Tuesday, July 21, 2015

But I Want to See a Real Dentist

Recently, I had an appointment with a long-time patient. At the conclusion of our visit, I said, “Well, now that your son-in-law is graduating from dental school, I guess I won’t be seeing you.”

She responded, “Are you kidding? I’m not going to see him. I want to see a real dentist!”

Wow. I can really relate to this. I’ve been on the receiving end of that sentiment. The reason is simple. The various friends and family members in our lives just see us differently. They see us in a more casual and familiar manner.

To my family and friends, I am “Andy.” As in, “What the heck does Andy know?”

To my patients, I am Dr. Alas. As in, “Dr. Alas says I need a crown.”

When Andy says you need a crown, it means that it’s time to ask your “regular dentist” what he or she thinks. 

When Dr. Alas says you need a crown, it’s time to schedule an appointment. 

There is a reason for all of this. You see, your family and friends were actually there when you took those photos—the ones that you now regret posting to social media. In fact, they are the ones who took those pictures of you during spring break. Don’t pretend you don’t know which photos I am talking about. 

So these days, when you express a health-related opinion, let’s just say it doesn’t always come across as authoritative. 

It’s all about context. Let’s try an experiment.

If THIS guy tells you that you need a crown, would you believe him?

Or would you believe this guy a little more?

See what I mean? (Yes, that is Dan Aykroyd in the first photo.)

Our family and friends just see us more casually, which is fine. I’m just glad to have friends that put up with me. I’ve learned not to take it personally when they tell me about their dental visits to another dentist’s office. It’s just something that I’ve learned to accept.

For the moment, though, I must stop writing. My wife has an appointment with a real dentist to see whether she does, in fact, need a crown on that tooth I told her about.

Andy Alas, DDS


David Kim said...

Dear Dr. Alas,

You are truly an inspiration. You are not only a good dentist, but as a person as well.

Just dropping by,

Kim David

Jordan said...

Great post here. To people who know you in your day to day life, it's a bit odd to remember that they're a professional! Of course, it might be better that it's like that - I imagine having to work on a relative isn't the best experience.

Altamash Dental Clinic said...

Dr. Alas,
The feeling is very relatable. I can imagine the whole scenario as you wrote it. You are not only a notable dentist but a very descriptive writer. Keep posting. Love it!

Unknown said...

It really is interesting to look into the life of a dentist. I personally would be very interested to learn more about all the different kind of things that go with being a dentist. From the sound of it, it just is like being anyone else, but just with a little more fun on the side. Thank you for sharing your story. http://www.familyfirstdentistry.com/doctor.html


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