High-Tech Dental Robot Encourages Better Dentistry

Meet the Dental Patient of the Future

Simroid, Simulated Dental Patient

Having a hard time finding volunteers who’ll let you practice brand-new dental techniques on them? What you need is a robotic dental patient! The 2007 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo saw the introduction of Simroid, a humanlike robot that reacts to dental pain in a humanlike manner.

There’s impressive technology behind Simroid. She can follow instructions, sense tooth pain, gag and say, “That hurts!” The goal of this high-tech robot is not just to improve dentists’ technical skills, but also their chairside manner.

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Patients’ Funniest Excuses

Classic Patient Excuses for Missing Dentist Appointments

We did a survey asking dentists about the funniest excuses they’ve heard from patients for missing appointments. The clear winner was the toothache defense: “My tooth hurts too bad to get out of bed.”

Other highlights include, “My windshield wipers aren’t working and it might rain,” “I had to go shopping for my daughter’s bat mitzvah dress,” and “I went a movie instead.”

Here were a few more classics from dentists:

  • “A model doing a photo shoot said she was bitten by a lion. A cop was involved in a shoot out.” (New York endodontist)
  • “The patient was in jail!” (Virginia dental office worker)
  • “One patient wanted to know if his insurance would cover the broken appointment fee!” (General dentist)
  • “We always document patients’ excuses when missing an appointment. Sometimes the same grandparent passes away unexpectedly two or three times in the same year!!” (Texas dentist)
  • “‘I have a hangnail.’ Also, ‘My dog has diarrhea.'” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “‘The goats got loose!'” (Maryland pediatric dentist)
  • “‘My dog ate my appointment card.'” (Arizona dentist)

Have more excuses to share? Post them here! Plus, check out the full results

Patients Lie to Dentists All the Time

Trust Their Teeth, Not Their Words

Dentists, you’ll be shocked by this breaking news: your patients might be lying to you!

A poll of 1,000 Americans (commissioned by Philips Sonicare) found that over 40% of adults admit to lying to their dentists, claiming that they always brushed for the recommended time. In addition, 25% said they lie about how frequently they floss.

And if those numbers seem high, keep in mind that they’re actually a lot higher. It’s a reasonable assumption that some liars lie about lying…

So why do patients lie? To avoid the disapproval of authority figures. To avoid embarrassment. To look better. To not get in trouble. To make the dentist like them.

In addition, the poll found that patients frequently lie to receptionists about why they’re cancelling their appointment.

Significantly, it also found that many patients often do not tell their dentists about other serious health problems they may have.

In the end, dental health care practitioners shouldn’t rely too much on the honesty of their patients’ responses. However, by focusing on building healthy relationships with patients, doctors can improve both the oral health of their patients and their dental practice’s bottom line.

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