“I think my dentist was speaking Latin.”

The dentist walked into the room, said a quick hello without making any eye contact, and immediately focused on the patient’s x-rays.  With no abnormalities found, he then spun around towards the patient and said,  

“Let’s bring you back now and take a look.”

As he was quickly scanning her oral cavity, the patient pointed towards the upper right part of her mouth and said, 

“It feels like I have a chip or something on this tooth.”  

The dentist took a closer look at the tooth and responded with what sounded like a mixture of modern English and little bit of Latin from the Middle Ages.

“You have a small fracture on the lingual cusp of number three.”  

The patient seemed confused, but still responded with a, “Got ya”.  The dentist got up and bolted to his next patient.  

The hygienist, who was taking notes the whole time, leaned towards the patient at this point and said, 

“I’m going to interpret everything he just said.”  

She breathed a sigh of relief as she exhaled the words, “Thank you.  I had no idea what he was saying.”         

Dental professionals sometimes forget that we speak a different language.  We are all guilty of using “big words” at the wrong time at some point in our careers.  

Clear communication and understanding between you and your dentist is a key component to having a long term, trusting relationship.  And more often than not, part of that communication is the need to use plain language. 

Yes, technically, dental jargon is English, but for patients, it might as well be French.  Well…unless they happen to speak French and then my analogy breaks down, but you get what I’m saying!

If you’re currently looking for a compassionate dentist who will speak to you in clear, plain language, go see Dr. Mark Turner and his team on 129 High St. in Taunton, MA.  They’ll be glad to hear from you and are ready to answer all your questions.

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