I don't normally write things like this, but I thought I'd take a stand:
Dear Dr. M:
We have been coming to your office for some time now; I’m sure you’ll remember us. I’m the one who always has to tell you how my cute brother in law is doing in dental school. Anyway, thank you so much for taking care of our oral hygiene needs! We’ve always enjoyed your skilled staff and the services you all provide.
I wanted to write and bring up a concern that I’ve had on this visit and on the last. Specifically, last week, when I walked into your office with my three kids, right within our view was a inappropriate picture of a woman on a magazine. I picked it up before the kids could see it, intending to flip it over. In the meantime, the lady at the desk needed me to update some paperwork, so I took the magazine with me and flipped it at the counter. To my astonishment, an even more scantily clad lady was on the other side! Not knowing what to do with the magazine, I handed it to the gal at the desk and told her to something with it.
Across the room I also noticed magazines that I didn’t want my kids to go near, so I kept them close. I know you’re a family guy and run a family-oriented dental business, so I hope you can do something with the magazines, thus making it a more comfortable place for us all to come.
Thank you again for your service and hope to see you in the future!
1/13/11 Update: I went in for my dental cleaning today. I noticed ALL the objectionable magazines were GONE. I hadn't sent my letter yet for two reasons. One, I thought I'd see what would happen between the kids' appointment and mine; and two, honestly, if I sent the letter when I wrote it, the dentist would have gotten it before my appointment. I didn't want to feel awkward at my cleaning. Anyway, I did mention the situation to the dentist about the magazines being gone. He said he hadn't even been aware they were there since he rarely even goes in the waiting room. Sometimes they also get the magazines just sent to them from the publishers. He's seen similar situations in other offices, and the dentists just don't know the magazines are there. He said please let them know if there are questionable magazines in the waiting area because he doesn't want them there either. I knew our community had a higher community standard! And... thanks to the desk gals who just took care of the problem!