Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodontist

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AliceWalker
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:13 am

Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodontist

#1 Post by AliceWalker »

First, I have to apologize for my poor English >.<

I started treatment with my orthodontist this year January. I trusted my orthodontist to do a good job for me because I have read many good reviews about him and knew one of his patients. However, I noticed that my orthodontist is not communicative during the bonding of my braces because he never tell me what he was doing as he placed the brackets one by one. I am fine with it because I am not communicative as well. I am respectful and I always greeted him and thanked him in each appointment. He do not tell me what he is going to do in each appointment and I am still fine with it because he may think that I do not understand at all since he deals with children more than adults. SOMETIMES he do tell me what he is going to do in the next appointment and I am quite happy about it. Sometimes I ask him questions, but he do not seem to like it. He'll have this grumpy face. Maybe he was born with it?

I took a Science degree in University, so I have this habit of analyzing things. I started to have my doubts on his professionalism because I found white cement (not transparent cement that bond with your brackets) on my front teeth. I did not approach him because I bet he will denied it. An incident happened. He forgot to tell me that my instanding incisor at the back will experienced sensitivity when he tries to bring it to the front (he admits this). I freak out and went down for an emergency appointment. I mean, seriously, he was trying to bring the tooth to the front for two adjustments and he forgot to tell me? I even think that my tooth was struggling to move between the two teeth at the side as there was lack of space. The wire was pretty thick too. I think it was 19x19 or 20x20 (?) niTi wire as I found out later from my orthodontist. My tooth has a craze line now due to the struggle. I am ok with it because I do not think that anyone can see it. My orthodontist denied that the struggle had caused a craze line/ crack but said that it was either due to the tooth enamel being weaken after being at the back for so long, or, it was just glue (I don't think so. The surface is flat and using a torch shining at the back of the tooth, it does looks like craze line. you know, the crazy pattern?). But hey, accidents do happen right? No biggie.

I found that he was really careless when he did not do a good cleaning around for my teeth. There was still calculus at the side of my teeth and around the brackets.

I noticed that he misplaced one of the brackets in the central incisor causing it to the slanted and higher. It was straight all along because I have my xray record. I know about bending wires/ finishing wires in the finishing phase, but I was very concerned about it as I can foresee the potential of the tooth to become more and more slanted (even my scientist friends agreed). I told my orthodontist about it in the last appointment where I asked for more time to ask him questions. He just took an explorer and said that it is aligned with the tooth when in fact it is not. He said that the tooth is higher because of wearing of my teeth. I think he is talking rubbish because my teeth was leveled in the first place. He even got offensive and thinks that I am worrying too much, which I think I should because it is my teeth right?

However, I got worried when the orthodontist put powerchain on my front six teeth including the tooth with misplaced bracket. I started to have major pain on the lateral incisor because it was still tilted and rotated without space and the central incisor was also struggling to become more slanted towards the lateral incisor. For the first week, I tried to call the receptionist to ask whether is it normal, but the receptionist either refused to pick up the phone or just said that she'll call me back. I was so pissed up with waiting for her call so I walked into her clinic to ask her questions.

The pain went on for more than 2 weeks. So I got really pissed off and asked to see the doctor. The receptionist refused to pick up my call so my parent called and demanded to see the doctor. It became a drama. I think the receptionist badmouthed me to the orthodontist. I was shocked to see all his staff in the clinic room. Good thing was that I took my friends along with me. So I bought one of my friend into the room. I asked the orthodontist about the slanted bracket and he just went really offended and started to explain and almost snapped at me. He just refused to explain specifically about the misplaced bracket. He just explained that the arch looks fine and everything is correct. There was nothing wrong. He said I can either trust him or go find another doctor. He said that I kept picking up small things to ask him. When I want to say something, he just talk to my friend. I noticed that it was not going anywhere so I just accepted whatever he says. I was just too tired of talking to a stubborn orthodontist who thinks that he is right (which he maybe but he just do not want to explain). My friend said that his explanation was logical (about the arch shape and that things will rectify at the end (oh! when he said that things will rectify, I believed he admitted his mistake but maybe I am thinking too much)) and I agree that it will be rectify but just that the orthodontist either was denying it, or just do not understand what I was trying to say. I bear no grudge to my orthodontist who almost snapped at me, looked at me as if I am some unreasonable patient ans someone who kept on asking him questions and picking up minor things to ask him about the treatment. I understand that professionals can get offensive when you questioned their professionalism. I am carrying on treatment with him because he mentioned he will rectify the problem. I still like him as an orthodontist who is a perfectionist and insists on symmetry. I respect him for his qualifications and experience even though things had went wrong for me. He promised that the "end product" will be good. However, I will keep on asking him questions from now on even though he wouldn't like it.

My tip for everyone, please find an orthodontist who bothers to explain things to you, so that if things happen, you won't have to freak out and worn yourself out by trying to find an explanation. Or if your orthodontist is not communicative at all, always ask questions no matter how big or small. Demand answers. Irritate them. You are the customer. Do not wait until something happens.

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Kipepeo
Posts: 690
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodon

#2 Post by Kipepeo »

Hi Alice! I have some "misplaced" brackets too. This is normal. My ortho says they usually remove and reposition brackets during treatment. I have a couple teeth that tilted or rotated when they shouldn't have, and this is because of bracket placement. At my last visit my ortho said I should have repositioning at my appt following this next one (tomorrow). I have trouble trusting my ortho as well, because I nit pick things...but I'm having to learn to just let it go and let him work his magic.

badbites
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodon

#3 Post by badbites »

Nothing excuses the poor communication or the refusal to answer the phone. Any questions that are unanswered or concerns that aren't explained are a huge red flag to me. A substantial portion of an orthodontist's job is to make people feel at ease. A large part of the success that is achieved during treatment is due to the patient's compliance with instructions and having all concerns and questions answered ensures the patient is aware of what is being done and why. This ensures that patient involvement and compliance remain high, something that can suffer using the "trust me, I know what I'm doing" or "it's my way or the highway" approach. Orthodontists see many patients and do make errors. I've brought a few issues to the attention of mine that were simply overlooked, and was thanked for it. Don't be afraid to demand a high level of communication from your orthodontist.

AliceWalker
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:13 am

Re: Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodon

#4 Post by AliceWalker »

Thanks everyone :)

My ortho is not going to replace the misplaced bracket because his main focus is to close the extraction gaps. He explained that the tilted and uneven tooth was due to mamelons :/ which I think it's rubbish because of the shape. My mamelons are not worn off.

Should I storm into the office in the next adjustment to show him and demand a solution? What should I do?

AliceWalker
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:13 am

Re: Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodon

#5 Post by AliceWalker »

I think I'll post a picture about the uneven central incisors to show you guys what I mean.

hai
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:47 am

Re: Sharing my story:communication problems with my orthodon

#6 Post by hai »

I don't think you should storm in and confront him. I think you should try and get him on your side. If he thinks you are difficult/demanding he is more likely to react badly. I don't think that's an excuse for his behavior however, and I'm very sorry you've had all this added stress to an already stressful process! I would think about seeing someone else also. You don't necessarily have to leave your ortho but I'm sure you could make a couple of appointments or consultations with a couple of other orthos to see wha they think. Good luck Alice

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