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Why Are So Many Dentists Such Con Artists?


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About seven or eight years ago I read this article about a guy who traveled the country and had about 40-50 dentists examine him and offer treatment plans. Before he went, he had a panel of dentists from a dental school give their recommendations. The treatment plans from the dentists he visited while undercover varied from 2-3 fillings (from a dental student) to removing most of his teeth and getting implants or something. I think the average treatment plan suggested about 10-12 fillings and/or crowns.

When we were looking for a new dentist around this time I took my son to three different dentists. One said he needed 4 crowns plus 3-4 fillings (I can't remember the exact number), another said 8 crowns plus about 4 fillings, and the third said 2 crowns plus 2 fillings. I chose the third dentist. Unfortunately she moved a few years ago, and I'd like to find a closer dentist anyway.

In June I had x-rays taken and one of the new dentists at the practice recommended 3 fillings. I could see one cavity on the x-ray, but the other two didn't look like anything to me. I had a consult at a closer practice today (using the same x-rays) that two people had recommended to me because I wanted a second opinion. That dentist wanted to do the same 3 fillings, plus 3 more, plus a crown. She also claimed I have two fractured teeth. (I think these supposed fractures are part of the suggested fillings.) She also really wanted to do a panoramic x-ray to look for infected roots and to examine the one wisdom tooth I have. It seemed like she was inclined to remove it, although my regular dentist said it's fine to leave unless it starts to annoy me.

Anyway, all this is to say I hate looking for dentists. It seems like either a bunch of them are liars and/or there is a big philosophical difference about when to drill. I asked me previous dentist about it once, and she appeared to be trying to find a diplomatic way to state that she is more conservative about drilling and that others want to drill everything that looks like a pre-cavity just in case it turns into a cavity.

In contrast, I found looking for an orthodontist recently to be very straightforward because I could easily see which teeth need to be fixed. I took DS to three and their suggested treatment plan was about the same for each.

 

<end of rant>

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I don’t know why this is but I am equally irritated. For many years I had a *wonderful*, older, conservative dentist who did practice half time and taught dental school the other half. (He was also writing a book.) But he retired from practice about five years ago, to focus on the book and just teaching. 
 

I have mostly avoided going to the dentist and taking my kids because I *know* there will be at least a few cavities, especially since none of us went during covid. So now I finally went and what do you think? Three fillings and a crown. 🤨

I have many tales like this from before I found the good dentist who retired. It’s maddening. 
 

My dh always uses the dental school because it is a substantial savings. I’m just snobby about that because I don’t want to drive down to the city and it takes twice as long for procedures because the student presents a plan and the professor has to approve it. 
 

I also just don’t know how to find someone who is conservative about drilling…like, it’s not a specific, verifiable thing you can ask. 

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I’ve had good luck with word of mouth and google reviews. There’s still a difference between those who prefer preventative treatment and those who don’t do anything until there’s an obvious cavity or pain, but IME they tell you what they want to do now and what can wait a year or two. 

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I have gotten those kinds of large cost recommendations in years when I didn't have dental insurance. When I go in with dental insurance I rarely get anything more than, "floss regularly and we'll see you in 6 months" It has made me wonder if likelihood of payment plays in.

In the past I have had a lot of good responses to me saying that I don't want anything filled, I just want to see if the cavities progress over the next 6 months. As a result, I have 2 spots on molars that have been there without significant progression for about 20 years. 

It is a tough, frustrating search, though.

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I have experienced this too. It's hard to find a good, trustworthy dentist!

I took one of my kids to a pediatric dentist when she was 3 after she fell and damaged a tooth. After the initial damage was corrected, he wanted to see her every 6 months. So I took her in and he told me she had 8 cavities he wanted to treat. I said no, waited 6 more months and took her to our family dentist who told me she had no cavities. When I told him what the other dentist said he told me that she probably had spots on her teeth that might become cavities, but he didn't like to treat baby teeth unless they were causing pain or bad enough that they would become painful before they would fall out on their own. She ended up needing 1 filling a couple years ago and has 1 tooth they are watching, but are pretty sure she will loose soon.

