Unbelievable Dentist!

Oh my, I’m still reeling from Sarah’s dentist app’t today. We go the student dental clinc at our local University, we started that years ago when we didn’t have benefits and we’ve just never switched. It’s a ton cheaper because you get worked on by dental students, but they are 4th year and there is always a real dentist in charge and they can’t do anything without getting everything checked by the dentist in charge. And they’ve always been super great till today.

Well today there was a paediatric dentist in charge of the students that I’ve never seen there before. So after Sarah went into the clinic with her student this dentist sent the student back to out to the waiting room to ask me for all of Sarah’s diabetes history. There isn’t much to tell, so I just said she wears a pump and when she was diagnosed and she even asked for Sarah’s latest A1C… weird. I did also say that it’s too bad that when Sarah goes low at night I’ll give her juice in her sleep - I know that the juice isn’t good for her teeth - but I think her life is more important and the girl doesn’t have any cavities, so it is what it is.

I didn’t mind giving the information, but later regretted it when the app’t was over and this doctor came out to me after in the waiting room afterwards . He stood there and told me that Sarah shouldn’t be having lows at night and that I shouldn’t have to give her juice. I was like, she’s a type 1 diabetic and this is part of the territory , but he insisted it shouldn’t be happening and and that I should tell my doctor and was even kind enough to tell me that pump settings could be changed!!! Oh… can they be changed? I had no idea!!! Jerk.

He was so ignorant to me! And then to handle it like this, without getting all his facts straight and in the waiting room too. Thankfully we were the last family there. Now, I guess in all fairness since I had told the student Sarah’s medical info and she was clueless about diabetes, he was under the impression that Sarah was having lows every night and was needing intervention every night. So basically he assumed I was a huge idiot. When I told him it might be once a month and he was like, “Oh OK” But told me I should wake her up and make her brush her teeth after. hahahahahahahahahahaha

Oh - and he had even asked the student what Sarah’s latest A1C was and so when she went back and told him, in front of Sarah he said it was too high… too high. Who is he to judge, he’s not our doctor, he’s our dentist!! Looking back I wish I hadn’t given them any info, but I had no idea it would turn out like that! I’m going to be calling the clinic first thing in the morning and making sure they know it wasn’t appropriate. I was too upset to do that today and I had my girls with me and we left just as the clinic closed.

I just needed to share here because you all know just how hard it is to manage this disease without jerks like this guy trying to fix us. He didn’t help at all, he just made us upset.

But I guess I’ve learned my lesson, keep the sharing of info to a minimum!!!


Medical professionals that don’t really know diabetes but act like they do frustrate me. I think you did well to keep your response limited. I think making a separate complaint about this issue is justified. He rushed to judgment without attempting to understand all the facts. He has no idea how much he doesn’t know about diabetes! You handled it well.

I, too, go to a dental school for my dental needs. I’m happy with the results even though I know it takes about three times as long a a private dentist.

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Your post made me laugh, but in a good way. I feel your pain!

I have learned over the years, there are doctors that need to know I am a diabetic, and those that don’t. And when I have my next visit with my Endo, I won’t need to discuss my root canal, either. :relaxed:


His ignorance is only equaled by his arrogance. My blood was boiling as I was reading your post:-)

I would love to call your clinic and tell them what I think of this ignorant ■■■ - I am jealous of the pleasure you will have in doing this tomorrow! This dentist reminds me of the doctors portrayed by Moliere in the 17th century.

@Eric2 is laughing about it! But it made me see red:-) If it had happened to us, I would have made a scene at the clinic, and my wife would have been horribly embarrassed! Although she delights in telling these stories after the fact - so I guess she must be enjoying these moments post facto…

Well, no. :slight_smile:
Just to clarify, what I said:

I wasn’t laughing at what happened to her, or her circumstances! What I was laughing at was what she said in her POST! This made me laugh:

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Well thanks everyone, just everyone’s acknowledgment that this guy was way out of line has made me feel better. And now I’m laughing at…

“His ignorance is only equaled by his arrogance.” Thanks WestofPecos, so true!

In those situations I’m just too darn nice, or I find myself getting emotional. When I called my husband he was angry and wanted to drive out there and give that guy a piece of his mind… but I’m going to call tomorrow and hopefully straighten this out.

Oh and the stupid also said that we would have to see our endo every three months until we lowered Sarah’s A1C, which is just hovering around the pediatric average for Canada. Clearly he doesn’t realize that in Canada we see the endo every three months till she’s 18 regardless of what her A1C is. This guy was misinformed, misguided and way too full of himself!

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That’s what I had understood:-) It was just a tease.

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Heh. I know how he feels. :slight_smile:


Thinking through this on somewhat of a tangent gives an important perspective I wanted to share. I really think it is harder for the parents than it is for the diabetics.

The diabetic has a bit of autonomy. We can deal with it, treat it, put forth the effort for the disease, which makes it easier to cope with. Every time I take insulin, I am doing something useful for my condition, and that helps me cope with it.

But the parent - I would imagine - has a much more challenging circumstance in watching their child have to cope with it. There is probably a feeling of helplessness that is very tough.

As an analogy, I can imagine that if someone said something insulting or negative to me, I would just ignore it. But if they said the same thing to my son, it would be fighting words.

And Michel, if you had those two situations, your responses would probably be the same as mine. You would have one response for yourself, and a different response for your son.

This post just made me reflect a bit on how parents have a challenge that the rest of us don’t. Respect.


