The Unnecessarily Defiant Dentist (& His Shitty Apology)

It’s such a pain finding a new dentist, isn’t it? But I really liked this one. My brother-in-law recommended him and I was pleasantly surprised by the office’s organization, professionalism and friendliness.

On my last visit, in anticipation of Hannah going for her first exam there the following month, I asked if they could look at the calcifications on her front teeth and tell me if anything could be done or not. I specifically told the hygienist that I didn’t want it mentioned in front of Hannah because she had been self conscious about them in the past. I didn’t want that box of worms reopened until I knew there was a simple—an affordable—solution. The hygienist and I both communicated this to the check out woman who said she understood. We even made notes in the system together and she reassured me that they would not bring it up to Hannah.
The day of Hannah’s appointment, I noted that a different dentist was on duty this time. I wasn’t even aware there was more than one dentist at this practice. Oh well, I’m sure he’s just as good, I thought and went back to watching Hulu. About an hour later, just-as-good-dentist came out to brief me on the state of Hannah’s pearly whites.
“So I spoke to her about her teeth calcifications and told her there’s a paste to get rid of them…” he started. I didn’t hear much after that because I was too busy having a conversation with myself in my head about how that could have happened.
“I thought I asked for the calcifications to be discussed with me in private and not in front of her. Weren’t there notes in the system?” I asked.
“Yeah I know, but it wasn’t a big deal, she was fine with it,” he replied.
“But that’s not the point. I asked you guys NOT to talk about it with her and you did anyway,” I kept going.
He just stared at me for like a million seconds without saying a word. I could imagine the thought bubble above his head though. And it had lots of expletives. As did mine. I remained silent, refusing to speak first.
“Well, I’m sorry,” he finally said with a definitely not sorry tone, and then further canceled it out with “But she didn’t seem upset by it.” Hmmm, he’s a stubborn one.
Yeah, I get it doc. I’m an overreactive borderline hysterical mom and you’re just a cool know-it-all dentist. I left the office without saying anything else about it because I wanted to give myself a chance to calm down.
I fumed all the way home and started to question why I was so mad. People make mistakes. Hannah WAS fine with it. I COULD afford the paste. No harm was really done.
Oh. It was his shitty apology.
If, from the beginning, he had just said “Oh I’m sorry! That was totally my fault. I should have ….blah blah whatever” instead of digging his heels in defiantly, I could have been more understanding. Annoyed, but not enraged.
I don’t like it when people pretend to apologize, but don’t really apologize.
Top 3 least sincere apologies:
1. They say sorry, but with a tone (which they pretend is a figment of your imagination).
2.They say they’re “sorry you feel that way” i.e. You’re not supposed to be upset.
3. They say soooorrrryyyy! i.e. sorry you’re an oversensitive loser.
They might as well just say what they mean: Sorry, not sorry.
Have you ever given or been on the receiving end of an sham apology? Tell me about it in the comments below! (Doesn’t it look like that tooth is giving the middle finger in the photo above? Made me laugh to myself)
Photo by Tom Hilton

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