If Judge Judy was a Dentist...
Rants from the Dental Operatory ......Well, today is a day off. I could be so productive and finally have the time to tackle some projects......OR.....I could take a hint from what my kids do on the weekends and have a day to just chill. Guess what I chose? Woo hoo!!! Jammies all day? Fine. Doritos and marshmallows for lunch? Works for me. Watching daytime TV for hours? Yup.....but only if I can watch me some Judge Judy. This woman is my spirit animal. I admire her in a way that I bet we all wish we could be like at work sometimes. She gets to say WHATEVER she wants to say in her courtroom. No holding back....no filter.....and it's all true. It got me thinking....wow....don't we wish we could do that in our office?....say what you are really thinking to some patients other than buffering everything with niceties? If you are like me..... you smile and nod and listen to your patients’ complaints when they clearly are unfounded. You reassure them they are “doing a good job” when they are acting unreasonably and childishly. You apologize for any stress or discomfort this procedure may cause even though THEY are the ones with the cavity! So....what if Judge Judy was a dentist? Hmmmm.....this is how I think an appointment would go.
A patient comes in for an emergency appointment for a toothache in the upper right. They last came in 2 years ago and a MOD composite was treatment planned at that time due to caries. The patient never returned...until today.
Dr. Judy: So let's start with you sir, what is your problem?
Mr. Smith: My tooth really hurts and it has a cavity, part of it broke too.
Dr. Judy: How long have you been aware of this cavity?
Mr. Smith: Two weeks.
Dr. Judy: LIAR! I told you about this cavity 2 years ago.
Mr. Smith: Well, uhmm....it wasn't hurting two years ago....so I didn't think it needed to be fixed.
Dr. Judy: Now just a second, surely you're not suggesting that when I told you that you had a cavity two years ago, that I was wrong?
Mr. Smith: No...no...not that...uhmm...its just....uhmmm.....
Dr. Judy: Uhmmm is not an answer Mr. Smith!!!! Why have you not come in to fix the cavity for two years?
Mr. Smith: Well.....I can't help it...I got really busy and had no time.
Dr. Judy: Yes you can help it! Don't say that you can't help it, you can help it. It's been two years! Is the word stupid written across my forehead?
Mr. Smith: Can you fix it today?
Dr. Judy sighs and asks Bert (you knew Bert would be her assistant!) for him to take a radiograph as she takes a recess from the operatory. There is a huge radiolucency on #3. Dr. Judy returns and does an examination.
Mr. Smith: Well, what do you think?
Dr. Judy: I think you're an idiot. You need a root canal and a crown now.
Mr. Smith: But you said I only needed a filling! I can't afford all that....I would have gotten the filling if I knew that it could turn into this.
Dr. Judy: Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda....that's not my problem. It is your responsibility, not the dentists, for you to come in for your treatment.
From the corner of the operatory, a woman has been tenderly caressing his leg during this exchange. She leans in and speaks with some attitude.
Woman: We are NOT going to pay for a root canal ,so you can just put the filling in today.
Dr. Judy (glancing over the top of her loops at the woman): Who are you?
Woman: I am his girlfriend.
Dr. Judy: Why are you here?
Woman: He's scared of dentists so I am here for support.
Dr. Judy: Ha! You both should be scared....I eat morons like you for breakfast.
Mr. Smith: (Looking nervously around) I think....like what she said, I don't want the root canal, I just want you to put a filling in.
Dr. Judy: A filling is not an option.
Mr. Smith: But you told me that I could get a filling.
Dr. Judy: Two years ago! Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith....the tooth is abscessed, you need a root canal and a crown....or an extraction.
Mr. Smith: I am certainly not having a tooth pulled out! I only want the filling today.
Dr. Judy: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM SAYING!!! I cannot do a filling. I just explained it to you. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a good reason....use them.
Woman (with even more attitude now): Well….then just glue the broken piece of tooth back on and we will go find another dentist who will help us.
(The woman hands a baggie to Bert with a gnarly looking MB cusp with stains, leathery caries and a funky smell because they put it in milk because THAT'S what Dr. Google said you do to save a tooth that falls out)
Dr. Judy (with a massive eye roll): Goodbye. We're done.