All that to say, I think some dentists want to fix everything, whether due to greed or just wanting perfection, while others seem to take a more wait and see approach. I prefer the latter. 

I love our dentist, but he is older and will probably retire soon. I dread looking for a new one.

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Let me say this first my mom was religious about bring us to the dentist every 6 months from the age of 4 and I never stopped getting at least 1 X-Ray/cleaning exam in over 40 years so I found  it quite comical when a new dentist found 8 cavities and the assistant told me "I've been doing this for 15 years". When I questioned her assessment.  She's the only dental assistant who EVER said I had a cavity 40+ years.   We as a family never went back there.  Even the dentist I had for over 20 years never found a cavity.     Don't quite get dentists?  My 20+ year dentist retired😢 and I didn't like the lady who took over his practice we have since found who seems like a good dentist very close to where we live.  So far so good with initial visits and 6 month checks ups.    Hope you find someone trust worthy soon.

Edited by lynn
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35 minutes ago, SusanC said:

I have gotten those kinds of large cost recommendations in years when I didn't have dental insurance. When I go in with dental insurance I rarely get anything more than, "floss regularly and we'll see you in 6 months" It has made me wonder if likelihood of payment plays in.

I've never had dental insurance, so I have no experience with this. In fact, I think my current dental practice is out of network with most insurance.

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47 minutes ago, Quill said:

I also just don’t know how to find someone who is conservative about drilling…like, it’s not a specific, verifiable thing you can ask. 

I wonder if the magic question is something like, "What can patients do to remineralize their teeth?" I would guess that a drill-happy dentist would claim that doesn't happen. The previous owner of our current dental practice recommended we have the kids use MI Paste to try to remineralize areas that were pre-cavities. The current owner still sells it, but hasn't mentioned it. In any case, we thought spending $25 to to "heal" the teeth was worth a try.

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39 minutes ago, SusanC said:

As a result, I have 2 spots on molars that have been there without significant progression for about 20 years. 

In my mid-twenties my 4th wisdom tooth came in. My dentist at the time wanted to pull it because he thought it would give me trouble and be hard to brush properly. I mentioned it to my dad and he said he had a dentist recommend pulling a wisdom tooth for similar reasons. (It was not impacted or damaging other teeth.) My dad decided to ignore the advice and didn't end up really needing to have it pulled for another 30 years! I decided I would leave it as long as the tooth is healthy and it hasn't gotten any cavities so far.

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SAME! Years ago a dentist claimed each of my kids had 6-7 cavities each that needed to be filled right away. Some of these were on baby teeth!

Thankfully we got a second opinion from a dentist from the "wait and see" school of dentistry. I love him and his approach so much! 

I think the catch phrases to look out for are "innovative," "state-of-the-art," and "luxury waiting room with video arcade and television sets at each seat." Someone has to pay for those office amenities!

The words my dentist uses that I appreciate are "conservative approach" and, as I said, "wait and see" (unless it's bothersome, of course).

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Never had that experience.  We have a great dentist.  The kids and I go and the only person who has had one cavity is me.  I think it was under a filling and I hadn't been in years (even before covid).  I just took all the kids as we didn't go since covid started so almost 2 years.  No cavities for anyone.  She is a wait and see approach on some things.  But also lets us know when there are serious issues that have to get addressed.

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My dentist,  fortunately,  seems to be great and hasn't pushed anything. 

Dd's dentist is pushing her to have her wisdom teeth removed because it's easier now that they aren't deeply rooted, just in case they might perhaps cause a problem in the undetermined future. She's in a big city, and the price the dentist quoted her is about twice what it would cost here at home.

I told her she could assess whether this is truly necessary by telling the dentist that she can't afford his rates at the moment, and would he think it's so urgent that she should have the surgery at her parent's town?

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I had the same dentist for almost 30 years until we moved here.  The first one I tried in Tulsa told me I needed a crown.  That was 9 years ago and I still haven't had a crown.  I do like the small town dentist we are using now.  Seems pretty conservative.  And his wife works the front office....she is VERY hands on.....she texts me for appointment reminders....and twice we have contacted her after hours about serious tooth pain and she helped us both times.  Such good customer service.  

