I belong to a Chicago parents group, and recently one of my
fellow members posted this complaint:
I just returned from a visit to the dentist office,
where the front desk staff and hygienist peppered me with personal
questions, mostly relating to my pregnancy. They also call me by my
first name while calling the dentist Dr. So-and-so. These people
are strangers to me, and I don't want to answer their questions
about my pregnancy....Perhaps other people view this as "warm and
friendly" but it feels intrusive to me, and they don't seem to take
subtle hints like vague answers.
I thought her post raised some interesting issues. I know for many
dental phobia is real problem, and a little extra sunniness and
hand-holding goes a long way in alleviating their concerns. But
what about the patient who is more reserved? Do you encourage your
staff to "read" the patient and tailor their demeanor accordingly?
What is your response to a patient who prefers being treated more