This is going to sound like the most ridiculous story ever, but I bit the emergency dentist I saw last week. I don’t even know how or why it happened. He had just finished doing a root canal for me and had his finger in my mouth doing something. I have no idea what. Then, all of a sudden, I shut my mouth. Only, I didn’t really feel it right away. I saw him jump and watched him try to move away, but it took me ages to connect the dots and realize he was trying to get away because I was hurting him. I feel terrible. I told him sorry a million times, but it doesn’t feel like it was enough. I mean, I really chomped down on him. I feel certain I left tooth marks on the poor guy. I know I will probably go down in history and forever be “the woman who bit the emergency dentist” to everyone in that office, and there’s probably nothing I can do about that, but how do I make things right with him? Should I let it go and hope he forgets? Should I write him a letter of apology? Should I make a joke of it and send the office some finger food? He’s supposed to do a crown for me in a couple of weeks and I just don’t know if I can go back.
Odds are, you had your mouth open for a really super insanely long time during the procedure, yes? That can be really difficult on your jaw and the muscles on its own. Plus, you were probably still numb. Closing your mouth may have been an involuntary reaction. Or, if the dentist used a prop or bite block during the procedure, it’s possible you had some mouth memory going on, where you remembered having something in your mouth to rest your teeth on, and you closed expecting to find that rest there. With those things in mind, it’s not really surprising you bit him. People do it all the time when they have jaw fatigue, if they misunderstand instructions, or even if something spooks them in the chair. Most doctors learn this very early on, and they don’t make the same mistake twice!
If it was unintentional, and the emergency dentist knows this, and you’ve already apologized, consider the slate clean. If your doctor has a good sense of humor, no doubt the finger food or even a sympathy card or something silly would be well received. However, it’s really not necessary. Getting bitten is an unfortunate hazard of the job, and as long as you aren’t intentionally malicious, you’re in the clear.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin emergency dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.