Just a little bit annoyed…

We have such a small amount of time to interact with some people, and I usually try and make the most of what little time there is. Unless I have a reason to be anything other, I am polite and try to make the most of each situation.

I’ve recently had a wisdom tooth pulled out. It was the only one out of the 4 I have that had ‘erupted’ and it was causing the least amount of damage but also the most accessible.

The 3 others that are problematic, my dentist has previously indicated that these teeth may need to be addressed by an oral surgeon as they are beyond her realm.

So I made an appointment to see an oral surgeon, to discuss my options. My appointment today came about because I was on the shortlist if there were cancellations.

Turns out that was one of the worst consultations I have had the misfortune of participating in.

I paid $106 NZD for a 5 minute consultation… that I walked out of saying “I guess I’ll see the front desk”.

One “good thing” that came out in the short consult I had today with an oral surgeon is that the top right wisdom tooth may able to be removed with surgery, for which I could choose to be sedated for.

The other wisdom teeth are unfortunately too high risk now. If I had been under better dental care as I was growing up several things would have prevented the current issue I have: X-rays would have indicated the formation of the wisdom teeth, and highlighted that they are growing horizontally instead of vertically.

I would have been able to have them extracted.

Unfortunately they were only identified in 2020. So the roots have grown too close to my nerve on my jawline.

In the remaining minutes of my consultation, the oral surgeon was condescending and chauvinistic, which I was not expecting. I’ve never met the man before today. All I wanted to do was to know how much of a risk there was in addressing the issue I have. Turns out quite a bit, though I still don’t understand what “impact” I have to endure before they’ll consider the risk worth pursuing surgery.

If we would have been able to discuss that, I would have been happy with the consultation.

Alas, he brushed it off saying “sorry to burst your bubble” and that I should put up with the discomfort in my mouth because it’s not a big issue. That I apparently have a frivolous desire to re-do “ortho” (orthodontic) work which his wife apparently just underwent “at a great cost to me”. You’re an oral surgeon… I just paid you over $100 for 5 minutes… The approximate cost of dealing with one of my other wisdom teeth will come in around $1000… pretty sure that’s a great cost to me. I’ve also already had orthodontic work done as a teenager, that was not thorough enough to put a retainer or wire on the back of my bottom teeth to keep them in line, or actually check to see if I had wisdom teeth and how they were progressing…

So I ended up with horizontal wisdom teeth making a mess of my bottom teeth because of the lack of investigation or monitoring of my dental health from various providers I have used in the past.

And I have no idea what his wife does, but it came across as that he had to pay for her second round of orthodontic work, in her adulthood (and they are married so it was his responsibility) and that he was aggrieved by it.

I have never wanted to swear at someone in a professional setting more. Excuse me?! First, that’s not relevant to me. And second, good for his wife wanting to improve her smile or oral comfort in the long term by investing in her teeth. If she can’t afford it, I’m sure there are ways to save up… However, don’t ever assume that I or anyone else rely on the income of a man, or anyone else for anything and that my desire to alleviate the discomfort in my mouth, is not worth investigating.

I was so angry that I couldn’t think about an appropriate way of vocalising a response, I could feel myself starting to lose control and I wasn’t prepared to lose my professionalism, so I said “I guess I’ll see the front desk” and walked out.

No one ever needs to be treated with disrespect, discrimination or be made to feel this way.

Good news is, that specific experience is over. I’ve made a cup of tea, and it’s Friday.

I had an extreme emotional response to this event, and it’s taken a while for me to recover from it. Other than the discrimination which has been left unchecked, this experience occurred at an unfortunate time. I have also learned this week that the medical records my doctor’s clinic holds about me are beyond pathetic which deeply concerns me about the management of my health and wellbeing.

I just feel incredibly let down by the healthcare professionals I’ve had to deal with.

I’ll be working on resolving my issues with my healthcare providers, and in the meantime, taking a breath.

Just Heather x