Thursday, 27 September 2007

Dental rant

I have just returned from spending half an hour in a waiting room for a dental appointment that took all of two minutes. I was on time for the appointment. If I had broken the appointment I would have been charged for it anyway. It has been a long time since that happened to me, but I have once been very late for such an appointment - stuck in a train as it happens - and that dentist then refused to see me any more at all! (That was before the days of mobile phones)

Only the medical professions think that it is reasonable to treat their customers this way. If that had happened at any other office I would have departed and said that the secretary should contact me with a new time when she could be sure that the meeting would go ahead as planned. It was just for a final check on some gum surgery and in my appointments for today I had allowed for some time, as this particular office has been very bad at sticking to its schedule. My next thing to do was have lunch - and as a diabetic eating at the same time each day is actually quite important to avoid radical swings in blood sugar. But I could have been meeting someone else - and if I had been I would have had to rearrange something.

Why do we put up with waiting? Is is because we feel that other people who are really sick must deserve the attention - which is certainly true at the triage area of the ER. And I do know that with my GP I am pleased when he takes time with me - and I do not feel it's just a quick grab for the prescription pad and out the door, so if I am making other people wait, I must be prepared to wait myself.

I am also not going to get into an argument with a man who has sharp implements in his hands that he is about to put in my mouth.

But a periodontist is not actually dealing with life and limb. None of his work is covered by BC's Medical Services Plan. When I lost my private insurance coverage back in Ontario due to loss of a job, my periodontist there quickly lost any interest in me. We did not even talk about how he could provide some care - or what I might be able to afford. No Blue Cross, no root scraping! So how important is all this stuff anyway? Apparently I am doing a good job with my tooth cleaning - possibly because I now have no choice in the matter. The gum surgery has created more, and more effective, food traps - and I carry a miniature chimney sweep's brush to clear the debris after eating - tooth picks alone are NBG

No comments: