We know assistants have seen it all in the dental office, from the surprising to the icky to the downright scary — and not just during Halloween season, but throughout the entire year! Below, we spotlight some eyebrow-raising (and even skin-crawling!) patient stories that made you do a double-take in the dental office.
Trick or Teeth?
The dental office can be a serious place, but now and again, there’s room for a little humor in the workday. For example, Brandy B. once had a patient who was trying to make her laugh. After being seated, he immediately opened his mouth, revealing what looked to be a shocking set of teeth in dire need of dental work. “I tried my hardest to keep my composure, all the while thinking to myself that there was no way his teeth could be fixed simply,” Brandy explains.
Brandy left the room and went to seek the advice of another dental team member, who let her in on a little secret: The patient was wearing a set of costume teeth! “I felt pretty silly at that point,” she confesses.
Rose S. also recalls a time when she thought she was looking at dentition, but she quickly realized it actually was something else: “The patient had a fake nail superglued into their mouth as a tooth!”
Is That Your Costume?
October is usually when costumes are seen in the dental office. For example, Jodi C. shares that on Halloween, her dental team — including the dentist! — wore costume headbands and wings and tails to work. “The patients had a good laugh!” she notes.
Patients are sometimes known to wear Halloween costumes to their appointments as well. But one dental assistant recalls a patient who seemed to take the “costume approach” a step further, with a permanent solution. Jane M. elaborates: “Her tongue was surgically altered to be split like a lizard’s. For a while, it was dyed green!”
On rare occasions, you’ve even reported seeing bugs — and not the dress-up kind — in the dental office. (We’ll admit: Seeing real, live bugs in the dental office definitely has a scary-movie ring to it!) For example, Almond B. “once had a patient with maggots in his mouth.”
Shelly F. adds, about her own creepy-crawly experience, “One time, a live roach was crawling underneath a patient’s tooth decay. It started moving when we started excavating. I saved it for years.”
Do you have a shocking office experience to share? Tell us about it!