By schedule, I was supposed to have my wisdom teeth removed this morning but I did not because weird things happened. Based on my own story, I would like to criticize the whole dental care system.
Last month, before I left for France, I scheduled an appointment to get my wisdom teeth removed the Monday after I get back to Rochester. My bottom two teeth are messed up because of the gene my parents passed down to me so I figured I would rather get them out of my mouth as early as possible.
I got back in the U.S. on the 23rd and was unpacking for the last few days. Since most of the times, the hospital calls me twice before the actual appointment. Once three days before and once the day before, I was expecting their call yesterday. They did not call at all. I was a bit confused but did not pay much attention. I thought it’s the different between the Strong Hospital and Eastman Dental.
This morning, I woke up early and did not drink or eat to be prepared for the surgery. I went there and told them my name. They told me there’s no such appointment. But I have the appointment card, so I showed them that. Turns out I was rescheduled to July 17th, which happens to be a Monday.
After a few rounds of trying to accommodate me, I canceled the appointment and don’t think I will ever come by before I get dental insurance.
Why did I not know that they rescheduled my appointment? Well, I don’t know. They said that they called and left me a voicemail but I was abroad last month and could, in no way, get the call. After I replugged my American SIM card in, there’s no notification of voice mail. I don’t usually use voice mail so there’s no way I would check them for messages.
Should they be condemned because they did not leave a message to inform me? Maybe. I mean they called but they can always email patients because not everyone is in the country all the time. Actually, I told both the doctor and the front desk receptionist that I would be abroad till June 23rd. But the most important thing is that why do they cancel the appointment in the first place?
Did the doctor just fly with United?
I actually never liked the appointment thing. When I was still curing my cavities with Eastman Dental, my appointment was 1 month later than the date I called. A lot of things can happen during the month, especially for cavities. The pain, the erosion, the nerves can all get messed up if not cured in time.
At that time, I had a huge cavity on the side of the last tooth on the upper row. I was in pain, not a lot, but decent amount. I was licking that place every day to make sure it is clean but whenever it had food in it, it hurt. Would be a good thing if you just cured me the day I went for the dental exam.
In May, I was talking with a friend about my upcoming surgery. She mentioned her dentist in China. He was a student in the U.S. but decided to go back because the dentistry environment here in the U.S. is so un-ideal. Dentists may earn a lot here but they really do not fulfill the responsibility of their job. In China, just the number of patients you get every day required you to practice a lot every day. Practice makes perfect. You get to be a very good dentist eventually. However, in U.S., you don’t work as much as in China. You are enjoying a stable and good life but at the same time sacrificing the opportunity of practicing and being a good doctor.
Also, the technology in China is still not very developed so it really requires the doctor to be very careful and proficient in everything. Take the wisdom teeth surgery as an example. In China, people only do regional anesthesia. You still feel the pain during the surgery and you will be in a lot of pain afterwards. But that also makes sure that you know what’s going on right now and if you are feeling too much pain, something’s off. The doctor can sense your discomfort and make the change.
However, here, doctors rely too much on anesthesia. Even with the cavity, the doctors gave me drugs to numb my face. I was in shock. Why did you ever want to use the drugs to fix a cavity. That helps her do the fillings because I won’t feel a little bit of pain when she drilled in the holes. What if she drilled the good parts? Normally, I would hurt or feel something but with the drugs, I won’t be able to notice and she will get in her way and try to fix it in some other way. It’s okay for her to make a mistake.
For a doctor, especially a surgeon, what’s more important than being a good one? I guess that doesn’t agree with the standard in the U.S.
Back to the appointment with my doctor, I don’t think you are suppose to just cancel appointments like patients do. I understand that people do have emergencies but patients are in emergency if you’re not here also. For sure, you should think of yourself first but I really doubt the rescheduling of my appointment is due to an emergency. Well, if you are not available, don’t make it available for patients to book, except that you just wanna play with your patients.
The reason I canceled my appointment in all is because I don’t trust the hospital anymore. They presented me with a huge bill, which would cost me a fortune if I actually did the surgery. They were persuading me to use the most expensive drug, which could possible harm the nerves and remove all four of them, which would not do me any good but give them more money. I would not go there again before I got dental insurance.
It’s so nice to be able to eat and at the same time, my teeth actually hurt but at least it’s better than hurting because of getting screwed up by doctors.