Ds21 has never had a cavity.  I took him faithfully every 6 months from age 3 on.  He hasn't been since he got married almost 2 years ago.  If he finds a dentist who suddenly thinks he has cavities I will be very suspicious.  

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I’ve never had a dentist who was a con artist. Different treatment plans can be because different dentists have different treatment philosophies, some very laid back, others more proactive. I’d recommend going to a dentist that gets glowing reviews from friends and who has excellent credentials. I try to choose dentists who also hold teaching positions at excellent dental schools. 

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When we were first married, I ended up with a filling nearly every dental visit over 2 years. They were my first ever fillings. I didn't question it, but I did wonder about the water. We moved and I was never told I had a filling again. We lived there for 11 years. At one point I asked the dentist and he told me that some dentists fill areas that other dentists don't. Sometimes anything that "catches" is filled. He basically said it dentists vary on their treatment based on their training. He didn't imply they were con artists. He did mention some dental schools teach different approaches. 

We moved again. And...my first visit to a new dentist I was told I had a cavity. I told him I wanted to wait and see. He pushed back at me pretty aggressively (given I'm an adult making my choice for my self)--and I told him the above. He took as an insult of course--and asked if I was calling him a liar--it was awkward. For a while I kept driving back to my old hometown to see the dentist I trusted. When he retired, I went back to practice with the dentist who told me I had a cavity. Every time he would tell me I had a cavity in that tooth. I would tell him I'm waiting. It's been 12 years. So that "soft spot" was not a cavity. He did fill a "crack," and I regret letting him do that. Because I don't fully trust him. I should have got a second opinion maybe. 

I really think dentistry is subjective. Some dentists really think you should fill any potential problem before it gets worse--causing you to do more extensive work. 

I'll add--I drive 1.5 hours to take my kids to a pediatric dentist who is conservative in treatment. I'd like to be closer, but just don't know who to trust. He told us last appointment that one of my kids has a couple of surface "pre-cavities," and suggested he make sure he's brushing well and using a fluoride rinse. We'll see what they are doing next appointment. I love that kind of approach. I wish I could find it closer. 

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Yeah, after a lifetime of zero cavities, we moved, and our new dentist told me I had eight cavities.  I didn't go back after they "filled" the first four, and I have yet to have any other dentist think they existed.  

At our dental practice, we have two different dentists who have different standards for what needs to be filled.  One is far more conservative than the other, who does a "watch and wait" approach.  I have one spot that he's been watching and waiting and has not had any change in 8 years, but it does look slightly funky on the x-ray, so I don't think the first dentist is a scammer, just has a different philosophy.  

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I've only had one dentist who was pushy.  On my first visit, he told me I needed four crowns.  Before I had them done, dh visited him and had similar recommendations.  We happened to talk with friends who had been told the same thing, so we questioned it and went to another dentist the next time.  That dentist said I needed to have one filling redone and that the crowns might be needed down the road, but there wasn't any reason to rush into them.  Eventually, all those teeth did need to be crowned, but gradually over about 15 years, and not for at least 5 years after the initial recommendation.  

Another option besides MI Paste is Theodent toothpaste.  The claim is that it remineralizes teeth without using fluoride.  One of mine started using it around age 15 when they said there was a soft spot, which they expected to need to fill the next visit; after dc used the Theodent, they never mentioned filling that tooth again. 

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7 hours ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

I've never had dental insurance, so I have no experience with this. In fact, I think my current dental practice is out of network with most insurance.

Same. No dental insurance. I do have an “in-house” dental plan though with the lukewarm dentist I have. It makes it slightly cheaper to have the two cleanings per year and expensive procedures are discounted. 

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I was told recently that the accepted dental protocol in the Sixties and Seventies in the UK was that every blemish was drilled and filled. I had a filling at almost every visit and really dread what will happen as all those fillings fail.

My UK dentist these days is conservative. In Hong Kong I had a conservative New Zealand trained dentist after leaving an aggressive US trained one.

