conflict as well. In the midst of my 2nd year I decided to step away from dental school because I ultimately did not feel like I would ever be completely satisfied with my career choice (although I knew many students who were very happy in dentistry). Since I left dental school with pretty good grades, I was able to take my MCAT and apply to medical school. I am now going into my 3rd year of medical school and couldn’t be happier :) From experience, I can honestly say it takes WAY more guts to walk away from a prestigious and expensive seat in dental school than to stick with something that you think will make you miserable. Good luck to you!

    • lolabees says:

      Haha! Once I paid off my loans, I felt free to do whatever! I am helping people lose weight now. My interests sort of evolved into traveling, eating ;), cooking, and nutrition. It’s amazing to help someone get off of their diabetes meds. Not too different in that I still coach people with their health, but it’s just a lot less intense. Took a long time to find what I wanted to do though. Good luck! I hope you get to do what you like… and that may even be dentistry!

  50. Renee says:

    I’m a dentist myself, and enjoyed this :) Every point you made is something I come across several times a week. In fact, I could add to the list!

    I wish you well in your new endeavours!

  51. Kelly says:

    I love the dentist. It takes me five minutes in the morning to brush, floss and use mouth wash. And it takes me five minutes at night. It only takes my dental hygienist thirty minutes to clean my teeth at the most. A little goes a long way.

  52. KJ says:

    Is it rude to copy this and hand out to patients? Just kidding- this made my long day a little better!

  53. fooderror404 says:

    This is pretty awesome. I have friends who work in the dental field, and I’ve heard most of the horror stories, and love hearing them. I also have TMJD and hate dental visits because my jaw hurts at the end, but my hygienists have always been really nice about giving me breaks from holding my mouth open.

  54. You don’t see people waiting tables complaining about the people they serve? Funny, I’ve seen articles on just that. My office subscribes to Reader’s Digest for the waiting room, and every issue now contains a “Fifty Things Your — Won’t Tell You” column. So far, they’ve had quotes from dentists, physicians, nurses, teachers, and, yes, servers, off the top of my head. They can be quite entertaining, enlightening, and maybe even helpful, if people recognize negative behaviors in themselves and try to change.

  55. inmsdds says:

    Love this…..this sums it up!

  56. I’m not a dentist, but I’m an office manager who has the unfortunate job of collecting the money. I find it unbelievable when people expect to walk out without paying anything, as if it doesn’t cost any money to run the office, as if I don’t have to pay the rent, the doctors, the assistants, the hygienists, the front desk staff, computers, phones, electricity, heat, and that lovely little toothbrush and floss we give you that no… we do NOT get for free. I love the grocery store comparison and use it frequently. The worst part is, they accuse us of being SO EXPENSIVE, except when it comes down to, (we’re an insurance based office) it’s THEIR INSURANCE that dictates how much we can even charge them! If you don’t like how much you have to pay, talk to your insurance company or your employer, not me. If after that you still think I’m overcharging you, I’ll also send you the supply bill and lab bill directly, bc that filling we just put in your mouth cost us $$$!

    • Bisou, I was so gratified a few weeks ago when I had a teenage girl in for an emergency visit. We have signs in our waiting room stating that patients will be charged if they don’t show for their appointments. The girl’s boyfriend read it and became indignant. But her mom said, “Well, they lose money when people don’t show up. It costs them just to open the door.” Some people GET IT. Of course, we never charge anyone who has an emergency or is sick, and we may let the charge slide altogether, if you’re not someone who repeatedly no-shows. It’s basically to remind patients that yes, it costs me money to be here. When you don’t show up, or don’t pay your bill, my assistant doesn’t jus say, “That’s all right, I’ll just work for free for a few hours.” The landlord still expects a rent check, and the electric company will turn my power off just like they do to anyone who doesn’t pay the bill. Add salaries, rent, utilities, materials etc. and it cost me about $60 per hour just to be open.

      Folks, if I reserve a hotel room, and don’t show up, I STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THE ROOM. And the hotel doesn’t care if I’ve had a family emergency or sudden illness. It costs money to be in business. Your dentist isn’t an exception.

  57. Yellow Jacket says:

    Awesome Post!!!! I am a dentist that has thought about leaving the field many many times for some of these reasons too. I applaud your courage to find your path…. Its sad to say, but you are so invested in dentistry before you really realize its not all the $$$ and Dr this and Dr that you thought it would be. Even the main reasons of being a health care provider and serving our fellow man/woman gets tested from time to time. Ever hear of apathy burnout? Yep, its real and dentist feel it big time.
    I left restorative dentistry of 6 years and did an Orthodontic residency. I am now 2 years out of that and it is somewhat better. I hear all the time about “ooooo rich orthodontist….” but no one takes account the hundreds of thousands of dollars it takes… the pressure in college to even get into dental school… the pressures in dental school for perfection … the hoops you jump thru for specialty training, etc. It really chaps my A$$ too when people (some) act like its not their mouth your working on… they take no ownership for their own oral health care and demand you “fix” them and then have the audacity to claim you are overcharging them by your fee…. nice, real nice!
    Good for you Lolabees

  58. Beth says:

    Oh, I am a pharmacist…I could complete this from a pharmacists point of view….the zingers are flying through my head! I <3 my dentists, oral surgeon, orthodontist, and peridontist—they rock! (the dude who did my root canal though, he can go to hades).

    • lolabees says:

      I would love to hear your point of view. I’m guessing maybe something a dentist or doctor does when we work with you would make your list! Maybe we’ll do a guest post one day! Thanks!

  59. Cara says:

    Love this!! I’m a hygienist and some of these points are true for our patients as well!! What I hate is when parents bring their kids in and threaten them with a shot or hold up the instrument packets and taunt them! I mean really parents?! No wonder your children are scared of us…

    • I take parents aside and politely tell them to knock it off when they do this. If they don’t take the hint, I get less polite. I do not appreciate them using me to discipline their child. For most kids, I can make this an easy, fun visit.

      Parents, don’t make your kids scared of me. If you and they take care of their teeth, there will be very little chance they will ever have to go through anything painful in my office. You are traumatizing your child, and greatly increasing the chance that, should your child need work, it will have to be done by a specialist, in a hospital, under general anesthisia, because your child won’t be able to cooperate with me. You’re making it harder on me, your child, and yourself. Stoppit!

  60. RDH says:

    One of my favorites:
    You cannot lay the chair back AT ALL. I cannot recline or I will stop breathing!!
    How do these people sleep? Even a lazy boy reclines a little. I have patients who swear that going back at all cuts off their airway.

    • Dr. M says:

      Thank you!!! I wonder this SAME thing myself!!!

    • Melanie says:

      One of my favorites is how they are so allergic to metal anything so you cannot possibly use any metal instruments in their mouths…but have rings on several if not all fingers!

      • WHAT WHAT says:

        I thought I would replay to this particular comment because for myself there are certain areas of my body I can not have certain metals touch because i am allergic in these areas, for instance I can wear cheap mentals such as nickle or sterling silver on my fingers and around my wrists, but put them around my neck or in my ears, and I swell up and break out in hives.. not defending the patient here, but perhaps could be the cause soemthing to consider and do research on.

      • lolabees says:

        What what– don’t worry, you can defend the patient here too :) I hope every one remembers that this post and the comments really aren’t about us vs. them. Besides, we are patients too at some point; dentists and doctors can be some of our worst patients, and you know we’ve all said that before. I would bet it’s a similar ratio of great:bad patients to that of our non-health-care-provider patients.
        Very interesting about your metal allergy. Thanks!

      • tdanz says:

        my favorite is listening to a patient say “i’m so afraid of needles” and ” i hate going to the dentist” as you are admiring the details of their full arm tattoo. never had a tattoo. but i’m pretty sure there is a needle involved and the arm wasn’t hurting so much that you needed one. dentistry is a funny complicated business in many ways!!

      • Awesome post, tdanz. Lots of those tatoo folks also have pierced tongues, guaged ears, you name it. All sorts of totally elective pain they have chosen to have inflicted on them, and pain much more severe than my 30-guage needle with topical anesthetic beforehand.

  61. DentistKD says:

    Wow! Dentist… We are popular. The best profession in the world. Lost the post. We love our patients though. They make our day and are the reason we are working.

    • lolabees says:

      We are definitely a polarizing topic, aren’t we? Who knew? Thanks for keeping it where this post was intended. And there’s nothing I love more than dentists who love and appreciate what they do!

  62. Wow Lolabees. Did you ever think this post would stir up the responses you have gotten? After reading through the posts thus far the take home for me is this: Those darn patients get in the way of doing dentistry! Being a dentist would be great if people weren’t attached to their teeth but that’s not the case. If a dentist wants to stay sane and positive over their lifetime in the profession, it requires some serious behavioral skills. This area is rarely taught in dental school and it is often not considered in many practices but it is one of the most important factors in being successful.

    • lolabees says:

      I absolutely did not. I thought only my 40 friends, family, and new blogging friends would see it, have a chuckle, and forget all about it. It’s true– as a profession we need serious help in dealing with communication with PEOPLE (not just patients.) Ah, heck, we all do, not just dentists! Thanks for your comment!

  63. Mimmers says:

    This is great! My husband is a dentist and this gave me a real laugh. All so true!

  64. Kevin says:

    Oh behalf of me and probably everyone else, I sincerely apologize for probably all of that, except for #1 (I hope), I tend to not tell people, that have pointy and sharp objects in their hands, that I hate them/their job. But I completely agree, and am pretty sure I’m guilty of a lot of that.

    • lolabees says:

      Maybe so or maybe not. One thing I’m sure of is if you do any of that, you probably do it in a way that your dentist still loves you anyway– that does happen. I’m only guessing, but your ability to laugh at the list and admit that YOU might do these things shows me that you are able to walk through life without judging YOURSELF or others too harshly. I don’t know… just guessing? Thanks!

