We all have them, those hilarious moments that make us want to die of shame or laugh so hard we cry. Sometimes we do or say something unbearably awkward, other times our patients say something laugh-out-loud funny. If we're really lucky, we simply witness a coworker's embarrassing moment.
No matter how things went down, we all have mortifying moments we can relate to!
PUT YOUR MIRROR DOWN
"I once had a patient whose last appointment was 5 years ago and I was seeing him for the first time. Before he sat down, he told me that he hates coming to the dentist and was a little uptight about it. I reassured him that I'll take good care of him and will make him as comfortable as possible.
During his cleaning, he fell asleep but was able to keep his mouth open. While I'm cleaning, I decided to give his mouth a little rinse and put down the instruments in my right hand. Somehow I forgot about the mirror in my left hand, and it was still held by my middle, ring and pinkie fingers. So in my left hand I have my mirror and the air/water syringe and in my right hand I have my suction. While trying to rinse him, my left hand gets stuck and I can't understand why! Well, it was because the end of my mirror got stuck up his nostril!!
I was so embarrassed and apologized right away. He looked at me but didn't say anything. Maybe he was still in shock from being woken up by a metal object up his nose?! I couldn't help but excuse myself for a moment because I was so embarrassed and thought it was so funny. It was almost to the point that I started to cry! Of course, I did apologize to him again for the incident. After he left, I had to share it with the office and they thought it was pretty funny as well. Lesson learned: put your mirror down! Hahaha!"
CAUGHT OFF GUARD
"One day, I was providing perio therapy to a well-dressed and extremely wealthy woman in her 70's. It was her first time having a power scaler used on her. I asked her to close her mouth slightly so the water would come forward. It caught her so off guard that she let out the HUGEST fart! OMG, do I laugh or do I pretend I didn't hear it?! Before I could even react, she said "Oh Dear, was that YOU or was that me?" Can you believe that she thought it was me???"
- Denise McDonald
LOOKED REAL TO ME
"This happened a few weeks ago at my current practice. I had a new patient, a young female in her mid-30's with a beautiful smile! Only thing is, she didn't speak the best English. I had the front desk lady translate for me and then I took all of her x-rays. Pano, 4BWX, 2PA. After laying her chair back to start the oral cancer screening, I looked in her mouth and realized she has a complete upper denture! I took all of her x-rays with it in!
Can you imagine my walk of shame to the dentist's office to tell her what I had done?? I honestly wanted to run out the back door. Luckily my dentist just looked at me with a slight smile, even though I know she was thinking "is she for real?" My poor patient, it turns out she was too embarrassed to take them out or tell me. Anyway....just because someone has a beautiful smile, doesn't mean it's real."
- Parker Fields
HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US
"I took cavity detection radiographs on a patient with full dentures!!"
"This happened in my first year of dental hygiene school. After completing my EO/IO exam, my 70-something patient says "So what's next, a lap dance??" OMG, cue the mortified face of a 20 year old Texas gal!!!"
"One day, I was taking x-rays of my older male patient who is around 70. I left the room to scan the pictures into the computer and when I walked back in I noticed his phone was magnified to large text and he was sexting. 😳 He quickly hid his phone and nothing was said by either of us about it. I just recently had his wife as a patient and I hope that’s who he was talking to!"
Tune in next week for another round of confession corner! Have a story of your own that you'd like to share? Submit it using the link below.