In-Chair Texting's a Problem, Say Dentists

46 percent of dentists say in-chair messaging is disruptive

By Steve Bryant
|  Thursday, Aug 27, 2009  |  Updated 4:00 AM PDT
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Chicago dentists say texting during treatment's a problem.

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Four out of five dentists agree, text messaging during treatment's a bad idea.

That's according to a survey by the Chicago Dental Society, whose tooth jockeys says patients are all too likely to sit through a cleaning session with thumbs a-blazin'.

“Many times the patient sits up during treatment to answer a call or text,” said one mouth doc.

"One young patient of mine had to interrupt me when his phone was buzzing in his pocket,” said another.

The survey, conducted over two weeks in July among the Society's almost 200 Facebook fans, reports that 46 percent of dentists say in-chair messaging hampers their ability to provide care.

But surprise -- kids are apparently less disruptive texters than adults.

One dentist from Northside said her teen patients are so accomplished at texting, they don't even look down at their keypads during treatment.

Still, almost a third of the dentists say they have an explicit policy advising patients against SMSing -- but to no avail.

“We have signs up in the waiting room and directly in front of where the patient sits stating that they need to turn off their phones but most simply ignore them,” said one respondent.

Even holy men.

Niles dentist Alice Boghosian says one of her patients, a member of the clergy, once answered his phone several times during treament.

Guess you could say he received his calling.

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