  65. CanadianDDS says:

    You forgot:
    1) “Soft teeth run in my family, so it isn’t my fault my teeth are all rotten.” Enough said.

    2) The patient who complains they hate needles, doesn’t let you give local, then whines and flinches when you try and work without anaesthesia at their request.

    3) The patients who think that fluoridated water and amalgam fillings are giant conspiracies where dentists are trying to poison everyone. (These are usually the ones who keep coming back time after time because their “natural” white fillings are giving them post-op sensitivity–And it’s probably a good thing they don’t know that composite contains BPA!)

    4) Complete strangers who, upon finding out you are a dentist, pop out their dentures in the middle of the grocery store while describing every past experience they have ever had with dentists…(These are the times I thank GOD I’m not a proctologist!)

    5) Parents. “I don’t know why my 4-year-old has cavities in every tooth. He SAYS he brushes his teeth!” Followed by “I can’t get him to stop drinking pop. He doesn’t LIKE water.” Followed by “I don’t care that my kid is screaming, flailing and trying to grab the instruments out of your hand, and we aren’t leaving until this is done because we can’t afford to pay for sedation!” (I even heard someone tell their child “It’s okay dear, it’s totally normal to have teeth ripped out of your face. Look, mommy has had it done lots of times!”)

    Good luck in your new career! :)

    • LOL @ #4!

      5) I just refuse to work on the flailing kids. Parents, it’s UNSAFE. Unsafe for me, my assistant, and most of all for your child. Our handpiece (drill) goes a couple hundred thousand rpm’s, and it doesn’t have brakes. If your little one jerks, I could cut open his cheek, tongue, lip, or God knows what else. I know sedation is expensive, but so is reconstructive surgery.

    • Sacar los todos dientes says:

      I could go on all day about #2. First things first, kids are some tough mofos. They may cry about getting the shot but I give them the option of doing it without and only giving them the shot if they say it hurts. You’d be surprised at what these kids tolerate to avoid the shot.

      Second, nobody likes needles. There’s no need to tell me, I hear it from everyone. In fact I have yet to meet a patient that has told me “Hey doc I love needles! Lets get anesthetized!”

      My final gripe with this subject is the big tough looking dude with sleeves of tatoos that cries and whimpers when it’s time for the shot. You sit 3 hours for a tatoo but can’t sit still for a 10 second injection? Ridiculous!

      • lolabees says:

        Sacar- I like your comment, but all joking aside, I’m going to add that I actually like it when patients tell me that they are scared of the needle. If I know which part of the procedure really bothers them, I can give a little extra TLC, and we all leave happier– usually!

    • lolabees says:

      Thanks for joining in the fun! I bet you feel better too now ;)

    • Amy says:

      Hilarious!

  66. sammieLee says:

    I LOVE THE DENTIST! She tells me I don’t need to go back so often, but I can’t help it ;p

    p.s. now my BFF is in dentistry LOL

  67. these are exactly the feelings of a dentist…i felt so relieved after reading it…

  68. Mickey says:

    Hi There

    I’m certainly no doctor, but my dentist refers to my jaw popping/ aching as TMJ, as well. Just providing a bit of defense for us laymen folk.

    Thanks for the post. I had no idea it was so horrible to be a dentist.

  69. Never really hated or feared the dentist myself … unfortunately, I managed to inherit very soft teeth and have to see mine fairly frequently, but the only thing I actually detest are crown fittings (that plastic goop tastes nasty and always tries to sneak down my throat, so I have to lean forward the whole time they’re taking the mold). I try to smile and joke with them and the hygienists … I figure they get abuse from other people all day.

    … some people don’t brush before going to the dentist? Ewwwww …. why would they do that?

    • lolabees says:

      With that attitude, you will always do well at the dentist! Thanks for helping us help you. And we agree– impressions suck! You’d be surprised at how some people don’t brush…

      • Jane says:

        I am a dental assistant.. I have been told a few times,” I knew I was coming to the dentist today so I didnt bother brushing because I knew the hygienist would be cleaning them anyway.” Really? Really? I don’t even know how to repsond when someone says that. I read this blog last night and had a good chuckle over it. At work today, after a few challenging patients, I jokingly asked my boss if he wanted me to print this off and start handing it out to a few patients. You have to be able to have a sense of humor in this job and be able to laugh it off.

        • aileen says:

          im a dentist..and i really really love what i do…but unfortunately, i plan to work abroad as a dental assistant..recently applying for agencies and hirings online.. working here (Philippines) is not much of a success to me..

  70. Tamir says:

    It’s like a doctor complaining about you being sick…
    …or a restaurant complaining about you being hungry…
    Stupid dentists. Shut up and actually do your job. You’re being well overpaid and then complain about doing what you’re supposed to do.

    • MeanPeopleSuck says:

      You really missed the boat on this one. She’s not complaining about her patients needing dental care. She’s simply saying that dentists are people too, and in a clever and fun way might I add. Doctors do complain about patients and waiters do complain about customers. Not because they’re sick or hungry but because some people are just clueless and jerks. I’m not even a dentist and I found this very entertaining and enjoyed hearing from the other point of view. Based on your response you appear to be a sad and angry individual. Lighten up.

    • Melanie says:

      Not at all Tamir. This dentist is telling you how it is to work in someone’s mouth who has no respect for other people. I doubt you would like to be told all day long “I don’t like you” at your work and the person saying that expecting you to do an A+ job on you afterwards. How would you like it if every time you tried to help someone prevent some serious disease down the road and they thumbed their nose at you until it became said problem?
      It is all about respecting one another as human beings first. If you go into a restaurant and you tell your waitress that you really don’t like waitresses, what kind of service do you expect to get? Seriously people! The grass is not always greener on somebody else’s side of the fence nor is there a big ole dollar tree there either!

      • Hayley says:

        Tamir – you sound like a rude and very uneducated person. Coming from my personal experience as a dental nurse – if i had a dollar for the amount of times a patient has walked into the surgery and flat out told the dentist they hate them, or dislike them, i would be a millionaire. If you did that to staff at a restaurant you would most likely end up eating spit or other bodily fluids that night. Why is it that simply because someone holds the title “Dentist”, a lack of basic manners and kindness is allowed?? And may i remind you that Lollabee is posting this in reply to a post made on another blog titled “10 reasons i HATE dentists”…maybe if that person hates dentists they should simply stop going and when their teeth begin to give them pain or fall out, they have no one to blame but themselves. And just so you know Tamir – most dentists earn about 30 – 40% of what they earn grossly because of overheads. A relative of mine has just graduated from dentistry and now has a study debt of over $50,000 – and that is without any specialisation in a field such as orthodontics (braces).

    • Stupid Dentist says:

      It has nothing to do with being sick or hungry. It is about putting up with jerks in a professional manner and a small percentage of patients not realizing that dentists are people too. She’s not complaining, she is stating her point of view in a fun and enjoyable blog.
      There are less than 250,000 dentists in the US out of over 300 million people. Becoming a dentist is not easy. How much we are paid is all relative to our own cost of doing business. I don’t think you are qualified in anyway to say that we are “being well overpaid”.
      By the way, doctors do complain about patients and waiters do complain about customers. You probably aren’t aware of it because they are complaining about you…

    • Toothzilla says:

      ahh yes Tamir….internet is a wonderful creation. We can all hide behind an artificial barrier that gives us false sense of protection and bravery to accuse others destructively instead of channelling that focus into constructive comments. Please do reply and share your thoughts on how healthcare professionals should handle the aforementioned dilemmas dentists and physicians face daily. Let’s start with a emergency case (fortunately, it’s infrequent but is enough to dampen the emotional stability of the most psychologically trained professionals for the rest of the day).

      patient: What do you mean you can’t pull the tooth today, I drove all the way here!

      dentist: i understand you are in great pain and we worked hard to squeeze you into our fully booked schedule as an emergency walk in patient. However, my scheduled patients also deserves my full attention. If you were the other patients, you would feel the same way too. (dentist holding back the urge to criticize the patient’s lack of mannerism and COMMON courtesy because with great knowledge comes a completely different moral/ethical/professional standard by which people judge you).

      patient: then I want you to reimburse my gas money!

      dentist: __________________ (Tamir, please fill in the blank with a response that maintains professional integrity and is emotionally detached, it is harder than you think)

      everyone, please chime in.

      p.s. people are in general kind and well-meaning. Beyond the basic necessities what most people crave for is recognition and appreciation as has been proven by statistics in the Carrot Principle. Dentists, physicians, and people in general may be complaining only because they hope that they could just get a little more appreciation. One ill-mannered patient can ruin the day but so can one appreciative patient make you day. Tamir, you must yearn for the recognition from your peers, boss and family and friends. Don’t you?

    • kyle(not)kurt says:

      Tamir, now don’t get offended or anything, but I really, really dislike you. I mean, I don’t know you as a person at all, but as a troll, it is really your job to have people dislike you. At least people who don’t like dentists are getting something out of the deal. We, on the other hand, are just getting more ignorant listening to comments like yours.

    • Sandra K. Drake says:

      No, it’s like a doctor complaining about you being sick, but refusing to let you help them. If you go to the doctor for a sore throat, but won’t open your mouth for the doctor to look, can he or she help you? Nope. Same if you go to the dentist and won’t open or squirm around. We have an easier time doing what we’re supposed to do when patients do what they’re supposed to do.

    • KJ says:

      Overpaid? Ha! I have enormous debt from dental school and make LESS than my staff. Our overhead is insane compared to other professions. I am not only responsible for your mouth, I am also responsible for your LIFE. If you have a medical emergency in the office, it is on MY shoulders. We aren’t complaining about the work we do. We are laughing about the mentality of a percentage of the population we treat- probably someone like you ;) Do you like to get paid when you work? Do you like to be appreciated at your job? We do too…

    • Nancie says:

      Stupid Tamir, I feel sorry for anyone without a sense of humor. I attended a seminar about stress when I was teaching high school. We discussed the causes of stress and then they ranked the professions they studied. Teachers were #2, servers were #3, and dentists were #1. These are the only 3 professions I’ve had in my adult life. Lay off! We deserve to laugh!

  71. Nancy Silverrod says:

    I LIKE my dentist, he lives next door, is a nice neighbor, a nice guy, and very professional. I have almost ALWAYS liked going to the dentist. I know, I’m weird. It started as a kid because my Uncle Lou, who was a dentist, cleaned my teeth. I then went on to have a series of mostly good dentists over the years.

    I did have one who filled an awful lot of fillings one year that I don’t think were really there, and who had a hard time keeping his hands where they belonged. Somehow, I think those two things were connected. My mother didn’t take us back to him.

    I had one dentist who I liked who was murdered on the street outside his office in broad daylight, and I did feel that the dentist who took over his practice WAS trying to take my last dollar: his high tech office with every latest dental gadget and machine was being built into the lower level of his ostentatious, multilevel home which sported a partial glass floor so that fish from the outdoor pond could entertain guests and patients – one of the few interesting decorating ideas. It’s fine with me if my dentist is rich, but I’d just as soon not have my nose rubbed in the tackiness of it, especially since his office staff had to be pushed to file the insurance paperwork and insisted I prepay for a crown even though it was already approved. It didn’t help that the crown fell out after two years.

    But aside from those two bad eggs, I’ve had good experiences. I like how my mouth feels when it’s all clean! And I appreciate people who have to spend their days picking around in the funky mouths of anyone who makes an appointment.

    So thanks, cousin, for putting up with everyone, and good luck with your new life.

    • lolabees says:

      Wow, Nancy! Bummer to have those bad experiences, but glad you got away from that. Congrats on being able to see the good after some bad stuff. Thanks for visiting me here, and thanks SO MUCH for the support!

  72. What about the patient whose breath could melt a birthday cake saying, “I know I need a deep cleaning, but can I get a regular cleaning?”. Hell naw!

    Or ” the Dentist down the street charges this much for the same service. Why do you charge so much”. If you thought it was such a great deal, why didn’t you get the work done there??? If you needed a triple by-pass, would you spend months price shopping a cardiologist?

    Or “the tooth doesn’t bother me, doc!” Despite the fact that teeth are in your mouth, they should still be considered body parts. If you have pain, caries, fractures, etc., in a tooth you have a broken body part. You are in a diseased state or “dis-ease”. If all of the above were on your forehead and you had to look @ it in the mirror everyday, would you do something about it then? Of course you would.

  73. Richard Guerra says:

    1) Patients with State “Medicaid” insurance. You should be kissing our feet for doing your work instead of having an entitled attitude. Since when does free insurance that provides you for the most part with FREE dental care entitle you to be a demanding, picky pain in the ass patient. If you wait an hour,, too bad.

    2) Don’t complain when we stop taking HMO. How would you like a 75% pay cut at your job. HMO insurance is garbage, everyone knows it or should know it. Its obvious when its the “cheaper” option to select at work.

    3) I never stay late or come early for bankers or government employees. They are more than happy to slam the door in your face as soon as their lazy office or department closes.

    I deal quite well with the stuff I don’t like about being a dentist. I do love being a dentist, just airing a few things out.

  74. dj2drsantos says:

    It’s 1 am EST and your post has gone viral throughout my dental school (Temple). I’m a 4th year dental student and I’m glad you had the audacity to let it all out. I’m not even in the “real world” and I feel the same way… haha If you’re ever in Philly, I owe you a hi-5 and a drink bc these comments are more entertaining than my oral path notes. Hopefully zero no shows after this blog… ciao

  75. Ed says:

    Really enjoyed reading the post and all the comments after that

  76. Pingback: 10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too | Medical

  77. Brad says:

    Every job sucks. That’s why it’s work.

    That said, I’m surprised by the negativity. I’ve been going to the same office since I was a kid and the experience was always painless and cheerful. Great people, very positive upbeat hygienists. I have a hard time imagining a single patient who goes to my dentist doing a single one of these things. I think all the staff are having a really good time there.
    For whatever reason, I’m lucky enough to have good teeth even though I don’t do much other than brush once a day. The hygienists are always raving about how I take such good care of my teeth. I literally spend less than a minute a day on them; don’t really get it. Never get cavities or other problems, no real plaque, always white and shiny.

    The old dentist we had was an immigrant from South America who worked incredibly hard to get his degree against all odds and come to Canada to practice. Great man, and he took his entire staff to a different developing country every year to volunteer for several weeks. Unfortunately, he was taken by cancer several years ago.
    The dentist who replaced him had big shoes to fill but is a very down-to-earth and kind man, and I’m never unhappy to go to the dentist even though I have a very hard time paying for it (very low income and no insurance – I don’t complain about it though, it’s a very specialized service).
    I do have a bit of an issue with the huge profits they are raking in (it’s in a wealthy area – trust me, they are not hurting on student loans etc here) compared to, for example, my job as an audio designer where I have also spent 10+ years in intensive study and experience learning as much as I can about another highly specialized skill, but barely scraping by because it is in a field that currently has much less monetary value assigned to it than dentistry.
    It’s not so much that they don’t deserve it – just that they seem to be among a privileged few who are earning what they truly deserve these days.

    Like most people, I also strongly dislike the majority of the interactions I’m forced to have with ungrateful clients at work, even though I try to stay positive while there, so don’t think you’re alone in this. At least you’re being paid enough to potentially raise a family in return. Not everyone is.

    • lolabees says:

      Love your story. Thanks for sharing. There are many benefits to being a dentist and many love it, and it IS a great career in many ways. A lot of the negativity here is people letting off some steam. Unfortunately with this post as with everyone’s job, sometimes the negative overshadows the positive. Good luck with your career.

    • Nancie says:

      Whaaaaaaaa! Brad, grow up!

  78. Teresa says:

    Lolabees, I feel exactly the same way about dentistry and your blog really spoke to me. Seriously, what can someone like me who is also sick of dentistry do to get out of dentistry and still pay off 350k in loans? Choosing this profession really screws you if it isn’t a good match for you, but not many other professions pay enough to cover this amount of debt. It is true that life is too short to be doing something that makes you unhappy, but I can’t come up with a good solution. Any suggestions?

    • Teresa, we get calls all the time from dentists asking for help because they are fed up with their patients. They say they take the joy out of their profession. You may want to consider surrounding yourself with a behaviorally gifted staff who can work with your patients in a different way, dedicate yourself to providing a full time facilitator (patient coordinator) who spends the necessary time getting to know why your patients voluntarily walked through your front door, and learning their story and how they hope you will make their life better. By offering what will make their life better in a way they can understand, it can make your life richer. The rest, let go.

    • lolabees says:

      I think you have to “do the work” to find a way out, and it certainly didn’t happen overnight for me. Until then you may try to follow Mary Beth’s advice. I was able to get some really good years out of dentistry until I decided it was just time to move on. I’m dedicating more posts to this topic, so stay tuned.

  79. Pauly the angry fed up dentist says:

    YES YES THIS IS SOOOO TRUE!!!! PATIENTS DON’T REALISE WHAT TWATS THEY CAN BE. As for the accusation that we are greedy – DO YOU FUCKERS REALISE WHAT IT TAKES TO PROVIDE YOUR TREATMENT? THE MATERIAL COSTS??? THE PRETTY GIRL HOLDING THE SUCTION (yeah I’m sure not many of them work for free you arseholes!!!)??? THE COSTS OF BUYING/LEASING THE CHAIR??? ALL THAT STATE OF THE ART SHIT YOU WANT US TO USE ON YOU??? THE TV IN THE WAITING ROOM??? THE LOCAL ANAESTHETIC – perhaps we could give you a 10% discount by not using it, just like low-cost airlines give you a 10% discount if you carry your own suitcase to the plane – AND ALL THE OTHER FANCY SHIT YOU IDIOTS INSIST UPON??? Dentists keep precious little of that, a bit of an insult considering our training and the time and effort (including physical, we cop quite a bit of back strain), and also considering that for the most part, your treatment would last for several years and improves your quality of life. Or were you hoping to have a pretty smile and be able to enjoy your steak for $30?
    Before you lash out at your dental bill, maybe think about all the useless shit you spend your money on – like smartphones (oh you are so fucking important that you couldn’t afford not to check facebook 10 times an hour you fucking lowlife scum), pay TV, your fuel-guzzling car (oh a small fuel efficient Corolla is so beneath you your fucking majesty), season tickets for your loser sports team, that Contiki tour (yeah, getting pissed and having sex with people from your home country is totally the way to appreciate the cultural variance of Europe you bogan/chav/redneck scum!!!) – and tally that up. Might make your dental bill look reasonable hey!!!
    I can’t wait till I retire and I can fuck all the ungrateful wankers you are off FOREVER!!!!

    • Melanie says:

      Wow Pauly!

      lolabees did her rant in a very funny and professional way without the use of such strong language! Your rant makes me think of a 16 year old boy who is cursing behind his parents back and is very unprofessional. I can totally relate with everything you are saying, but I could have understood it much better without all the f-this and f-thats!

    • Diane says:

      I agree. So many patients complain about how they can’t afford dental treatment and yet they buy such fancy things like iphones, ipads, designer clothes, etc. People need to get their priorities straight!

      • Almost anyone can afford what they truly want and almost no one wants everything they can afford. Patients get to decide how they allocate their money and what they choose. We can’t want it more than they do. We can only gain their trust and try to influence their thinking.

      • Diane says:

        Very true Mary Beth! If there is a strong enough desire to get any product or service, people would make the effort to save up or allocate funds accordingly. It is ultimately their decision.

