Friday, May 30, 2008

Denture Drama

Today was a dramatic day!

This morning started out with my bridge patient. We have had some trouble in the past and when she was not there at 9:25 for a 9 am appt I was getting pretty worried. She had answered the automatic reminder system that she would not be coming. It was a big of a struggle to get her to come back for this appointment anyway. Luckily, she arrived at 9:25 and all went well. I was so relieved because missing that one appt. would have made me have to stay into the summer (which I will have a difficult time doing since I have an externship in July).

When I finished with her, I was paged to the Pros lobby. When I arrived my afternoon patient was there. We had given him a lower denture the previous afternoon. He was there at 11:30 instead of 1 pm and said that his denture was unwearable and he wanted his money back. After quite a bit of prompting, I got him to agree to come back in the clinic and tell us what was going on. The overall gist was, they did not fit like his old denture (one he did not like that I am suspicious he lost on purpose to have it remade--but suddenly this was the gold standard). He told me that they were "like a club," too thick and that they hurt his mouth when he tried to eat last night (after trying them for less than a day). He said that he didn't like the dentist we were working with ("he didn't know what he was doing"), that I should fail for making dentures like that, that all of the dentists at the college are bad dentists who can't work anywhere else, etc. He wouldn't let us take a look or make any adjustments and we decided to grant his request give him a refund.

The sad thing is, he said it was too expensive to continue and that it was not worth it. He had already driven out yesterday for his appt and had stayed in a hotel to save on gas money. He was already at the appointment that's purpose was to eliminate sore spots, problems, etc. Virtually every denture patient has problems the next day and often the next week or later. It takes practice and time to adjust. He "knew" too much for his own good...somehow he knows exactly what a denture is supposed to be like, more than multiple faculty members who do this multiple times each day. He is going to have to pay much much more to have it redone by someone else (with probably a similar result) than to stick with it a little bit longer. All because he had dentures before (which he didn't like, either--he seemed to forget this).

I am not feeling bad besides the initial shock and awkwardness sitting with a patient who clearly thought I was an idiot.

Patient: "Look at this denture, how is anyone supposed to wear this? She should go to school."
Clerk: "...uh, she does!"

...all from a quiet old man.

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