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Old 11-06-2015, 01:15 PM
1 posts, read 2,176 times
Reputation: 10


I had a really bad experience with the receptionist and hygienist at my new dental office.
Short version:They were both rude and hostile towards me over a scheduling error that the receptionist had made (but refused to admit to).
Long version: When I originally made my appointment a few weeks before I including teeth cleaning, because the dentist said we might as well get one in (even though I'd had a cleaning six months before at another dental office). However after a discussion with my husband whose insurance I use, we realized that our remaining insurance should be used on priority work, and I should cancel the cleaning and reschedule in the new year. On Wednesday, I left a message for the front office receptionist (Ann) to cancel the cleaning, giving a clear explanation why I wanted to wait, and I also requested their email address to send on my x-rays. On Thursday Ann returned my call and asked me to call her back, which I did on Friday morning. At that time, she gave me the email address and said that I could discuss the xrays and plan of action at my apt on the following Monday. There was no further discussion about the teeth cleaning but since she had obviously received my message, I assumed it had been taken off the schedule. She also made it sound as if I would be meeting the dentist first thing on Monday, NOT the hygienist. As far as I was concerned, my appointment was for two fillings which I really needed, and a discussion about further dental work in the new year.
When I walked in for my appointment on Monday morning, the hygienist was waiting for me, unaware that I had cancelled. I immediately told her (and reminded Ann) that I had cancelled the previous week. The hygienist acted like I had just shot her dog and just stared at me, shaking her head, while the receptionist looked at me stony-faced and refused to talk about my message, just kept repeating that I had not discussed it in our phone call on Friday. I explained that I assumed that the apt had been cancelled per my request and explanation, but she kept shaking her head and repeating our conversation on Friday.

The hygienist walked off in a huff, and later when I was in the waiting room, she pointed me out to another member of staff, making no attempt to hide that she was making disparaging comments about me. The entire time Ann was condescending and hostile, and refused to admit that it was her error. I remained calm and polite throughout but due to my anxiety and confusion, I had a hard time getting my words out. She could see that I was upset but continued to be condescending and rude, then finally dismissed me (with a sneer) to the waiting room because the dentist was with a patient.

I already have anxiety issues when it comes to dentists, due to bad experiences in my childhood and youth, and the last thing I needed was nasty staff to cause more anxiety. I called my husband who tried to persuade me to stay because I really need dental work, but after the hygienist pointed me out to her colleague, I felt so intimidated that I had to leave. I told Ann that I couldn't stay because I was too upset at how I had been treated. She just shrugged and said, 'oh well..."

A short later, my husband called looking for me and she told him I'd left (without mentioning I was upset) and then denied that she was rude to me.

I'm very disappointed that I now have to start all over again and find someone new to deal with my dental issues, and I'm still angry that I was treated with such hostility over a scheduling mistake that they made.

I guess there's nothing I can do, just vent on here, but I do think the dentist should know about his disrespectful staff, and their gung-ho attitude to a patient walking out. However I have no intention of going back, and I'm pretty sure his staff intercept his mail and emails and, of course, there's no point leaving a message with his staff....

Last edited by HomeHearth101; 11-06-2015 at 01:26 PM.. Reason: forgot to mention I was getting two fillings
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:25 PM
Location: AZ
343 posts, read 356,198 times
Reputation: 493
Definitely receptionist's error. She missed or did not listen carefully to your message. And hygienist got so upset because she probably gets pay per patient and not per hour, like some hygienists do... Sorry about your bad experience. I would be upset too.
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:26 PM
Location: Colorado
19,420 posts, read 5,234,811 times
Reputation: 5863
Definitely would not use that office again...Once when I went in for a cleaning and told the hygienst I had been
ill a few days before, she asked if I wanted to reschedule..very nice..I told her I was fine. No pressure, as you say
it can be nerve wracking to have any work done anyway...(I also ask for nitrous now)
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:32 AM
5,273 posts, read 12,881,918 times
Reputation: 5812
If you don't get along with the dental staff, then go somewhere else.

As for me, I have found that no dental office was ever rude to me unless I was rude first.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:14 AM
11,174 posts, read 10,050,478 times
Reputation: 17152
One can ask, "Who is the customer?" When we visit any medical professional (including their office staff)....WE are the customers and should be respected accordingly.

So much for 'good business practice' and 'good customer service' at the office the OP unfortunately had to deal with that led her to being treated like scum.

I respect the knowledge of people in any medical profession; however, we are still the customers - we pay them for their service and skills. They are not paying us.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:46 AM
350 posts, read 292,262 times
Reputation: 389
I've had experiences with rude staff as well. Everyone has bad days. I wonder what happens to these people when they make a mistake? They seem to be overreacting which makes me think that they may catch hell for making an error.
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