      • Jaeme says:

        Ok I know this is an extremely late to the party reply but I’ve seen this sentiment more than once and I have to say you can’t always tell someone’s circumstances by what items they’re wearing or carrying around. If I were to come in to your office I would likely be wearing a 200$ coat… that I either bought years ago when I had a job, or got on an extreme discount. I would be carrying a new iPhone… that my friend bought me and pays for monthly. He gave that to me as a present and I couldn’t say, oh no please could you spend that on my dental work instead. It’s rude to tell someone how to gift you and I do legit need the phone. I would be wearing a two hundred dollar bag… that I got as a Christmas gift and will likely never replace. Just because I know people who have been generous enough to gift me some lovely things does not mean I have scads of money. I get a disability check and no dental coverage. I’m not saying that kind of person doesn’t exist because they definitely do but remember people like me exist too and often get penalized for the bad examples other people provide.

    • DokApples says:

      Hahaha! I feel for you. Crazy! Well said! Hahahaha… I know you feel better now.

    • Nancie says:

      Say it, Pauly! I like you. Where do you practice? I’d be your patient. I LOVE funny people and people that say it like it is .

  80. Nicole says:

    Ha!
    This is getting printed and hung in the break room at our clinic :)

  81. generous hany says:

    oh my god my miserable life is written in few words …. i thought that my life would be much complicated ….. god bless me

  82. Dr Shoaib says:

    Lolabees. look at all the replies lady.. you must be sooooo proud :-)

  83. Ronda says:

    This post was hilarious…well written. The only thing you forgot to include is people trying to text while working in their mouth. I think it’s extremely rude….

  84. Esell says:

    You may like to know that this post is going viral amongst dentists who live a long way away from you on a totally different continent. We appreciate every word you wrote.

  85. here 10 reasons are a open statement.

  86. Annie says:

    I have to make a comment about someone canceling an appointment. I am not speaking of chronic no-shows who just decide not to come, but people who sometimes cancel at the last minute or same day.

    I have a problem with the medical field who make such a big deal about this, when, in all probability, you have run late yourself on numerous occasions. I have seen several dentists and MDs who run late on a regular basis. These are the same doctors who whine about patients who cancel and come late. Why is your time more valuable than mine? More than likely, many of your patients have taken off work to come to you. No matter what their job, taking off is costing them something…an hourly wage, vacation time, sick time. I, too, have spent thousands of dollars on a degree and deserve the same respect of my time that you do. Perhaps you are not one of those dentists that run late all the time, but please remember that just because you are a dentist does NOT mean your time is worth more than your patients’.

    • Toothzilla says:

      Your perspective is absolutely correct. Everyone’s time is valuable. In fact, running late is the number 1 stress factor among the dental profession. Nobody likes to run late and majority of dentists hate running late and try not to. Unfortunately, being a dentist is quite different from being a family physician. Family physicians spend majority of their time talking to patients and writing reports whereas dentists spend the majority of their time actually doing physical procedures. Whereas the physician can stop a conversation anytime, the reality is once a procedure is started by a dentist it has to be finished (for example, removing a badly broken down tooth) and it is sometimes difficult to guage the amount of time needed. So in response to your concern, I believe the majority of dentists don’t think their time is more valuable than the patients’, otherwise it wouldn’t be the number stress factor for them.

    • Sandra K. Drake says:

      That’s a good point, Annie, which is why I always strive to stay on schedule. I seldom run late. Sometimes, a procedure may take a bit longer than anticipated, or I may have to work in an emergency (yesterday I saw a 2-year-old girl who had fallen and hit her front teeth), but I always apologize, and try to make things move along as quickly as possible while still providing good care.

      I think most of us have a problem with the patient who is habitually late, which forces us behind schedule for the rest of the day. Those patients’ time is valuable, too, and a habitually late patient is disrespecting not just me, but also my staff and my other patients.

      • If you strive to stay on time, your patients will begin to show up on time. If you are always late, you teach your patients the bad behavior of being late. There are occasions where your schedule will be off and when you acknowledge it, apologize and explain how concerned you are for your patient’s time, they appreciate that. If the patient shows up late and it does not allow you to do the procedure in the remaining time, you have two choices – do it and run late or explain that you are unable to complete the procedure and will have to reschedule. Your patient will be annoyed and you will lose revenue for that day but it will be less likely to occur in the future.

      • Sandra K. Drake says:

        Mary Beth,
        Here’s where we’ll have to agree to disagree. From the time I have been here, I have consistently stayed on schedule, except of fairly rare times when running behind was unavoidable. There are still patients who seem to be unable to show up on time. In fact, some get angry if I mention that we need them to be on time for their appointments, as if I am the rude one. Some seem to run late as a sort of power play, as if making us wait makes them feel more important.

        And I do reschedule, if I don’t have time to complete the procedure. And some of them will show up late the next time, too.

        Our solution – we tell them their appointment is 15 or 30 minutes than it actually is. Passive-aggressive, maybe, but it seems to work.

      • Sandra K. Drake says:

        *except for*

      • Sandra K. Drake says:

        and their appointments are 15 or 30 minutes earlier. Posting between patients, losing my train of thought :)

      • I agree with you on that. There will always be exceptions – patients who are always late – to everything! Sounds like you have a workaround for that.

    • Nancie says:

      Keeping people waiting is my #1 stressor.

  87. Seth Blitzer says:

    It really is quite amazing to me. This blog is consistent with what I typically hear at dental meetings and at the University where I am clinical faculty. Dentists continue to berate patients for incorrect use of terminology and a lack of understanding of the complexities of particular procedures. Instead, try LISTENING to what they are saying!! It really doesn’t matter that a patient says they have TMJ instead of TMD. They are trying to tell you, the best they can, that their jaw hurts. It just doesn’t have to be so difficult. I apologize to all patients who have been made to feel less than by my colleagues.

    • WHAT WHAT says:

      Thank you this was the very message I was addressing within my post and I certainly appricate a dentist who is willing to understand his or her paitence.

    • lolabees says:

      Thank you. You are right! It’s a shame there’s too much on the school curriculum that we can’t help new dentists to better learn this skill. There is a lot of good CE out there to help with this though.

    • notarealdoctor says:

      Did you skip over the whole “greedy bastard” generalization? I have patients tell me daily that they have been diagnosed with “TMJ”. I listen and then proceed to educate them to the best of my knowledge as to how we can treat their issues. I personally do not know many dentists that would stop and say, “Wait asshole, it’s TMD!” However, if you come into my office and say,”Hey, Doc, I think you’re a greedy bastard, rot in hell and I have TMJ”, I may not be so receptive.

  88. Jean Soileau says:

    Wow. Some of the remarks and name calling to Suggestsmagic were surprising. I assume those replies/posts were from dentists? Real professionals? Condesending? Makes me think of the Southpark episode about SMUG. (SNIFFFF…) I’ve had mostly good experiences with dentists. But when someone says ‘I hate the dentist’… its usually “the experience” not the dentist, in my opinion. I don’t have a denta-phobia, but the sound of the tools and the scraping etc makes me cringe and its difficult to relax.I love the reclining chair and would gladly have one in my den to watch TV! And its the dentists that will not work with you on payments that give the others a bad name. All of my MDs work out payment arrangements, and take insurance, but my dentist does not. Cash or Credit…before you leave.

    • notarealdoctor says:

      Are all of your MDs in private practice working solely for themselves? Most dentists will accept insurance and offer third-party finance arrangements. I would imagine that your cash/credit dentist has been burned by debting turds once too often.

  89. ségolène says:

    I LOVE my dentist – he always tells me I brush very well and then he shows me pictures of his dogs (who model part-time and wear Burberry jackets). He is awesome.

    One thing I think is an interesting point is the slight hypocrisy that you can sometimes get from health practitioners, though. Sometimes I think that affects the dentist/doctor-patient relationship. I’m a medical student, so I speak from some personal experience. I’ve met doctors who are really fat, doctors who are alcoholics, doctors who smoke, doctors who appear to have had excessive sun exposure etc…. equally, I’ve always been surprised at how so many dentists and orthodontists I’ve met seem to have bad teeth. It’s quite odd…

  90. dr. joe shmo says:

    What bothers me as a dentist is that patients always feel they deserve some type of discount for knowing someone. Imagine checking out at the grocery store, and saying, “hey, could you take a little off. I know other people who shop here, too.” Dental offices have tremendous overhead and with the elective nature of truly profitable dental work, times are difficult now. Just because someone has a doctorate doesnt mean they wake up every morning to piles of cash at their door.

  91. jamie smiley says:

    I am a dentist in Kansas and I LOVED reading this!!!!

  92. afrankangle says:

    Well, I tolerate trips to the dentist, thus think of them as a necessary evil. Then again, since I’ve had enough work, I like my dentist and his staff – even though I haven’t received my invite to the office holiday party – and after spending all that time with them this year.

  93. drsteve says:

    Dentist here..love my job and most of my patients…its the handful that you talk about here that can be a challenge. Five per cent give you 95 per cent of your headaches.BTW saw this on Facebook…viral post indeed.

  94. Pingback: 10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too « new young professionals in dentistry-blog

  95. Ali Jones says:

    lolabees – I HAD to share this with my staff first thing this morning. We are all cracking up and how funny the TRUTH is!! Thanks for starting our day with some humor about our challenging and rewarding profession :) I have only been practicing about 5 1/2 years but I can relate to all 10 of these for sure!! I have a small, patient focused practice and I really try hard to treat each patient as an individual and be understanding, respectful, caring and considerate while doing my best work. I love most of my patients – but there sure are some doozies out there that do all the things on this list and then some. Thanks again!!

  96. A fellow dentist friend shared this with me and I HAVE to share it with all of you! Made me lol. Gotta have a sense of humor – but this list is so TRUE!

