Growing up I had no idea what my dentist did when he wasn’t seeing me for a check-up. Or why sometimes I’d have to sit in the chair waiting for a while before he would come in. I just assumed he had other check-ups to do and was making his way down the line of hygienists to me. I’d get my teeth cleaned, wait a few minutes, have him take a look, and call it a day.
Most of the adults I talk with or see as patients have the same perception of the dentist as I did. Chances are if you’ve ever wondered what the dentist does all day when he’s not doing check-ups, you either haven’t been to the dentist in a very long time or haven’t needed much work on your teeth. So for those lucky people who sit in the hygienist’s chair wondering “what’s taking him so long? What does he do all day? How many other check-ups does he have?”, this should give you a better idea.
Most often, when the dentist comes in to do a check-up there is a patient in their chair. They could be there for something like a filling, or a crown. In most situations, I’ll give that person anaesthetic and while we wait for that numb the tooth, I’ll go do a check-up. Other times, I’ll have my assistant be doing something for me (like taking an impression) and I’ll go do a check-up then. This is why sometimes the dentist will come in and do an exam in the middle of your cleaning, or even at the very start.
It’s pretty rare that I’ll have 3-4 people getting their teeth cleaned at the same time who all need check-ups. That’s one of the things that receptionists try to prevent from happening. All of that being said, sometimes the stars align and I’ll have 3 people who all need exams and I’m right in the middle of something I can’t easily leave. Those are the times where I have to leave people waiting for a few minutes in the chair thinking “What’s this guy doing all day?”. It’s something we try to avoid to keep everyone on time, but like any job sometimes things out of our control can happen.
If you would like to come see what we’re doing and meet our wonderful staff at West Peaks Dental Suite, give us a call at 403-281-4264.