It’s what happened this morning on Thursday, 20 June.
I took my daughter to Eastman dental hospital, as she is going to wear dental bracelets. The appointment was 9:45. I took a half day-off. I took her to the hospital, thinking we were going to have lunch together after the treatment and it will be a good day, spending time with my daughter. Until then, I had no idea what would happen in the hospital. As mere mortals, we humans are not allowed to know what would happen in the future.
My daughter’s named was called and we went to the room where a dentist (Mr. Joseph Noar, a consultant) and a nurse greeted us. We said “Good morning” too. It was our fourth visit. The dentist checked the teeth of my daughter. Suddenly he turned around to me and said very bluntly in a irritated voice, “She has a very poor hygiene and I can’t do this!”
I was shocked. Basically, he was saying he will not treat the patient. I asked why. He repeated, “I told you that she needs a better hygiene and it is really terrible”. I was immediately annoyed by his tone of voice and rude manner, but used Non-Violent Communication to capture his message. I tried to read his emotion, saying, “I can see you are irritated, and what do you recommend that we should do?” In a higher pitch, he said, “I told you that she is not maintaining good hygiene, and come back when the hygiene is improved.” Actually, the last letter from the hospital was about pulling a tooth and improving hygiene. So, my daughter went to a local dentist and pulled a tooth. We also encouraged her to brush her teeth longer and more often and to use inter-dental floss. I asked him what specifics we need to improve. His answer was very short. “You discuss it with your local dentist.” To me, he sounded as if he was too important to waste time with such a trivial thing.
Actually, before this hospital, I discussed the hygiene issue with our local dentist. Our local dentist at Smilecare was really helpful and emphatic. He acknowledged that her hygiene was not great, but said it could be because of crowding – the teeth are not well aligned, so there are more corners and it makes the brushing ineffective. We considered a thorough cleaning, but didn’t go for it.
So, I asked Mr. J Noar again that if he means my daughter needs flossing and a thorough dental cleaning. He didn’t say anything. He seemed to kick us out as soon as possible. Like a broken CD player, he kept repeating that the hygiene was not good enough and I should discuss the matter with my local dentist. If I do not know the specifics, how can I improve it? Also, it was him, not my local dentist that was making the judgement. How would my local dentist would know what Mr. J Noar means by a vague and abstract word, “unhygienic”?
Anyway, he didn’t want to carry on with us, and finally, declared I and my daughter cannot come back to the hospital. He told us we should look for local orthodontist as he would not treat my daughter any more. It really sounded like punishment. I was hurt and upset. I expected him to be more professional and emphatic, as he was dealing with young girl, a 12 year old, who can be very sensitive. If I am told like this, I can stand it. I will be upset but I can handle the humility and embarrassment. But he was talking to a 12 year old girl. She may not have been diligent in brushing her teeth, but she is young and she can learn. I felt like my daughter was despised and punished, and judged that she was not good enough for his time.
Mr. Joseph Noar said it was their procedure that he can’t proceed as the hygiene was not good. I understand that. But I don’t understand that we cannot come to the hospital any more because we failed his two (or three?) warnings that she should improve her dental hygiene. Is it really the hospital’s procedure or is he just irritated and wanted to abuse us emotionally by punishing us? I don’t know.
Anyway, we came out of the hospital, hurt and bruised. I feel we were ill-treated with disrespect. Now we have to look for private orthodontic treatment that may cost between 2000 to 6000 pounds.
After a few google searches, I discovered he had private consultation at TheDentalRoom. Maybe it’s way he treat NHS patients. I’m sure he would be different to his private patients. He’s smiling on his private consultation page, though I have never seen his smile at Eastman Dental Hospital.