  97. Former Dr. Lolabees,

    I can say I knew you when! Great blog – hilarious but sadly true. I congratulate you in your new endeavor. It takes a lot of courage to make the change that you did. You are an inspiration. I hope you find happiness on your path. Keep in touch….B

  98. Jim says:

    you forgot: patients moving when having a moving drill in their mouth and patients opening 1 mm. how the F am i going to see your tooth if you open for one finger to get in?

  99. DM says:

    Ironically, after posting this yesterday on FB, I got a call at 1am this morning from a tourist saying she had ” a bit” of a dental emergency. Really!?!?!?!? She obviously did not read # 4 on this list. Good Lord!!!!

  100. ladentista says:

    Lolabees we may have been separated at birth….your beginning paragraph may have just been written by me too in my head. And I posted this on my FB site because it is SO TRUE.

  101. Geraldine says:

    I love this article!! I am currently a dental assistant and love working with my Dr. Plus I love going to the dentist. Why? because I have never had a cavity in my life, but have gotten 1,16,17,32 extracted. (all in one visit!) I to have a TMJ problem and it does not have anything to do with having your mouth opened to long, because as you can see I have no extended work in my mouth. (crowns, bridges and so on) My all time favorite complaint is my whole mouth hurts around the gums. Plus my gums bleed. And when the dr tells them it’s because you need a serious cleaning! They can’t believe it! When you look at your teeth in the mirror don’t you see the dirt? When your arm leg is infected doesn’t it hurt? Well same thing your going to feel pain. And other favorite is sorry, but I forgot to brush my teeth today? You mean to tell me in the am when you wake up you do not use the rest room to release? Like hellooooo do it then! No one is ever that busy!!!

  102. Shannon says:

    This article was hilarious. As a dentist, I have experienced MANY of those same sentiments! haha Thanks for writing.

  103. I hear ya!!! says:

    Thanks for writing this! After years of working in a dental office at the front desk, I have heard it all! You are right on every count!

  104. I hear ya!!! says:

    also, don’t call us on Dec.20th and want to get in and use your benefits up for the year. Plan ahead and be polite when you are told the schedule is filled already.

  105. Ned says:

    Here are some reasons why your child’s pediatric dentist hates you (not your child):
    1. Your child is 3 1/2, clinging to your leg screaming like a Howler monkey and oh yeah every tooth in their mouth needs a filling or cap. Why are you looking at me like I woke up this AM and decided I wanted to kill your child today by recommending sedation or the hospital? It must be MY fault – I apparently leave my magic wand at home too often.
    2. No one told you to not put you baby to bed without a bottle full of apple juice? You’re an attorney. Really?
    3. I don’t really care about your martial status. The sign in the waiting room and form YOU signed says whoever brings the child is financially responsible. It’s not MY problem your ex husband won’t pay his child’s bill so please don’t yell at my staff when they call looking for money that YOU owe me.
    4. I’ve seen all four of your children since they were 12 months old. You know all about my family because of the years we’ve spent together. Your youngest child is completely manageable when you’re out of the room but reverts to a 2 year old when you’re in the room yet you insist that you must be in the room stroking their hands and constantly asking them if they’re all right? FYI you’re not helping them or me.
    5. I assess kids all day long and I don’t charge for laughing gas so when I recommend your 4 year old child would benefit from it for the four quadrants of treatment they need why would you say no?
    6. Do we really need to fix the big hole in my 4 year old’s baby molar? Isn’t it just a baby tooth? Sigh….this is your 5th child and your oldest is in college. Pretty sure we’ve had this conversation before but just in case I was just trying to fleece some money out of you lets have it again.
    7. Last time you were in your four children had 18 cavities. We spoke at length about flossing and brushing and it’s importance. First thing I ask this appointment is how are the kids doing with flossing and brushing and you respond they’re not. You then look at me like I’m trying to rob you when I tell you they have more cavities. Really?
    8. Telling me you are not brushing and flossing your 3 year old who already had 2 cavities because “they won’t let you” is not an excuse. Man up, be a parent and clean their teeth!
    9. Parents should not = child’s best friend. Sometimes you have to tell them no. Sometimes you have to make them do things they don’t want to.
    10. Informed consent does not = al a carte dentistry. Just because you don’t like any of the options doesn’t mean you can just make up your own options and expect us to follow your uneducated lead.

    • I see a very large percentage of pedo patients. Most of them I love. But I do always say the same thing…I love the patients, don’t like the parents. Every single one of these rings true. Well done!

      • Nancie says:

        I had a patient who was a 4 y.o. little girl who had her parents wrapped around her little finger. Dad is a physician and had to accompany her into the op, against my advise. He interrupted us several times to pamper his little girl saying, “Don’t worry; it won’t hurt!” while only doing an exam and pro. The child had rampant decay, so I explained the treatment plan to dad and child in layman’s terms. He refused a fluoride treatment and while clutching his child, he asked, “Why would you torture her just for a baby tooth she will eventually lose?” I couldn’t believe Dr. Dad’s ignorance and arrogance! He sure did his child a real disservice mentioning “hurt” and “torture” within 5 minutes of each other…and to top it off, showed that he didn’t trust me (or any dentist) by questioning me in front of her. Obviously, I referred out.

    • RK Wilson says:

      Great!

    • Natalie says:

      Love this post, great addendum. Pedo surely brings its own challenges, and yes, most of them are dealing with the parents!

    • mrsbuchner says:

      OMG- I absolutely despise the parents that put their children to bed with a bottle full of juice or milk and then give you the response “Well it’s just a baby tooth!”. REALLY?!?! Do these people really think that just because it’s a baby tooth that it must not hurt the child to have a giant rotten hole in it?

    • R says:

      So true!!! What cracks me up is when the parents say ” I told you not to eat all that candy, but you do not listen!” the poor kid is 6yrs old has cavities on every tooth. Who the hell buys the candy?! Who is the adult with the job to buy the candy?! This just pisses me off evey time there is one who comes in with the same reply. And boy do I let them have it. And I’m just the assistant. :-)

    • Ned says:

      11. When I’m your 5th opinion and all four docs before me said the same thing….chances are I’ll agree with them so hopefully you’ll go for a sixth opinion and I don’t have to deal with you. (Happened to me yesterday – red flags went up, mom gave me the creeps, and all I wanted was out of the room with her and little Johnny).

    • Snappyteeth says:

      I’m not a pediatric dentist, but I can relate to every single point you listed!

  106. OncPA says:

    I’m not a dentist, but I work in the medical field so my empathy goes to the dentist. What an accurate depiction of the attitudes and challenges we see as healthcare providers. And if you’re going to tell a dentist/doctor a “medical fact” about your diagnosis because you think they’re wrong, then don’t accuse them of berating you for correcting your inaccurate assessment. The internet and your friends are no substitute for the years of schooling and medical practice that preceded their diagnosis of your problem.

  107. Cole says:

    Great article. I too am a dentist an can totally relate to every bit of it.
    Just curious about what you are doing now that you have left dentistry….I am constantly looking for a way out myself !!! :)

  108. I love the dentist! Makes my teeth feel great. My father gave both my sister and I his genetic predisposition for lots of plaque. I brush my teeth and floss twice everyday and I do it very carefully and thoroughly, yet every time I go to the dentist the hygienist says, “You have a lot of plaque, you should make sure and floss and brush thoroughly.” When I tell them I do and I have a genetically plaque-y teeth, they give me the “Sure, whatever you say” look. Why is that? What is there that I need to do to convince these people?

  109. stew says:

    oh please, are we really supposed to feel sorry for how much money dentists make. You are paid plenty because HMO’s didn’t screw you over like they did MD’s. Quit complaining. Md’s, mainly surgeons are the ones he aren’t paid enough.

  110. WHAT WHAT says:

    I understand the anguish sometimes invovled in the job, but lets remember you get paid to do you job! If your patients do not wish to take care of there mouth let them continue to waste money, and you continue to do you job and get paid for it. Trust me I understand the need to talk about issues in the work place, but did it ever occur to anyone that by openly admitting the faults of your patience and the ignorance you incounter with them may perhaps create and issue that now patience are in fear that there dentists are constantly judging them? Wich I can not speak for everyone, but that is the fear I think most patience have and it is why they put off what could be done today, onto tomorrow or the next day so forth and so on; it is not right of course. Secondly noone seems to be addressing the patience and there personal lives and all the contributing factors that may be at work.. of course more often then not its laziness, but again if the patient wishes to procrastinate or be lazy let them waste there money. while I found humour within this blog some of the dentist responding I was rather in shock; if your post reflect at all how you work, I would be in fear of you as well. Some of your posts are very rude and are a reflection upon yourself. Those dentists and commenters that posted and actually took the time to be polite and explain your cause, that reflects on you as well; in a positive manner.

    You make money doing what you do, dont take abuse from your patience by anymeans, but comments like,” I hate the dentist,” are not a personal stab upon you. I will be the first to admit I have said,” I hate going to the dentist,” and not out of disrespect to my dentist, but out of fear and awkwardness, he asked me why and I explained and he said he would hate the dentist to, had he gone through the expierence. Rather then take it personal if you have not asked them why, ask. It is no different then purchasing a house and you have to sign the documents what is something that is always said,” I am signing my life away,” everyone seems to reference that statement, its the same concept the I hate the dentist remarks are the same somewhere along the line that became the thing to say.

    • Sandra K. Drake says:

      There is a big difference between “I hate going to the dentist” and “I hate the dentist”. I’ve heard both. Maybe it seems like just semantics to you, but it means something to the dentists who get to hear it. And no, I don’t generally take it personally, but I do think it’s rude.

      And while, yes, we do profit from patients’ self-neglect, sometimes, the amount we get paid just isn’t adequate compensation. I’ve had patients bite my fingers multiple times during an exam or filling. How do you expect me to do good work when you’re closed down so much that you’re actually biting my size-four-ring fingers? I’ve had them grab my hands with the syringe or handpiece in their mouths. Eventually, no matter how much we get paid, we’re still going to be aggravated.

