Being the dental ninja, I keep a close eye on any news stories relevant to dentistry. Some of the more interesting or amusing stories I pass along to you, the reader. However, there are many news items I pass over simply because they are frustrating for me as a dental professional. These stories usually involve my colleagues who break and abuse the trust their patients have given them.
Take this pervert or this cheapskate, for example. It seems like once or twice each month another dentist is getting our profession the wrong kind of publicity. Occasionally I skim through the comments posted online in reaction to these stories. A few that stick out to me are one man claiming dentists are no better than used car salesmen and that money is the only topic discussed in continuing education meetings. Other comments have offered dental advice, claiming that if a tooth needs a root canal you might as well pull it because those never work! After reading enough of these you'd get the feeling that the public doesn't trust dentists as much as they used to.
Today I found a bit of reassuring news from the Baltimore Sun citing a poll done by Angie's List - a website that compiles consumer reviews of service companies. The poll showed that 80% of responders had a high level of trust in their dentists. Also interesting was that 25% admitted they don't follow their dentists directions and 30% admitted to lying to their dentist. (Guess what? We know.)
While 80% is not as high as I'd like to see, it's not too shabby, especially if you consider the segment of the population who don't trust anyone!