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My dental complaint is that the pediatric dentist only uses “the highest quality” which the insurance doesn’t cover. I ended up paying several hundred dollars because the white fillings weren’t covered by insurance in baby teeth. Teeny tiny cavities, as in, not visible to the eye but only seen the high powered optical. Silver would have been fine considering they’ll be falling out a year later. 
 

They also drop little quips like “he has a lot of staining” and “I can see he eats gummies.” LOL He eats like a dozen things, gummies aren’t on the list lady. 

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I don’t know, but I have the same story- 30 years ago a new Dentist told me I’d need 8 new fillings. And two teeth were ready to crack, so be very careful what I ate before I could get the work done. Luckily, something happened and I had to switch dentists before I could get the work done. No cavities, no new cavities still 30 years later. Had to get one filling replaced and two crowns on very old fillings that cracked, but definitely not the teeth he warned me about. 

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My

43 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Interesting that one of the examples this article cites is the routine removal of wisdom teeth. I only have (had) two wisdom teeth, and my dentist, who is not particularly aggressive, told me at every visit for 20 years that I should have them removed. I finally had problems with one on a Saturday morning when I was nearly 50, so I had it removed Tuesday morning.  Removal was a piece of cake. I drove myself to and from the appointment, went through the Starbucks drive-through on the way home, and carried on with my day as if nothing had happened. I was recently cleaning out some files and came across my receipt--it cost me about $300. Compare that to the experiences I see my kids' friends have, with general anesthesia and massive pain and swelling and four-figure bills? I am pretty sure I made the right call.

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I had a pediatric dentist once recommend that we put my son under general anesthesia to drill and fill a cavity in a baby tooth.  It was ridiculous. I told them we needed to think about it.  They baby tooth fell out and the adult tooth was fine.  We never went back even though my son liked the grape flavored gloves, prizes, and menu for fluoride flavors.  Never mind that he has muscular dystrophy and anesthesia is no trivial matter. 

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22 hours ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

I've never had dental insurance, so I have no experience with this. In fact, I think my current dental practice is out of network with most insurance.

I moved here 10 years ago and first went to a dentist in our network.  Had unpleasant experiences with a dental hygienist, and I had to wait in waiting rooms that had lousy music playing --and I have very wide musical tastes and even larger tolerances but this was just awful stuff. Final straw was my lupus got worse and their offices were completely fluorecent which meant I had to change.  \

I saw that a dentist had built a new building and started a new practice nearby me.  I called his office and actually talked to him before- my questions were about LED lights (yes, yes, yes) and whether he was familiar with Sjogren's (since it affects teeth and mouth so much) and that was a yes too. So I brought my dd2 and myself over to see him.  Imagine my surprise when he said that we don't have all the cavities that the last place claimed.  He has been very conservative in his treatments-  I mean I have had several crowns since then but that is something I expect with Sjogrens.  SInce dh retired from military, I have brought him over, brought dd1 over for a while, and ds too.  
 

Oh and this great dentist isn't on any insurance plan but will file.  So yes, we pay a bit more than if a similar dentist was on our plan but actually a whole lot less then having a dishonest or aggressive dentist on our plan.  And he gives discounts on his prices for self pay too- which helped when I helped my son who needed a crown after his tooth broke.

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On 7/14/2021 at 5:31 PM, klmama said:

Another option besides MI Paste is Theodent toothpaste.  The claim is that it remineralizes teeth without using fluoride.  One of mine started using it around age 15 when they said there was a soft spot, which they expected to need to fill the next visit; after dc used the Theodent, they never mentioned filling that tooth again. 

This looks interesting. I am dairy intolerant, so I don't use MI Paste. It looks like I can use Theodent, though. I'll order some. Did your child use the regular or the 300? How long does a tube of it last?

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On 7/14/2021 at 12:39 PM, JumpyTheFrog said:

About seven or eight years ago I read this article about a guy who traveled the country and had about 40-50 dentists examine him and offer treatment plans. Before he went, he had a panel of dentists from a dental school give their recommendations. The treatment plans from the dentists he visited while undercover varied from 2-3 fillings (from a dental student) to removing most of his teeth and getting implants or something. I think the average treatment plan suggested about 10-12 fillings and/or crowns.

