AIBU Dentist Retirement

My dentist has been our family dentist for decades, literal decades, long before I was born. Everyone in our family aside from my wife, who was already established with a dentist through her family, went to him including my grandparents.

This year he finally decided to retire, a well earned departure from the workforce at an age that I can only pray I am not still working at.

The problem is that everyone just expects me to take this change wholesale and just continue with his practice under the new dentists taking over the office and they seem to take offense at the fact that I am resisting doing so.

As extroverted as I am I have to be very comfortable with someone like a hygienist, dentist or doctor, and I had known my dentist my entire life. Now that I have no choice but to switch I find that I don’t vibe with the new dentist and I’d rather establish myself with someone who practices closer to where I live in Waianae instead of continuing with a new guy in the Pan Am building in downtown Honolulu.

So AIBU? Should I remain loyal to the practice and other employees like the hygienists or are my feelings valid?

3 Likes

Feelings are definitely valid. A dentist isn’t like a fast food joint, it’s an intimate procedure with someone that you need to trust. If you don’t get along with the new guy then don’t stay. Also, you can site that really the new guy is just too far away. If you hadn’t vibed with the previous guy, you would have switched away as soon as legally able.

5 Likes

I have the same thing going on, I don’t like dentists, and I was glad I found someone who worked with me on my hangups in stead of against me ‘because it needs to be done’. And he started a new practice over an hour and half away; His old practice took over all the patients; I haven’t been there yet (my next yearly appointment is still several months away) but the minute I don’t feel comfortable I will gladly drive 1.5 hours and back again to the former dentist.

5 Likes

I had a similar experience. My old dentist was the senior partner in his practice and treated my family for at least the entirety of my living memory. When he retired the new senior partner sold the practice to a company operating a chain of private practices in the UK.

Now, I had long since moved from my childhood home but was prepared to travel quite some distance to see my old dentist and I decided to give his successor a try. He was… Ok. I have no major complaints about his competence as a dentist but the financial management took a massive downturn into some shady practices (I might have submitted a story about one of them) so eventually I made the decision to leave and join a new practice closer to home.

You’re not being at all unreasonable and please remember that the Dentist Practice is ultimately a business. You had loyalty to an employee of that business, you don’t owe loyalty to the entity itself particularly not at the sacrifice of your convenience and comfort.

4 Likes

YES! Yes, you get it, for example I can’t do X-Rays with the film sticks they put in your mouth. The corners of the plastic (even though they are rounded) dig into the top and bottom of my mouth and set off my gag reflex bad.

Been that way since I was a kid, as an adult I have been able to assert myself and say “No X-Rays” but now I’m going to have to do it all over again.

3 Likes

That helps a lot, as was the case with you, the practice is no longer private. It is now owned by a company that runs a small chain of dentists offices, that’s another thing I have an issue with.

I don’t want to force myself to get used to this dude to appease everyone else and then he gets yoinked to another office leaving me with yet another new guy.

3 Likes

I don’t really care about seeing a dentist I don’t know - but I recently met an amazing dentist (well, student) who I would choose every time if she weren’t moving after her schooling is done, so it makes perfect sense to me to want it to be a deliberate choice.

3 Likes

Thank you all for your takes, I am going to talk to my dental insurance about options in west or central Oahu.

:pray:

4 Likes

Agree with the above opinions and hope that you can find someone closer to home that’s a good fit.

3 Likes

I’m glad you can get away with no X-rays. I have some genetic teeth and gum problems that really mean I can’t afford not to have the X-rays done even though I have a similar problem. It’s probably the worst part of being at the dentists.

1 Like

Only just seen this but your feelings are completely valid.
My wonderful dentist retired last year and I’m currently on the hunt for somebody new, as his replacement is a complete shocker and I won’t go back to him. Period. One time was too many.
Find someone you are comfortable with, every time. Especially somewhere like a dentist’s.

2 Likes