Today I went to the orthodontist to get my braces out. I went last week too, but I couldn’t take it anymore, so I had to make another appointment for the second part.
Remember that I spoke about sensitivity to pain and also mentioned my sensitivity to loud noises? Now think about what an orthodontist does to you. I hate the dentist too, but in my opinion an orthodontist is even worse. On top of that, I had a terribly inconsiderate orthodontist too.
When I started there they said I’d probably be done in 1 and a half years and they started with some iron thingy to widen the upper part of my mouth. Suddenly one day they said ‘Okay, make an appointment in 6 weeks and you’ll get your upper brackets. I was shocked, since nobody told me I was going to have brackets in the first place and I told them this. They told me they thought it was logical. I told them it’s not to me and that I’d like to know these things.
Later I had my upper brackets and I was told ‘Okay, now make another appointment in 6 weeks and you’ll get your lower brackets.’ Again, shock and I had the same conversation.
At this point it’s 1 and a half years later and I just got new braces instead of being rid of them. Suddenly they told me ‘Okay, make another appointment in 6 weeks and you’ll get your rubber bands.’ Say what? I was starting to get annoyed at this point.
In the meanwhile, I had numerous check-up appointments too. In these appointments, they were quite rough. They seriously hurt me a couple of times. For example, I have irritated gum. To show me how to brush better, they got a hard brush out and quite roughly brushed it, until everything was bleeding and hurt and I was in tears. Irritated gum that’s bleeding is normal, but my whole mouth was red and it was hurting A LOT. That’s NOT normal. I got angry every time and told them I was very sensitive because of my Asperger’s Syndrome. They kept saying sorry, just to do it again the next time.
One day I got seriously angry. I was in tears and told them to quit it and just listen! They all stood around me and I told them, in tears, the whole above story. They said sorry again and promised me to put my Asperger’s in the computer. I thanked them. The next time it happened again and I asked the person treating me if she checked my file in the computer. She said ‘no, should I have?’ YES YOU SHOULD HAVE. What is the use of a file for a patient, if you’re not going to check it before treatment?
I got genuinely scared of that place and the only other orthodontist practice we have nearby was fully booked. So I didn’t go back there for half a year. Bad, bad… I know. Since I was nearing the end of my treatment anyways, my mother decided enough is enough and she phoned the practice to make an appointment to get the damned thing out. We did agree to put in something behind my teeth to hold it in place.
Since this blogpost is getting long, I’ll talk about the pain and sensory issues of the treatment that actually got my braces out in the next post.
With this post I just want to say: All doctors, orthodontists, dentists… well everyone in the care sector! Please, if anyone tells you they’re very sensitive and that you’re hurting them, please believe them! If you’re going to simply ignore it and treat them like they are just whining, you might be scaring away patients who need your help very badly. I understand some things just need to happen, but please comfort them and try to think about how you can at least reduce the pain.
In any case, DON’T IGNORE IT! Talk with your patient.
Of course you have a lot of patients and it’s hard to remember everything about them. But write these kind of things down AND read your own writings! You went in the care sector to help people right? Not to torture them. You can make a difference.