Trouble in Tooth Town


It's Been Five Years and I'm Still Not Used to This!



My dentist retired five years ago, and while the transition hasn't been excessively difficult, I still kind of wish he'd written other local dentists a letter before he did. (Maybe he did, but only sent it to the dentist he recommended to us. I don't know.)

If he did, maybe it would have gone something like this:

Dear [Dentist],

I'm retiring soon and moving to Indiana, but before I send my patients out into the world, there are a few things I think you should know. I don't think I was a "bad" dentist; but compared to modern standards, I've definitely been…unusual, to say the least.


First, my patients don't know from assistants.

I've always done all the cleanings and fillings myself, so when my patients come to you for the first time, they'll be surprised when they don't meet you until the end of the procedure.

Second, I've never been on my patients about flossing. Ever.

I do not ask if they floss at any point, before or after the cleaning. If they need it, I will do it for them; but really, the only thing I might say is a quiet suggestion to a parent that a child needs fluoride.

Third, I don't get fancy with x-rays.

A single bitewing on each side and that's it. (Heck, my machine is so old, I can't/don't even develop the images on the spot!) Won't they be surprised the first time your assistant runs them through the eighteen images of a full mouth series!

I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting, but the one I want to close with is that my patients have never had their teeth polished (unless someone else has done it for them).

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they ask your assistant why she's doing it!

I guess this blog was borne from, "I'm still not used to being nagged about flossing." 😛

But now that I know polishing is mostly cosmetic (I looked it up after I wrote that bit), maybe I'll have Michele skip it next time. Why be crunchy if I don't need to?

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