Paying for a Smile

“If suffering brought wisdom, the dentist’s office would be full of luminous ideas.” —Mason Cooley

The midweek Word Prompt from Weekly Prompts, the site I share with my partner GC is  Service Centers, and spelt the North American way, not my English way!

We asked our readers to interpret the term Service Centre as any place that provides  a service, and of any description.

GC talked about the Service Centres that are cropping up all over the place, but how do we know we are going to receive a good service, and how do we choose? 

A couple of years ago, my dentist retired; the lease on the building was due to expire, so instead of selling on the practice, he simply closed it down, leaving his patients without a dentist.

Many years previously, I’d joined the practice’s private dental plan, and my monthly fee was low. Now I needed to find a new dentist.

Upon ringing other dental practices, I found I could not transfer my plan and would need to start a new one at a much higher monthly fee. I decided to try the NHS, but finding one that would take me or even one without a massively long waiting list, proved to be impossible. So I put it off, and off and off.

At the DentistA few weeks ago, my mouth became sore and knowing that some old fillings were breaking down I finally made an appointment to see a private dentist a lovely lady who assured me my fillings could be fixed for an unbelievable fee!

X-rays were also taken, and then the dentist dropped a bombshell. “I’d like to get a second opinion on a couple of darker patches in your mouth, so I’m going to refer you to the hospital!” 

My late husband’s first cancer was oral cancer, and the surgery for this was horrendous, needless to say, I was alarmed at this news.

Less than a week later, someone from the hospital rang and gave me an appointment for the following week. I was now seriously worried about the speed of this, but what a great service and on the NHS!

My appointment arrived, and I was examined by an Oral and maxillofacial surgeon. “I don’t see a problem other than I think you have Burning Mouth Syndrome which may come and go for a while, wwill check you again in two weeks.” Those weeks passed quickly, and with a sigh of relief, I was discharged.

Last week, back at the dentist for my final appointment, the dentist dropped another bombshell. “One of the x-rays shows a growth under a tooth, it might be a cyst, so I’m  referring you back to the hospital.

Now, given that the x-rays were taken on my first visit to her, I began to feel annoyed. Surely, I could have had this problem checked out on my previous visit to the hospital, and before any other dental treatment took place, and why wait until now to tell me? Was this a good service? I don’t think it was!


On a lighter and more positive note, last year I purchased a delivery pass from Morrison’s supermarket, I thought I would find it useful to have my shopping delivered during the winter months. Winter turned out to be milder than expected, and I only had two deliveries.

The other day I rang the supermarket and asked them not to renew the delivery pass, they asked why, so I gave them my reasons. I was delighted to be told I would receive a refund for my pass minus the cost of two deliveries! Now that’s what I call an excellent service!

(C) 2019 Word Prompt Service Center from Weekly Prompts.

FYI – Oral and maxillofacial surgeons known as the Max Fax team are highly trained and qualified in both medicine and dentistry.

Major complex surgery in OMFS includes:

  • craniofacial surgery for congenital problems
  • cancer and injuries involving the skull base (working with neurosurgeons)
  • facial surgery for cancer (working with oncologists, ENT surgeons, and dental specialists)
  • skin cancer surgery (working with dermatologists)

Procedures undertaken by oral and maxillofacial surgeons include:

  • surgical treatment of facial injuries – complex craniofacial fractures, fractures of the lower jaw, upper jaw, cheekbone, nose, and orbit (sometimes all of these together) and soft tissue injuries of the mouth, face and neck
  • removal of head and neck benign and malignant tumours
  • reconstructive surgery – including micro-vascular free tissue transfer
  • removal of impacted teeth and complex buried dental roots
  • removal of jaw tumours and cysts
  • cosmetic surgery such as face lifts, eyelid and brow surgery and correction and reconstruction of the nose (rhinoplasty)
  • temporomandibular (jaw) joint surgery
  • salivary gland surgery – for benign and malignant lesions
  • surgical treatment of cleft lip and palate and other congenital facial deformities
  • surgery of skin lesions of the head and neck

 Maxillofacial information courtesy of NHS.

20 thoughts on “Paying for a Smile

  1. Oh, my! Just reading this makes my mouth hurt!
    Oh, I hope you, your mouth and your teeth will be okay….healthy and well!
    Sometimes services and medical-places give us the run-around. 😦 The way they handle things sometimes doesn’t make sense and makes me feel like they just want more $$ out of us. 😦
    OH, that second service (of the supermarket) does sound excellent! 🙂
    I’d think today with they way we can rate businesses, restaurants, stores, doctors, etc., on-line for MANY people to read, that places/people that serve would try to do right by their customers/clients.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps there was a good reason for delaying the second referral, but right now I can’t see one.
      I was so surprised at the supermarket’s response. Amazing wasn’t it. I will go back to how I used to do it and pay for each individual delivery as and when I need one.

      Thank you, Carolyn. 🙂🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What horrible experiences you had with your dentist, Sue, especially in view of your husband’s oral cancer. I trust all is well now. Your informative lists made me feel a bit sick. A dentist once dislocated my jaw while extracting a tooth, and I’ve never quite recovered my faith in dentists.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I liked the lady dentist, and I felt so relaxed during her treatment.
      Though I did not like the the cost of the replacement fillings.

      I feel very cross at having to visit the hospital again, I just can’t understand why both problems couldn’t have been dealt with at the same time, and why she waited until the final visit before telling me about the second problem.
      I’m still waiting for my next appointment at the hospital. I’m assuming that the tooth will need to be removed, but that’s definitely not what I want. Thank you Maureen


    1. Thank you Derrick.
      I agree about the supermarket service. Once at the checkout, just as I’d finished, I knocked over and smashed two bottles of wine in my trolley. An assistant cleared up the mess and replaced the wine free of charge!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Murphy's Law

    I’m so glad your first dental scare turned out fine and I hope the next hospital visit has the same result. I don’t like the way your new dentist handled this. I agree with you that certainly both questionable areas showed up on the original X-rays. The medical community is a big mystery, isn’t it? Their “customer service”, so to speak, leaves a lot to be desired.

    I don’t know about you Sue, but when I go for my routine 6-month cleaning, every tooth in my mouth feels like it needs a root canal!!! 😂😂

    Kudos to your supermarket for actually knowing the meaning of customer service and practicing it!!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It remains a mystery why this wasn’t flagged up in the beginning. Did she miss it, forget about it perhaps, who knows? I really like her, but at the same time I’m disappointed. Thank you Ginger 🙂


  4. These days bad service is almost expected, while good service stands out like a shining light. Not surprising when everything, including health, is turned into a sausage factory and individual pride in performance takes a suicidal leap from the window.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gc

    Great article Susan. With the high rates of dentistry today there should be an effort made to handle the dental needs of seniors who often lack the exorbitant amount of funds needed to even have their teeth cleaned, x-rayed and filled. Hopefully, your latest dental situation will turn out to have a positive and happy ending to it. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As you know it cost me a fortune, and if the previous dentist had had a conscience he could have done the work as part of my dental plan.
      Ah, well, at least any treatment required at the hospital will be carried out free of charge. Thank you love, xx 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It bothers me that the second problem wasn’t mentioned earlier, if it had, whatever the outcome, it would have been over and done with now. Thank you very much Lisa, I appreciate your comment. 🙂


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