Patients Only Remember Us When They're In PainCreated by:
Well not all of course.
Anyway, I've been reorganizing my blog lately and I came across an old post about a patient who woke me up with a call at 5:35 am because her husband was in so much pain. I've seen the guy (for a consult) but I've never treated him--just his wife and son. Anyway, I already warned him about that tooth and he kept saying he's busy. When the wife called, she was asking me if I was already in the clinic--of course (at 5:35 am) I wasn't, and she was frantic so I told her to give her husband Flanax and to come to see me in the clinic at 9 am. The truth is, I don't usually prescribe Flanax because it's very good at masking the problem, but I just needed to help her.
When I got into the clinic at 9 am, I messaged her and told her they could come in, but after going through my morning appointmets the clock read 12:30 pm and still no sign of them. At 1:00 pm I finally received a text from her saying, "Doc he was relieved of pain. We'll just visit you... if ever". IF EVER WHAT??? Well, weeks after the wife called after hours (and I had just got home) so they decided to go to another clinic for a tooth extraction. The next day, she was calling me again, asking to see me on Monday because apparently the dentist could not take the tooth out so it broke. So basically, I saw them. I took the tooth out. Case closed.
WHY OH WHY?
I get a lot of this because many patients think that popping a pill will resolve a dental issue. They pop a pill and the pain magically disappears--meanwhile, the problem is getting worse the longer they wait. They pop a pill because it works and when the pills do not work anymore, they cry for help. But of course you told them this would happen--and when they came in once, you pointed out the number of teeth with cavities. "But I don't feel anything, Doc" And I tell them, "But you see, you shouldn't wait for the pain."
Prevention is better than cure--it's the hardest thing to teach.