Yesterday I went for a root canal. I wasn’t entirely sure what the process involved and somewhere in the past I had gotten it into my head that a root canal could possibly be quite unpleasant. However I have never really had much of a problem with going to the dentist or having work done on my teeth so I wasn’t worried (much), but I can imagine that others might not be so lucky.

I had been referred to a dentist that specialises in doing root canals, so this was my first visit to this dentist and he did a few things that showed he really empathised with his customer.

When I arrived one of the first things that the receptionist asked me to do was to pick a music CD from a list of 100, which seemed a little strange but I didn’t ask any questions.

What the dentist did when I entered his room really showed me that he empathised with people who had to undergo this (hour long) treatment. It included the following:

  1. He spent about 5 minutes explaining the procedure in detail with me, explaining what each step would entail and what the goals of each step were and answered any questions clearly.
  2. When he was giving me the injection to numb my mouth he gave me extra just to make sure - as my tooth had been causing me some pain before hand.
  3. And here’s the big one. As I couldn’t do anything for the hour I was there, except sit still, the music “CD” I’d chosen from the list turned out to actually be a music DVD which he played on a plasma screen on the ceiling directly above me.

How considerate is that? Now I couldn’t hear it all the time, but most of the time I could, and in any case it gave me something to help pass the time and to think about/concentrate on during the hour I couldn’t do or say anything. If I’d know that’s what the choice of music was for I’d have spent a little longer looking at the list.

I don’t know if other dentists do this, as I have been with my dentist my entire life, or if this one came up with it all by himself, but either way it shows that he empathised with the customer and their situation by doing a few small things that made the process easier for me (and in turn probably easier on him too).