This is very true. As a parent I feel powerless to help my son. I can only help mitigate his condition. My son is still a child, and I should make him whole but I can’t.

Totally true again.

The main problem, I think, for a parent, is that we see and feel the difficult physical and emotional challenge faced by a T1D - our child - yet we cannot experience it in their stead and relieve them of it. The more challenging, difficult, or painful, the more guilt we feel that we cannot take it on, and that we are compelled to let our own child assume the burden.

I can only imagine how much worse it is when your child faces not diabetes, but the imminent death associated with a fatal disease. Parenthood is full of joys but also of great pain.

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Ignorant people are not very cool to deal with.
I have been going to the same dentist all my life, and until recently thought very highly of him. He is very gentle and did an awesome job with my wisdom teeth extraction, my entire family loves him.
but then, at my last routine checkup, he saw my dexcom sensor (he knows i have diabetes) and kinda asked me about, and i explained. We went on in our conversation about my diabetes and how i could basically eat whenever whatever if i bolused accordingly. His response to it made me literally speechless:
He found it unbeliavable that i was “just eating whatever and letting the beta cells die”. Paraphrasing, but that was his opinion. I was like what the heck?!?
So he basically assumed that as a T1 i would be able to keep my beta cells alive for longer if i ate low carb and didnt take insulin.
My response was, that the beta cells were already dead (after 12 years of T1 one could assume so) and that my treatment was about conserving my qualitiy of life and not my beta cells.
I was pretty shocked that he could still think this :cold_sweat: he was until then very respected by me, and i thought that a person in the medical field should at least understand the differences between T1 and T2 and even there he had some huge misconcepts, but oh well.


For me the ignorance is less of a problem than the attitude. I don’t expect all medical people to be experts in everything and there are lots of chronic conditions out there. It’s ok not to know the particulars, and ok to ask. Rather it’s this I Am A Medical Person And Therefore An Authority In All Things Medical pose that makes the ignorance a problem.

Maybe it’s just because I am a T1, but my impression is that this kind thing is more likely to happen with diabetes than other diseases. It’s not just doctors–everybody seems to think they know something you don’t when it comes to this disease, probably because of the increasing media coverage it has been getting these last decades, and some (emphasizing that qualifier) medicos figure they better know more than everybody else does, and they want you to know about it.

I also suspect you’re more likely to be the recipient of one of these helpful little lectures if you’re of the female persuasion. Kind of an analog of mansplaining, only not necessarily by a man. Dentisplaining?


YES. As a parent of a child with a different, but also life-threatening disorder I’ve been saying that exact thing here on TUD and elsewhere for some time. Your very DNA tells you that your kid’s well-being is your greatest responsibility and every tick of the CGM up or down can become weighted with “I am a good parent/I am a BAD parent!” feelings that, as patients, we don’t have to deal with in the same way at all. Especially acute with the very young kids who can’t do any of this stuff for themselves, and especially acute early on before the elusiveness of perfect control becomes something you force yourself to accept.

This is why it’s MUCH more obnoxious to hear the kind of criticism the OP is talking about from someone who is NOT an expert. On the whole, specialists are much better about managing this aspect of the disease with the parents because there’s a real danger of burnout, and a decent pediatric endo is going to be aware of that in a way that this self-appointed “expert” is oblivious to. [ETA: in other words I don’t your comment is a “tangent” at all!]


Yes yes yes! This is a huge part of the mommy guilt that I carry around with me, when her numbers are bad that equals to me being a bad mom and not taking care of her well enough.

And what is sticking with me really is this guy’s attitude. If he had been super kind and come out and asked me a few questions and then followed that up with some insight this post wouldn’t exist. It was the total arrogance that made him think that some stupid mother is out in that waiting room and I’m going to go fix her! :slight_smile:


As patients we have the “Bad diabetic! Bad!” syndrome to deal with occasionally too, but that’s a much milder guilt than the one you lay on yourself as the caregiver for someone else, especially when the someone else is your kid. That’s a pretty sensitive minefield for anyone to go waltzing into. Even your pediatrician or endo, who have the responsibility to go there, know to tread lightly if they’re good at their job. Someone who has only the most tangential role in your child’s overall health has no business going there at all without a lot more trust and permission than this bozo.

It’s not a total non sequitur–my endo always asks if I have regular dental care and my dentist sometimes asks how my control is going, because BG levels can figure into dental problems like gum disease. So I can see some legitimacy to a dentist advising a parent of a T1 kid on ways the disease might impinge on dental care. But that’s IT. If my dentist started going into detail about my damn basal settings or how and when I treat hypos I’d ask him to kindly stick to things he’s paid to actually know something about. That would be after checking to make sure I hadn’t accidentally wandered into a Twilight Zone episode of course.


When someone who clearly lacks the credentials to issue instructions about diabetes management insists on doing it anyway, I usually ask them to remind me which medical school they graduated from.

I’d have just said “I’ll leave that for the expert, my Endo, thanks for the opinion though.” and walked out.

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I wish I would have said that! But he had me trapped. I said at one point, “I’m not going to argue with you” and turned to the student dentist that was sitting beside me, but he kept persisting. And like DrBB said, I felt like I had wandered into a episode of the Twilight Zone and was in shock!!

I called the dental clinic this morning and am going to get in touch with the Chair of the clinic. Apparently the rude/arrogant dentist has a private practice here in my city! When I looked up reviews on him someone had written that he is the most rude arrogant dentist they have ever met! I’m not surprised!


Shades of Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors . . . .

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