You interact with many patients throughout the course of your day, and we know that your interactions can range from serious to humorous. You probably have many stories to share about the things patients do or say from time to time that bring a smile to your face — such as mistaking the dental office for a hair salon or a day care. (Oops!)
Some dental assistants feel like they have seen it all, including patients who have made some special requests.
Here, we spotlight some of the unusual inquiries you’ve gotten from patients over the years.
Watch My Baby?
We’ve heard from a few dental assistants that some patients will bring their young children with them to the dental office — and then request that the dental team watch their kids during the appointment. This is not usually feasible since dental assistants are assisting with patient care.
Melissa H. shares that she’s occasionally been mistaken for a babysitter in the dental office. “We’ve had patients just walk up to the front desk, leave the baby car seat — with the baby in it! — at the desk and just walk away!”
Side of Lime
Normally, patients know that the dental office is focused only on providing oral care. But you’ve told us that sometimes patients get confused and expect a little extra hospitality.
Once, Virginia B. was surprised when a patient tried to place a beverage order, with a side of lime. “We don’t serve drinks here,” she replied at the time.
On occasion, a patient will come to the office with a tooth in hand. This isn’t unusual for the dental office — it’s possible to lose teeth and have dental emergencies. But what’s unusual is when the tooth in question doesn’t belong to the patient, but rather to someone else, like a relative.
Leslie N. once saw a patient who made a surprising postmortem request. “He wanted his grandmother’s gold tooth put into his mouth after she died,” she shares.
Similarly, Marie C. told us about the time a patient brought her mother-in-law’s upper denture to the dental office. “The mother-in-law had recently passed away, and the patient wanted to use the denture and have it fit her own mouth.”
Perhaps Christina O. has received one of the most startling requests from a patient. She wasn’t looking to have her tooth pulled in the dental office. Rather, she wanted to have a hair removed!
“The patient asked me to ‘get those tweezers and pluck this hair off my chin,’” she explains. “She wouldn’t leave until I plucked the hair.”
Have you ever received an unusual patient request?