“Oh, honey. I wish you had called us before going to see him,” the gal at my regular dentist office replied.
I burst into tears.
I was in soooo much pain.
My teeth had become infected and impacted following two temporary crowns on my back molars which supposedly, needed the fillings replaced.
I admit I was stupid and cheap.
We did not have dental insurance and in a misguided effort to save a few bucks, I went to a different dentist in town for my teeth cleaning.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
At the start of my appointment, the dental hygienist took X-rays to “show the doctor.”
Then, while this same hygienist cleaned my teeth, our faces about 2 feet apart while I reclined in the chair, I was thinking to myself, “Dang, she is really pretty and her eye makeup is impeccable.
Now that I think about it, EVERY woman working in the office was pretty damn hot.
I know, crazy thing to think, right? Hang with me here.
When she was finished, the hygienist left the room momentarily, then returned to tell me that the dentist had reviewed my X-rays and that in his professional opinion, I needed four crowns to replace all four fillings in my back molars. And, I was in luck because he had an opening next week to do all four crowns.
Hmm. My regular, long-time dentist never mentioned anything like this. But what do I know? He’s the professional here.
Not wanting to pay for all four crowns at once, I committed to just two crowns to start.
Thank God for that.
I returned the following week and this was the FIRST TIME I actually even saw the dentist.
He ground down my back molars and sent another (good looking) gal into the room to make the mold for my “new” teeth. I was told to return in a month for the permanent crowns to be “installed.”
The next morning I awoke with a painful throbbing in the back of my jaw. I popped a couple Advil but the pain continued to worsen throughout the day.
I mentioned my discomfort to a friend who said my jaw could be infected and that I should call the dentist back.
I waited another day to see if the pain would subside because hey, I hate to be a pest and maybe this would resolve itself.
It didn’t and the pain was worse, much worse, than the day before.
I called the office and the receptionist took a message and promised to have the dentist return my call.
No call back.
Next, day, no call back again.
I called the office again. This time I asked for antibiotics to be called into my pharmacy.
So, here I am on day 5 in excruciating pain when I broke down and called my regular dentist office.
I was ashamed of what I had done. I felt like I had cheated on my regular dentist.
I explained the situation to the receptionist who knew me well. She agreed I probably had an infection and promised to have my regular dentist call in a prescription and some pain meds for me right away.
Then, the big question.
“By the way, which dentist did you go to see?”
I told her. Then her reply of “Oh, honey. I wish you had called us before going to see him.”
Apparently this dentist has a terrible reputation around town and receives numerous complaints to the Florida health board.
Plus, he has a reputation of hiring good looking, well-endowed “dancers” and sending them to hygienist school so he can hire them in his dental practice.
So I wasn’t crazy thinking that this guy has an inordinately high percentage of really good looking women working for him.
In all fairness, I have no complaints against the hygienist who cleaned my teeth. I think she did a fine job.
I do have a problem with a dentist who does shoddy work and recommends unnecessary procedures and who dodges phone calls from patients.
Long story short, my regular dentist (whom I have not strayed from since my brief tryst with “Dr. Fruitcake” a decade ago—that’s what we call him in our house) fixed me up.
I learned a hard, expensive lesson through my attempt at being cheap.
Sometimes you get what you pay for and it never pays to skimp on quality service, especially from the professionals you work with.
In fact, I ended up paying 20x as much for that “cheaper” teeth cleaning than if I’d stuck with my trusty family dentist.
No, I won’t reveal the identity of Dr. Fruitcake. After all, I don’t want to get sued for defamation (even though the truth is a defense).
I give a heartfelt thanks to my “real” dentist, Dr. Prewitt in Gulf Breeze who fixed me up like new. I’ve been regularly seeing him ever since and have never been tempted to stray again.
So, take a look around the next time you visit the dentist. Notice anything interesting?...
Kristen “Just Say No to Fruitcake” Marks
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