Would You Tolerate These Behaviours In YOUR Dental Office?

It seems in today’s day and age I’m hearing more and more stories, true stories, about staff and team members in Dental Offices with the most bazaar and recalcitrant attitudes.

Why is that?

Is anybody else hearing these sorts of tales?

Here are three more crack up stories from my vault…

Story #1.

Heard a tale this week about an endodontist’s wife who worked as his Practice Manager and Front Office Person.

Actually, it was two tales from two different referring Dentists about the same woman.

Now the endodontist is renowned for his exceptional skills and his work. Period.

In the first part of this story, a referring Dentist’s wife attended the endodontist for treatment. At the end of the appointment, embarrassingly, the patient had only brought her American Express card with her, and the Endodontist’ Office did not accept American Express.

No big deal, thought the patient. Patient said, “When I get home this afternoon, I’ll phone in with my Visa Card number to settle for the account.”

Problem solved.

Or was it?

Less than thirty minutes after leaving the Sydney CBD office, the patient received a follow up phone call from the Endodontist’s wife to chase up the payment.

From the wife of a referring dentist?





Second story from another Dentist about this same Wife of the Endodontist.

Seems that another specialist referred a “difficult” patient, with a few issues, to the Endodontist.

And apparently the patient was “difficult”, at his appointment.

So the wife of the Endodontist gets on the phone to the referring Dentist and screams down the handset into the ear of the referring specialist an expletive laden exclamation of “Why the #$%@ did you send us that patient?”

All I can say is that life must be good at that Endodontic Office if they can happily deal with referring Dentists in such a bad, bad way….

Story #2.

True story.

New arrival wonder employee shows up at the front office of a Dental Office and within days has improved New Patient numbers, reactivations and appointment book layout. And office production.

Figures for first month there are up, across the board.

Then this.

New wonder employee hands in her resignation.

After three weeks.

Accepted a new job and wants to finish up in two weeks.

Digging deep, the Owner Dentist finds out from new Wonder Girl that long-term office manager is not allowing new Wonder Girl to perform her magic.

New wonder girl has a long list of examples, including:

  • Long-term office manager likes to leave early, so practice never has an afternoon of patients. Like, never.
  •  Long-term office manager wont let new wonder girl do treatment plan presentations to patient. Rather, Office Manager hoards these presentations and “takes them over”…

And so on….

As expected, New Wonder Girl says she will think about not quitting if Long Term Office Manager is fired.

Heard this one before?

Yes. Sometimes employees do check out mentally, some time before the end their employment. Or before their employment is ended.

And there’s a history of other employees who have left, in frustration, because they had difficulty with working with Long Term Office Manager.

And yes. We’ve seen it in other parts of our own office. Employees get comfortable.

And protect that comfort level.

Often to the detriment of the Dental Practice….

So what would you do?

Well it seems that in this case, the Owner Dentist had an Ah-Ha Moment….

The Owner Dentist identified the traits of a *Covert Hostile*.

And within twenty four hours, the Owner Dentist had interviewed ALL other team members, and suddenly had a little bit more truth to the matter.

As is consistent with a Covert Hostile person, there was serious behind the scenes white-anting activity going on.

And so, with expert precision, the Owner Dentist accepted the resignation of New Wonder Girl a.k.a. Covert Hostile, and the rest of the team breathed a sigh of relief.

As did the Owner…

I must take my hat off to the Owner. I commend her on her ability to identify and surgically remove this *Bad Apple* so quickly, and with such precision.

Would you have?

Story #3.

Saving the best for last…

Do you remember the story a few weeks back about the hygienist who booked her own travel without requesting leave?

And then resigned?

And re-arranged the appointment book to suit her social life…

Well it seems she now has started sending abusive emails to the practice she just left.

Seems the Doctor was introducing the temporary Hygienist to a patient and extolling the new hygienist’s work ethic. And some how word travelled across town very quickly to the departed hygienist.

In Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds said:

“What’s behind ya’s behind ya.”

And though Burt was talking about time, and highway road travel, in all these cases, these less than ideal behaviours are occurring behind the dentist’s back.


While the poor old dentist works diligently on patients, team members are not behaving in the best interests of the business.

There’s no reason for a Dental Office to tolerate these sorts of employees.

Every employee is replaceable.

And behaviours outside of company culture and policy, along with common courtesy, need to be addressed.


Correct hiring is one of the many modules that comprise The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at david@theupe.com

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