      As to the posts being public, I think that’s a good thing. Lolabee wasn’t insulting, and some patients would really benefit from being told what they’re doing to hinder their own care. When I ask someone to open wider, they often roll their eyes like I’m being unreasonable demanding. Maybe seeing that every dentist on this forum feels the same would help them see the light.

    • Nancie says:

      “Your Wrong” and “Am I Right” and Presumably, “What What” should quit being a coward and use the same name. This is rude. Because English is your 3rd language, you may also not understand American humor. We are not upset; we love our jobs; we are just blowing off steam! YOU’RE wrong about our incomes, Mr. Know-it-all-just-a student. Many dentists own their own businesses and this comes with a lot more responsibility that just practicing medicine or dentistry. Yes, you can set you’re own hours, and practice the way you want to and don’t have to take orders from someone else. I have a individual patient-focused, evidence-based practice I can take pride in; however, I don’t go on vacations and don’t make much money because of my overhead. I pay my employees well to care about my patients as much as I do. I also take offense to your elitist view that physicians are on a higher ethical plane than dentists. We are all professionals held to a higher ethical standard than the general population. Perhaps it’s because you are a foreign student and the way you view women is culturally different, but you sound rather sexist about your fiance’s less important and less sacrificing job than you plan to attain. Are you aware that dentists have the most stressful profession in America? (…at least from one study presented to me at a stress workshop broadcast on national public radio.) Teachers are #2 and Servers are #3. Physicians are no where near the top 10. You need to give more credit to your fiance and to the practice of dentistry. You are a young self-righteous man who has a lot to learn. How dare you judge us!

  111. Sarah says:

    I’ve never read this blog until today but I have to thank you for the 20 minutes of laughter at reading all the News Flashes contained in the comments. Loved your top 11 list and then loved the ignorant commenter (with horrible TMJ) who called every dentist a greedy bastard. If that doesn’t open up the floor for some comical discussion! I love my dentist!

  112. Pingback: Video Anak Kecil « CITRO MADURA

  113. Your wrong says:

    It’s probably a good idea for you to stop being a dentist.
    Stop whining.
    Since patients are people, and some people are asholes, it’s only science to expect to meet all kinds. Like diffusion.
    Besides, you’re the patients custodian, in a sence, and that means you’re obliged to help them, how idiotic they may seem!
    Stop whining.
    The above is true if you see yourself as someone having a moral responsibility for the patient (as all physicians MUST agree to. Though, you’re not a physician).
    If you dont (and you dont need to), you are free to treat whoever you want!
    Since the patients actually pay you (contra physicians) what does it matter if the patient misstreat their teeth? Since you, as you claim, (wish is a lie*) dont care for the patients? (Eat candy – support your dentist)
    *The only reason you’re irritated at them patients misstreating their dental hygiene, is because you actually care. Here by proving your whole article wrong.
    Stop whining.

    Well, my point all comes down to this: Being a dentist is not a bad job. You actually dont take much shit OVERALL, you get a lot of money, you do something that is meaningful for yourself (and patients, dont forget) and you can always say no to working crap hours as a physician, again, can not.

    Ah, that felt good.

    Yours sincerely

    • dentalknows says:

      First off, go back to 6th grade english class.

      Second, patients do not “actually pay you” – most have insurance, that pays jack shit for the care and supplies used to treat each and every patient.

      “Being a dentist is not a bad job. you actually don’t take much shit OVERALL, you get a lot of money…”, etc, etc. ARE YOU A DENTIST???? DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF ANY OF THIS? OR ARE YOU JUST ANOTHER IDIOT???

      The article was not whining. It was blowing off steam that practically ALL medical professionals would love to do, preferably in a patient’s face.

      And “The above is true if you see yourself as someone having a moral responsibility for the patient (as all physicians MUST agree to. Though, you’re not a physician).” You’re an idiot. Dentists and dental hygienists must also abide and agree to the moral responsibilities laid out in our “code”. We are medical professionals, which you obviously are not.

      • Am I right? says:

        My english isn’t good and I know that.
        English is my third language and it feels bad to see that every comment is about my bad english rather than about the point I was trying to make (and I am sure most of you got it…).
        For the record I have two years left on my education and then I am actually a medical professional, a physician. I also am engaged to and lives with a dentist. Before that I worked at a dentist clinic, assisting both dentists and maxillo-facial surgeons.
        I dont know how it works were you live, but here dentists does make a lot of money and does have a smaller responsibility for the patients than a physician. (Something my girlfriend is actually glad for). Patients do pay (or the insurance company does, or the health care system). We have a good life and she has a good job and if you cant take patients I really think this kind of job doesn’t fit you. I cant see why it gets you all so upset when I point it out.
        Did you understand that?
        If you didn’t we can always try to write in danish, but I dont expect you to understand.
        I dont expect you to know even a single word.
        You, how ever, expect me to be able to write in perfect english just to be taken seriously.
        I dont think that it is fair and it doesn’t exactly make me think you are respectful towards your patients either.

    • Your awesome says:

      I loved this comment, thank God I skipped all the way to the end. Hooray for the American public educational school system!

      “Your” wrong: Don’t be mad that lolabees had you in mind when she wrote this. She’s just trying to help you out.

    • Chris says:

      You spelled “your” wrong. Should be “you’re wrong”. So I guess YOU are wrong.

      You’re welcome.

    • Dr.ok.DDS says:

      I’m a dentist, and I don’t see this as whining. Actually, these are stating actual facts, that keep repeating over and over by some patients. It’s the patients who keep whining over and over and over. They actually abuse their dentists by constant complains, and the reason is, dentist get alot of money etc….. It looks like you didn’t get it yet. It takes years and efforts to be successful, and any profit made is to pay off student loans and high price practice expenses . Our job is meaningful more when patients know to appreciate.

    • You're (not your) the one who is wrong says:

      You don’t understand the profession at all. Neither Physicians nor dentists have a moral or legal obligation to treat any patient that walks through the door. They are custodians of the patients treatment and health, but are not held captive by patients refusal to follow through. If the patient refuses to do their part then the dentist has every right to, and should refuse to provide treatment. Dentists are Doctors by the way. This article was about the lack of common decency and respect patients sometimes show their dentists. The rest of your comments are gibberish due to an utter disrespect for the rules of grammar and a failure to portray complete thoughts.

    • DokApples says:

      That’s really funny! “eat candy – support your dentist.” =))) Being a dentist is rewarding when we have appreciative patients and patients who prioritize their teeth…. More Than any other new gadgets or designer stuffs or other vices they have. But I don’t think you get to read about things here talking about the profits and expenses. You should for your better understanding, your wrong! =)))

    • sally says:

      Your Wrong – I would love for you to come to work with me for a day! I work at a busy dental hospital in a ‘rough’ town and it would really open your eye to what this lady was originally poking fun at!
      I do take a lot of shit actually, and with some patients its like swimming against the tide which can be increds frustrating when all you want to do is help them and yet when you point out that they may want to consider toothbrushing for a change, they look at you like you’ve just shat on them! And NHS dentists get paid F all, so its safe to say im not in it for that reason!!!

  114. jon says:

    For you ladies out there, one major cause of TMD is oral sex. So instead of blaming your dentist, blame your significant other.

  115. Jessica Bong says:

    I feel like this everyday.

  116. amara says:

    dear patients out there. one thing more, b4 visiting ur dentist wear a nice perfume, ve bath coz at tymes u stink like anything and dont stare at them during treatment. thankyou

    • Snappyteeth says:

      Nahh I don’t want them to wear any perfume. Brushing their teeth (preferably floss too) and having a shower is enough. Love it when the occasional few wash their hair too. :)

  117. Toothy Kids says:

    Dear YourWrong. You are, actually, wrong (grammatically, that is). Let me correct you: It should be You’re Wrong. And if you have never been in the dentist’s seat, then you really have no objective way of understanding her opinion. She is not whining in her post, she is expressing her opinion (as you just have above).
    I have sat in the dentist’s seat…as a dentist. And I can relate to many of her comments. I’d like to chime in on her post further and mention that one thing the physicians have over the dentists is that many patients accept that a medical visit (immunizations, surgery, etc…) will involve pain. They accept it and deal with it. Many patients, however, seem to think that a dental visit must be painless. That is, in part, due to inaccurate expectations brought on by a small subset of dentists who promise things beyond reason. But most dentists (I’m sure there are a few freaks, though) do not like hurting others and are really there to help solve issues. She mentions this in her post, but I just wanted to elaborate on the disparity of expectations between medicine and dentistry.

    Thanks for the post Lola!

  118. Dr. Fashiondesigner says:

    Wow~ you go girl!!! Umm I mean Dr… :P Hehe You just voiced the thoughts of sooo many dentists out there!!! :) I just graduated from dental school and have been going through major conflicts over the thoughts of career change… I have been debating over it sooo much!! A good percentage of my friends who just started working already complain about how much they hate their jobs and it seriously got me to think.. But I’m soo scared to make this change with over $350k+ in student loans, the shame it would bring on my family (being asian doesn’t help hehe), etc…. :'( and its not like I suck at dentistry or my patients hate me either (a few of them even said they would move to the Seattle with me when I graduated and I was going to school in Philly) It’s just that I don’t feel passionate about dentistry.. I don’t stay up all night thinking about teeth as some of my classmates do.. When I’m doing something I’m passionate about like fashion designing or creating something, I can stay up all night and not even feel tired or even hungry!!! :3 When I tell people that dentistry is my back-up plan they laugh! But I don’t regret going to dental school either~ Even though it was the hardest four years of my life (by that I mean it almost actually cost my life.. Maybe more on that later…) I wouldn’t trade it for the experiences, changes, DRAMA (maybe a little less of that hahaa), growth I’ve gained from it… (wow it would seriously make some great reality tv!!! Want to produce it with me?!?! Hehehe) But it also made me very jaded with people and some parts of life… Le Sigh.. But if I didn’t go it would’ve always been on the back of my head and somehow I still would’ve probably ended up in dental school later only to realize the same things much, much later hahah… dilemmas, dilemmas…. Sorry for going on and on… :) Your blog has inspired me sooo much though!!! So if you see dr.fashion designer on project runway next season that’s me!!! :P

  119. Dr. Fashiondesigner says:

    Among** sorry for all the grammatical errors… Argh can’t spell or write today!!!

