The other day a patient came in for his bi-annual routine hygiene cleaning, sat in the chair and told our hygienist, “I don’t need my teeth cleaned today, the implant doctor did it last week, I just want to see the Doctor.”
Our hygienist was not sure what to think, she was shaking her head as she told me about it. “He said the implant doctor said he needed his teeth cleaned and just started cleaning them, charged him for the cleaning, so it doesn’t want it redone but they didn’t do a good job, I can see plaque and gunk on his lowers.”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” were my first thoughts, but I wanted to know for sure if the Doctor who was going to place an implant for him would just go ahead and clean his teeth without even asking him if he has an appointment with his general for that, so I gave his office a call. Sure as shooting, they did. Our patient went in for implant and the Periodontist said “we’ll clean your teeth first” didn’t give the patient a choice or a chance to say, “I have an appointment.”
Let’s be fair maybe there was gunk and the doctor needed to get it out of the way before he could do the implant. OK, I get that but he could have just cleaned around the implant area, and not the entire mouth, adding extra charges for a teeth cleaning.
And if he did, he could have called our office and let us know.
THAT was my issue when I spoke to his Office Manager; I let him know that I was pissed. I bluntly told him, “You could have called, you could have sent a report, it has been over a week. I could have moved that patient to the Doctor’s schedule for him to chat with doc and not paid my hygienist to do nothing. And this put her in an uncomfortable position, having to cover for your office doing a poor job of cleaning our patient’s teeth.” (we weren’t going to throw anyone under the bus and tell the patient his teeth were not very clean.)
The Office Manager’s response “do you want us to send you a check?” I almost hung-up.
Our patient had other issues with this Doctor, he said he did not speak very nicely to his assistant during the procedure; our patient does not want to go back. He was not impressed and nor was the Dental Office, so we probably won’t refer to that Doctor anymore.
This specialist has forgotten that his level of customer service must match ours and that he doesn’t call the shots. We feed him by sending him patients, so he needs to communicate his intentions to us, not make decisions about our patients recall. We can always refer our patients to the special down the block!
With your success in mind,