Take the Time to Find Out if a Practitioner Is a Good Match

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

August 17th, 2009 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

I seriously need some dental work done. Most significantly, I’ve got jaw pain and a moving tooth, as a result of my nightly tooth-grinding and jaw clenching; and I need a night guard ASAP to remedy the situation.

I cancelled a night guard procedure smack in the middle with my previous dentist, however, because I wasn’t feeling safe with her. And I’m taking the time to make sure the next dentist is the right one for me, before moving ahead. I have learned that unless it’s seriously an emergency, I absolutely have to dot my i’s and cross my t’s before working with a new person. Otherwise, it’s just too risky.

So first I did some research on the internet. I found a dentist who uses the wand (an alternative to a novocaine injection) and who has amazing ratings on Yelp. Here’s the letter I sent him, including links to some articles I feel will help him understand my situation and determine if on his end, he feels we’re a good match. Feel free to send the same articles, along with other pieces that might be similarly helpful, when you first approach a health care practitioner.

Hi Dr. M (do you prefer to be called this or to be called by your first name?),

I have a number of dental issues that need to be addressed – including three crowns, a deep dental cleaning in each quadrant of my mouth, and a nightguard. I was impressed with the reviews I saw about your practice, and I am interested in becoming a client.

I live with chronic pain and hypersensitivity, so it is critical that I find a dental practice where the practitioners are welcoming of and conscientious with special needs patients. I would appreciate your taking the time to reading some of my articles on chronic pain management (below) and letting me know if you think we’re a good match. Thanks in advance for your care and your time. 

  1. Drug Free Remedies for Chronic Pain (my cover story for AARP magazine)
  2. Proactive Massage (my chronic pain article for MASSAGE magazine)
  3. Beyond Kittens, Beyond Angels (NY TIMES profile of my chronic pain blog)
  4. Living with Chronic Pain (article from my blog)

Loolwa Khazzoom

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