  120. marc says:

    Hey, what about those “momzillas” who self-educated and “degreed” themselves via googling, and tried to tell the dentists how to treat their children?
    By the way, most fees (PPOs) are determined by the insurance companies, so it’s not like the dentist just “make a lot of money” by charging just whatever. It’s your insurance who takes your money, and may or may not reimburse us for our labor.
    Thirdly, I’ve seen some patients looking for chances to sue (one blatantly wrote to us suggesting to settle out of court before she sued. We didn’t, and she didn’t sue). These people surely help driving the cost of doing business up.

  121. hopeful says:

    This seems like a lashing out post and most of the dentists I know are kind people that are really trying to give their patients a good experience. If the world looked more at the positive and not the negative both sides would be resolved. My husband is a dentist and he loves it. He loves seeing the same families and watching them grow up. It is a stressful job, but what job isn’t. He worries about the patients the don’t take his advice because he knows what is coming. He spends more on quality stuff than most so he knows he is giving quality care. I know you see the bill and he doesn’t expect you to pay for his education. He choose to do this he knew the sacrifice but trully wanted to help others. I know that sounds so clique but he left a job at a big corporate dental company to start his own practice so he could do the kind of work he could be proud of. Money is tight but we make it. There is a lot of overhead and stress but he can’t see himself doing anything else. The good and bad will come with every job but putting someone down because they said tmj instead of tmd seems like we need a manners lesson too.

  122. JDtheOD says:

    I’m not a dentist, but as a new optometrist I can definitely sympathize with you about the majority of this. My favorite is definitely when patients comment about the price of an exam and reference them paying for my car/ house whatever when they’re definitely living a more expensive life than me and I haven’t bought a new car in 5 years because I’m chipping away on $300,000+ debt.
    Thanks for making me laugh with your post, and good luck with your new career.

  123. RJ says:

    Haha! Hilarious.

    I have a really great dentist. The only thing I hate about visiting him is that he is super cute and I have to sit there with my mouth open, drooling all over myself while he looks at my cavities. It’s embarrassing.

  124. Dr.ok.DDS says:

    Thank you for the post. Very Very true. Not to forget, the rude patients talking on their phones or looking at their texts as soon as you turn or stop for a minute despite of a sign that says not to use your cell phone in operatory. Besides, regarding the first patient comment, if you feel your filling is high, you have to go back to your dentist within the first week, not wait weeks and months and then complain of TMJ pain.

  125. Lin says:

    I can’t even imagine saying/doing these things about/to my dentist. I’ve been with the same dentist and dental hygienist my whole life (since I had baby teeth) and I love them! Sadly I have to switch because I moved and now they’re just far away. Life happens. But if I could take them with me I’d be totally okay with that!

  126. MrHandsome says:

    This was too funny!

  127. kittykat says:

    WOW .. I just had a really good chuckle at “Your wrong”…. “The only reason you’re irritated at them patients misstreating their dental hygiene, is because you actually care.” I’m sorry but “at them patients”?! Really??

    Clearly you are not IN the dental field or you wouldn’t have said any of the above.

    I think this article is PERFECT! I have been in the field for 15 years and this couldn’t be more dead on!!!!! LOVE IT!

  128. Disgruntled DDS says:

    This top 10 was awesome. I read it from my friend’s FB status, which he cut n pasted. But i can totally relate and i read it at the end of a long day filled with 8 of the top 11. It was definitely amusing to read and blew off steam at the end of the day. I’m curious tho, you’re no longer practicing? Career change? Where can i read about it? Better yet, how can I do the same?

    thanks!

    • GKL DDS says:

      Tell me your secrets too! It seems like a common feeling us dentists experience. I’ve been out 10 years too and feel exactly the same as you!

      I also love it when I have the syringe in my hand and they say, “is this gonna hurt?” I want to come back and say, “No. It isn’t going to hurt me at all. You… on the other hand, may feel a little pinch. I always try my best to be gentle. But if you flinch and move, I will hurt. And I won’t be happy. At least you had some topical on your cheek. My thumb has nothing.”

  129. Dentist Dave says:

    I thought this was great. It is amazing how many people accuse us of ripping them off when all we are trying to do is help them. I drive a 10 year old car with 150k miles on it that I bought used 3 years ago and I still have patients accusing me of trying to pay my car payment with their mouths. Ironically they say it and when they leave I see them get in their late model foreign car.

  130. JustMe says:

    30-35% is a ridiculous quote. I have been reimbursed as low as 16% (by greedy companies that want to take advantage of dentists) and as high as 25% (but I had to pay my own lab bills), that’s it. And yes, my debt is ridiculous: $780,000. If you want to blame someone for the high cost of dental treatment, blame the cost of dental schools and blame the ridiculous reimbursements from insurance companies. Also, blame the ridiculous patient that comes in and wants to spend 2 hours talking about a simple filling. Your insurance company doesn’t pay me to waste 2 hrs talking to you, they only pay me to do a simple filling.

  131. I’m more interested in the career change. How long did you practice? What did you do with your debt? I’d like to do the same put have too many responsibilities/commitments. The stress gives me really bad TMJ

  132. Helio says:

    Great article. All my life I was afraid to go to the dentist. Later I moved to another country, Sweden and enjoyed as I never did before.

  133. DokApples says:

    Great blog! =))))) Congratulations lolabees! Mwah Mwah Mwah

    • DokApples says:

      FYI …. Im not fond of reading! It make me feel sleepy. But this thing made me stay up so late for hours… And didn’t stop till I get to read all the comments. I had good laugh!!! Thanks to all the funny dentist and patients

  134. JustMe says:

    Xylina, I didn’t “mooch” off my parents for my education. I paid my own way through school and even sent money home to help support the family while I was in school…I value an education enough to make those sacrifices.

  135. JustMe says:

    Also, don’t be mean to the person with sharp instruments or the person who can write you a prescription for pain meds.

  136. Student Doctor, DMD says:

    I am a dental student now and starting to see real patients in the clinic. Luckily, I have not encountered many patients myself that I want to “hate” just yet. But this definately gave me a good laugh!! It is quite amusing to hear what all the dental patients out there actually hate us for, and knowing 95% of their issues are self-inflicted due to their years of poor (or lack of) personal oral hygiene! If they don’t like to come see us because we “give them a shot” or “make their teeth hurt when we fill a cavity”, then take care of them in the first place! We work our tails off (and drain our bank accounts) to learn the skills we need to offer a very valuable service, and deserve a little bit of respect for it! WHERE’S THE LOVE PEOPLE?!
    Thanks for this post! Although I have been blessed with amazing patients thus far, I know exactly where to go to put a smile on my face when (God forbid) I finally meet one of these patients I inevitably will “hate too” :)

  137. JustMe says:

    SuggestMagic:
    people aren’t upset b/c of the grammar or spelling mistakes or even your lack of knowledge, but b/c of your attitude: you (wrongly) assume that dentists are greedy, you call all of them bastards, and then you NEVER apologize. If I called all people of a certain skin color a bad name, that would be unacceptable, but you think it is okay to call all dentists “greedy bastards?!” It just goes to show that you are unappreciative of the work that dentists do to help you keep your teeth. My advice to you: brush and floss, watch what you eat and drink, perform dentistry on yourself, and the next time you want to shoot off your mouth, stop and think “could I possibly be wrong about this?”

    Also, next time you have to pay a “large” dental bill, consider this: dentistry is actually really difficult to do. Dentists work
    1. upside down (notice how they position themselves over your head), under water (spit everywhere),
    2. in the dark (yes, your mouth is very dark and sometimes we cannot get enough light in there), in reverse (we look through a mirror to see things),
    3. in a small contained area (yes, even you do not have a mouth that is that big),
    4. on a moving target (people move even when they are trying not to move),
    5. on a target that MAY be whining,
    6. with very sharp instruments (which causes us worry), and
    7. in very precise terms (we worry about 1/2 millimeters).
    The only reason dentistry LOOKS so easy to perform is that your dentist is actually very well educated, trained and even has some natural talent which makes it LOOK easy. Don’t you think talented people deserve to be reimbursed well? I mean, I want a well-educated and talented person performing surgery on me and I am willing to pay well for that service; I wouldn’t want an uneducated person performing a surgery on me no matter how little they charged me.

  138. angel pettit says:

    Lighten up people! Everyone has a client once in a while that is a pain in the ass in every profession. We all vent once in a while, whether it is to your best friend or your dog. So don’t take the rant personally. I have had great dentists and horrifying dentists. But I know there are things that I personally could have done or said to make things go more smoothly. Don’t take everything so personal either. Everyone has different conditions/concerns and disorders it doesn’t mean we need to berate each other. Just laugh it off and laugh at yourself once in a while. You will be much happier that way. And just ask for some extra nitrous oxide and turn up your head phones!

  139. Charlie says:

    lolabees, if you were my dentist, I wouldn’t hate the dentist at all! You are smokin’ hot! In fact, I might be chipping a few teeth just to get an appt! lol

    No really, you’re actually very cute. Wish you were in NY!

    Have a great holiday season!

