What a team!
I had spent the days leading up to the appointment in dread. Day to day, our 2- and 3- year-old kiddos are tough customers, at home and outside. The demanding, whining, screaming, and hissy fits are part and parcel of out lives as parents.
However, the people in this office--the receptionists, hygienist, and the maestro Dr. Kim--had a disarming effect on the two little bandits, and now I am already looking forward to our next visit. (Me. Looking forward to going to a dentist. What is wrong with me?)
When we walked into the office, the waiting room was swarming with kids and parents, and for a moment, I wanted to turn around and leave. But wait! The office itself is not just lively--it's quietly efficient. Both kids found plenty of toys to play with. Considering the number of people waiting, the wait was also surprisingly short. After I filled out the new-patient paperwork, we were called into the office within minutes.
The main area is large and has about 5 gurneys. This is the checkup and cleaning area, and no other dental procedures are performed here. The room is large and bright, and there are no separators. This is a good thing, because our kids (who get panicky whenever a doctor enters the room and closes the door behind him) could immediately see that nothing scary is going on and that all other kids are happily watching cartoons on the overhead TVs, blissfully unaware that their teeth are getting scrubbed.
Siana, our hygienist, was nice, gentle, and professional, and completed the cleaning so painlessly and quickly that the kids hardly noticed anything and had no reason nor inkling to resist or whine.
Dr. Kim has superb bedside manner, is gentle, thorough, and professional, and advised us on things we did not know, like the dangers of sticky foods and those friggin' fish crackers (not a direct quote). I suspect he is also encyclopediac when it comes to children's songs, because he promptly started to sing one the moment my 2yo girl began to stir on the gurney. That kept her calm for a while longer. (When she begins to stir, she's figured your game, and your time has pretty much run out!) He also apologized for making us wait, but I insist: the wait was short and painless.
At the end of the visit, the kids got a quarter each, to use in a little boxy vending machine full of cute little toys. Sweet touch, and the thought of the office staff buying a bag of toys at Costco, refilling the machine, and recycling quarters... made me giggle then and makes me giggle as I write this.
Clearly, the standards are very high here. After we were done, I realized that, like a line in front of a good restaurant, a doctor's office waiting room packed with (pediatric!) patients is, more likely than not, a good sign.