Tooth Fairy In The Making

Monday, July 16, 2007

All I Get

After last week's fiasco about me not grinding down my filling to fit the occlusion of my patient, I was ready to face him again this week.

He was scheduled for a scale and clean, so I had made the assumption that I was in for a nice relaxing session. After all, I just needed to get the teeth clean.


My demonstrator quickly discovered that one of the teeth had a hopeless prognosis, and told me that extraction was probably the best option. It was already the end of the session with my patient but my demonstrator told me to eat into the time of my next patient and just do it.

My patient didn’t think much of me. Never did. While I was elevating:

Him: Are you sure you’re strong enough to extract this tooth?
Me: That tooth is held on by 2mm of bone. It’s already mobile… I’m sure I can do it. I’m just loosening it in the socket first before I extract it.
Patient to demonstrator: This girl is not strong enough to pull teeth! I want you to do it.


After that was done, I brought in my second patient, who was irate that she had to wait an extra 20 minutes past her appointed time. Also, apparently I said 9.30a.m. instead of 10.30, which meant she wasted more than an hour in the waiting room.

Then she abused me for not sending a notice to her home as promised.

Me: You didn’t get it? I sent it on Thursday. I have no idea why you didn’t get it… I’m sorry.
Patient: I didn’t see anything. I want you to give me a copy of that letter right now to prove that you sent it.
Me: Why would I have a copy of that letter?
Patient: I want it NOW.

After that, my probing was too painful. Did I change my gloves? Was I sure that I should be wiping my probe on the wrapping of the instruments? Shouldn’t I be using gauze instead? She wanted to wear the safety glasses as opposed to her real glasses because the light was too bright, right after she said she rather have her real glasses. Etc etc etc.

She hates me. And she thinks I’m incompetent. Wait – that means both my patients think I’m incompetent in one session of clinic.

It made me feel like such a failure. In essence, today was the first day I felt so bad I actually cried. I’ve been brought to the brink of it a few times, but this was the first time it was just too much.

Am I weak? Maybe. Should I quit Dentistry?


I am going to become a dentist, work in a beachside town and live happily ever after.


3 comment(s):

Remember we were jus talking abt how dental and medical students get abused like that... It's part and parcel of becoming what u will be in another year and a half.

It's ok. This will make u stronger.

Chin up, girl! =)

By Anonymous Ann Gie, at 7/18/2007 3:05 AM  

hi dental girl....

i've been one of your readers since many months ago, and i've read all your posts (from you being with an insane housemate to you having a great place to stay and all that....)

i just want to let you know that it's all part of life. don't take it to heart. whatever doesn't kill you will only make you stronger and more resilient. and you will be a great dentist!

take care!

By Blogger mudslinger, at 7/18/2007 6:17 PM  

Thanks for all the comforting comments... I feel much better now! :)

By Blogger Dental Girl, at 7/19/2007 4:04 PM  

Post a comment

<< Home