  140. Amie says:

    Ok, so maybe the two days a year that I spend at the dentist are not my absolute favorite days. But this is in no way because of my dentist. I have had a couple great dentists and wonderful dental hygienists. I don’t understand why adults think it is permissible to act like two-year-olds just because they don’t enjoy their time in the dentist chair. To date I have had my two front teeth knocked out, a trauma related cyst then developed resulting in a root canal followed by another crown to replace the one damaged by the root canal. Did this cost me A LOT of money? Yes. Where would I be without the care the dentists provided? Well to start with I would have no front teeth which would mean that I would have a hell of a time eating, and I would never want to smile. Yep, pretty happy with the money I spent there. Dentists invested a lot of time and money becoming dentists and they do a job that I wouldn’t do for any amount of money. Mostly because of people like those described above.

  141. Oralsurgeon says:

    Another one to add to the list….. It feels too numb I can’t swallow properly. Well what would you rather I injected you with. Water?

  142. Annie says:

    #5 – I have a small mouth. If you’ll ask me nicely to open it wider, I will, but often I don’t know unless you tell me. Also, if someone is making noise inside my mouth that sounds like they’re removing enamel, I’m going to wince whether it hurts or not. Put on your grown-up pants & deal with it – it’s a natural human reaction.

    I actually like my dentist, but for most appointments I see him for less than 5 minutes. Maybe your hygenist should be making most of these complaints? Some are valid but some seem as if you’re reaching to get a full 10 gripes in.

    Do you like being a dentist? You chose a profession that requires lots of expensive education & working in people’s mouths. This does not make you superior to other people & I’m sick to death of doctors & lawyers acting like multiple degrees = greater intelligence, or that we should feel sorry for them or treat them like royalty because of what they chose to do. All jobs have their downside. You’re lucky you’re free to complain in a public forum. Many of us can’t for fear we’ll be fired.

    • Annie says:

      Okay, I just read the first paragraph and realized you’re no longer practicing dentistry, so apparently you didn’t like it. My bad. I skipped right to the top ten list without reading the intro. I’ll patiently await the name-calling and bashing from all the perfect people here who needed to post yet agin that “TMJ is not a condition” after it had been said over 100 times.

    • sally says:

      no she left the profession hence the rant. trust, if she was still a dentist and she wrote this, she’d be utterly fucked!!!! well thats how it would work in the uk anyway.

      seems like most people in america only see the hygienist (which is obvs a good sign!) but in england we mostly do all our own hyg stuff. interesting perspective

      • Annie says:

        Very true, Sally – I have good teeth and I take care of them, so maybe that’s partly why I don’t see the actual dentist very often. It’s nearly always the hygienist doing 99% of the work on me, and I know they probably make less money than I do to stick their hands in people’s mouths all day long. And I’ll also admit I’m having a crappy day at work myself, so I may have been a little bit of an ass in my initial post.

        I’m glad for people if they’re able to escape a job they hate, especially if they do have to work with the public and their attitude is going to impact other people. But I also think that if you’re in a job you hate and have other choices, that you probably should think twice before you bitch about it.

        In this case, I just think, you know – hopefully you knew dentistry was going to involve being in people’s mouths and working all day with patients who aren’t real happy to be in the dentist chair, because let’s face it, most people don’t like to go to the dentist. That’s just the way it is. If you want to be around happy people all day long, the medical profession in almost any capacity probably isn’t a real good career move.

        I don’t think it excuses people being abusive, but some of this rant seems a bit petty considering that some of it is simply part of being a dentist. It’s kind of like a policeman complaining about having to deal with criminals all day long – it comes with the territory. If I thought for a minute my dentist had this kind of attitude, I’d leave him in a nano-second.

      • Frankly, Annie, every dentist I know, including me, feels this way about some (not all, or even most) patients. Chances are, yours does, too, and just doesn’t say so.

        Lolabee just put it out there.

        We understand that most people don’t like to go to the dentist. I don’t like to go to the gynecologist, either, but I don’t tell him I hate him, I show up on time, I shower before my appointment, I don’t complain the whole time I’m there, and I don’t complain about the bill on the way out. I don’t like it when my mechanic tells me I need to do some expensive maintenance on my car, but I appreciate him telling me before it gets more expensive.

        I don’t think we’re asking that much. Respect, and a team attitude from our patients regarding their own oral health. Sure, police officers expect criminals to be a pain. But we aren’t talking about criminals here; we’re talking about people who should have the civility and maturity to get through a dental appointment that is for their own good without insulting the dentist.

      • Annie says:

        Dr. Drake – as I said, I don’t think people should be abusive to the dentist. And of course patients are hopefully not criminals – you missed my point on the analogy, which is, don’t gripe about something you knew was going to be a core part of your line of work when you chose to go into that field.

        I can sympathize on some of the points made, but she started to lose me on #5 & on the one about x-rays. Those are things I don’t think many patients intentionally do. Due to my small mouth, I’ve had a few times when the x-ray film slipped because it barely fits in my mouth & we had to start over. If I thought my dentist felt hostile toward me for that, I would find another dentist. But then again my dentist has never actually taken my x-rays. It was always the hygenist, so he probably doesn’t feel hostile but she might. LOL.

        But where she really lost me was the comment about how much she paid for her education. Sorry, no sympathy there. That was completely a life choice & it sounds kind of arrogant.

        I have to say, I was appalled at the overwhelming number of dentists who chimed in with literally hundreds of posts to beat a 19-year-old into the ground (did anyone notice the blog that sparked this blog was also written by someone whom I think was 21?). Sure, she called the profession collective “bastards,” but her point was a little bit proven by all the highly-“educated” dentists who responded to her not knowing the difference between TMJ & TMD, by calling her an “idiot,” among some less-kind and vulgar terms (I believe one called her a “twat.”).

        Really? And the dentists are how old? I’ve lost a lot of respect for the dental profession today. If I ever have to find a new one, I surely hope I don’t end up in any of the chairs of most of the dentists who responded to this blog.

      • Annie,
        It’s just Sandy :). I am a dentist, and yes, I put my full name here, but just because the site asked for my name to log in.

        I know most of my patients aren’t intentionally making faces or closing down, but after about the 20th time of saying “Wider, please”, with them opening wider for about 2 seconds and then biting my fingers again, it does get just a bit annoying.

        And with the x-ray thing, Lolabees said she understands some people just can’t. I have a small mouth, too, and yes, the films hurt, but I suck it up. Just the way I suck it up when I get my flu shot or my blood drawn. Some patients won’t put up with a minor discomfort well enough for us to make an accurate diagnosis. For those who truly CAN’T, I sympathize.

        And she wasn’t complaining about the cost of student loans, merely stating that they are a factor in the cost of the services we provide. They’re a factor in the cost of the services every professional provides, whether they are in business for themselves, or employed by someone else. If people don’t want the cost of education passed on to them, they should visit unlicensed, probably poorly educated health care providers working out of someone’s basement. If they want care from licensed, regulated, highly trained professionals, they will have to pay costs commensurate with that. Yes, it’s a lifestyle choice that we make, but if nobody made that choice, who would provide care?

        I understood your analogy about criminals, I just don’t agree with it. For one, I think it is perfectly allowable for police officers to complain; everyone needs to vent, especially in a high-stress job. But also, the police officers aren’t generally trying to help the criminals, so that is a more adversarial relationship. We’re trying to help our patients, but are still being placed into an adversarial relationship with some by way of their own behavior. And, to be honest, I worked in the dental field several years before I decided on dental school, and patients were more stoic then, so, no, I didn’t expect such a large number of them would work against me in their own care. I don’t think most of us were aware before that, unless our parents were dentists, and mine weren’t. In fact, I chose dentistry over medicine in part because dental patients seemed more reasonable and appreciative than medical patients. Not so, anymore.

        I agree with you about the posts in response to suggestsmagic, which is why I didn’t address the TMJ/TMD thing at all, but focused on her lack of understanding for why we sometimes have to do things a certain way, and her insult to our profession as a whole.

        The thing is, every dentist I know, both personally and through online fora, feels this way about some of their patients. We all have the occasional patient who makes us want to just stay home. And we say so among ourselves. And it’s not just us – our staff generally feel the same way about the same patients, because their job is also made more difficult by patients who won’t cooperate and who complain a lot. We’re all just trying to keep people healthy, and some mutual respect is in order.

    • Snappyteeth says:

      Strange. From my own experience of treating patients, most patients do NOT wince even when they can hear the drilling in their mouths (which is why when one winces I immediately assume there is pain). I know it is normal for patients to be anxious in the dental chair, but I was quite surprised to read ‘I’m going to wince whether it hurts or not’.

  143. Mama2Hapas says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been a dentist for 16 years, in both a large group practice and in my own private practice. I can certainly relate, and so can my staff! Its amazing to me how many of my patients think I’m so rich, that they should receive a discount, or not have to pay their insurance co-pays. This when I drive a 13 year old car with 160K miles on it, and haven’t taken a real vacation in 5 years. As for insurance companies, they keep saying the price of healthcare is going up, and yet they are actually cutting the fees they pay to me…Delta, Blue Cross and Medicaid all cut their reimbursement…so I’d like to know what costs are going up? Its not my fees.

  144. Biff says:

    My brother is my dentist. I love him. I still pay him, let him make fun of me while his fingers are in my mouth (so I can’t reply… it’s ok though, I bite him from time to time ;) ) and I always brush my teeth before I go see him! He went to school for a long long time and I admire him for making it through! He’s an awesome dentist.
    Also… I grind my teeth!

  145. Marco says:

    How can this topic get so many replies? Is this a dentist forum/site? Btw, good choice with WordPress. Kick ass CMS. If you ever need customization for it let me know. I will trade dental services for a custom Web design :)

    On a more serious note, I think that every industry could list 10 reasons why they hate their customers. It isn’t just related to dentists.

    Cheers!!