Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Improved Taste and Less Filling FORBA, I Think Not

Here is a story of how things went in a Small Smiles office just yesterday, February 3, 2010. The child's name was changed for obvious reasons:

This morning the kids and I headed to the Small Smiles dental clinic for Katie's first ever dental visit. We had read some dentist-type books and almost every mom I talked to (or that commented on FB) reassured me of what would happen on the first visit. According to them, the first visit would be a simple tooth-counting and comfort-building chair sitting experience for Katie. And of course a brand new toothbrush to culminate the event. Sounded pretty non-threatening and even sort of fun!

This morning at breakfast, I was giving Katie the expectation run-down again so she'd know exactly what would happen. Katie is a sweetie but she is a girl that doesn't roll with the unexpected well. She needs time to feel comfortable and letting her know exactly what will happen seems to ease her fears.

Anyways, Katie was excited about the dentist visit and said animatedly, "I sure hope I get a new princess toothbrush at the dentist!" She even dressed up her favorite teddy bear in baby clothes and brought him along for the occasion.

As soon as we walked into the clinic door, I had a foreboding feeling. The lobby was VERY crowded and felt more like a daycare center than the comforting low-key lobby experience I had envisioned. Nonetheless, the kiddos settled in to play while I filled out the paperwork. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more! It was 45 minutes before Katie's name was called.

After a brief introduction, the dental hygienist took us back and instead of asking us anything curtly stated she would start by taking x-rays of Katie's mouth. Sphincter say what?!? I tried not to let my hyper-mommy-alarm bells go crazy and decided instead to go with the flow and see how Katie did. My girl was all smiles until the hygienist shoved the x-ray slide into her mouth. And then Katie lost it -- with good reason too. The hygienist did NOT prepare Katie for what was happening and I tried my best to comfort her from out in the hallway. Needless to say, the x-ray photography session did not happen. Katie kept crying and was obviously scared.

The WORST part was the hygienist's impatience and obvious frustration with Katie's meltdown. She just kept telling Katie to stop crying and to be a good girl or she wouldn't get a toy. Hello?!? What 4 year old is going to stop crying on a dime for a stranger who is doing foreign things and is telling her she's not being good? I was starting to get seriously ticked off. I asked the hygienist to stop and that we'd have to do the x-rays on our next visit.

Moving on, the hygienist brought us to a huge room with about 8 dental chairs all filled with kiddos having various procedures done. Again, the mommy-alarm-bells started ringing like crazy. Talk about a distracting, loud and scary place! Katie, unnerved and whimpering by this point, was not trusting this hygienist chic. It didn't help that the lady lowered Katie in the dentist chair without warning. Katie's tears started again (and so did my tears - I hated seeing my baby girl fall apart) and I quickly saw that wisest course of action was to split. I told the hygienist we were going home and we'd reschedule.

UGH. What a yucky experience! I truly think the worst part of it was the hygienist's use of bribery and her scolding impatient manner. I spent the entire ride home reassuring Katie that I was not mad at her and she was not "bad" for being scared. I think it was perfectly natural and reasonable for Katie to be frightened given the circumstances.

We will NOT be going back to that crazy clinic again. We're taking my little girl's teeth elsewhere!

What have your kids' dental experiences been like?

FORBA has promised before to get it's act together and has failed each time. FORBA has known they were being looked at by Federal and State agencies since 2007 at the minimum. Here it is, 2010 and there are still complaints. Most of the complaints on this website and all the video reports have been since 2007.

Now we have FORBA Holding, (referred to as New FORBA in the legal proceeding filed last week) suing FORBA (referred to as Old FORBA in the legal proceedings), and all I want is one of two things:

1. Their doors locked shut


2. A much friendlier, improved taste and less filling FORBA!

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