When we were looking for a new dentist around this time I took my son to three different dentists. One said he needed 4 crowns plus 3-4 fillings (I can't remember the exact number), another said 8 crowns plus about 4 fillings, and the third said 2 crowns plus 2 fillings. I chose the third dentist. Unfortunately she moved a few years ago, and I'd like to find a closer dentist anyway.

In June I had x-rays taken and one of the new dentists at the practice recommended 3 fillings. I could see one cavity on the x-ray, but the other two didn't look like anything to me. I had a consult at a closer practice today (using the same x-rays) that two people had recommended to me because I wanted a second opinion. That dentist wanted to do the same 3 fillings, plus 3 more, plus a crown. She also claimed I have two fractured teeth. (I think these supposed fractures are part of the suggested fillings.) She also really wanted to do a panoramic x-ray to look for infected roots and to examine the one wisdom tooth I have. It seemed like she was inclined to remove it, although my regular dentist said it's fine to leave unless it starts to annoy me.

Anyway, all this is to say I hate looking for dentists. It seems like either a bunch of them are liars and/or there is a big philosophical difference about when to drill. I asked me previous dentist about it once, and she appeared to be trying to find a diplomatic way to state that she is more conservative about drilling and that others want to drill everything that looks like a pre-cavity just in case it turns into a cavity.

In contrast, I found looking for an orthodontist recently to be very straightforward because I could easily see which teeth need to be fixed. I took DS to three and their suggested treatment plan was about the same for each.

 

<end of rant>

Sorry you're not finding a suitable replacement.  I've been very pleased with all my dentists over the years.  

Dr. S retired about 6-7 years ago.  We (dh, dd and I) went to him from mid 90's to approx 2015.  That's about 20 years.  When he retired he had nearly 50 years experience!  He was awesome.  A nervous fellow who smoked when not "on duty".  He was just so skilled from years of experience.  I could get wound up sitting in the dentist's chair.  He suggested one time that when I need to be "shot up" for a filling or crown, to not drink coffee that day or stop a day or 2 before.   He thought outside the box.  He suspected the caffeine was interfering with the attributes of the shot.  I respected him so much that I obeyed his request and sure enough he was right.  I stopped a couple or so days before and all went well until he retired.

Found another dentist but it was more the personality of he and his staff that annoyed me.  

My friend recommended the one we've been going to for 5-6 years now.  He's awesome.  Dr. L always shows me on the x-ray if there's an issue.

Recently (2 weeks ago) I went to the oral surgeon to have a bump removed from my inner right cheek.  Honestly and I'll testify to this - I felt nothing.  Didn't feel the needle b/c I was numb and didn't feel him cut off the bump.  Thankful it came back benign which I was told it would.  

Lastly, in the early 90's I had a root canal.  I kid you not - it was painless!

I'd seek recommendations from outside your area.  Be willing to drive a bit for the right person who is good at what they do.   

 

 

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This is one of those things I wonder about a lot. My husband hates dentists. Not necessarily personally, but as a profession as he had a very aggressive orthodontist as a kid and then awful drill or yank everything dentists when he was young in the army. Now that he knows he can refuse treatments, he just brushes really well, gets his annual "look in the mouth" check up, and has fillings replaced as needed. He's had no professional cleanings in 15 or so years and no new problems in that time, either. It made me start wondering why there is this strong recommendation to get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Surely good teeth brushing is far, far more important as well as far, far cheaper. 

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We have been fortunate to find conservative dentists who don't try to upsell us.  I was sure I was looking at a crown was putting off finding a new dentist (we decided to switch due to distance and a new dental hygienist who was aggressively hitting on my husband) and finally found a new one only to have him tell me that he could fix the tooth I though needed root canal work with a filling.  Fortunately enough the new dentist is young and owns the practice in our area so I think we will be able to keep seeing him for many years to come.  

I had terrible dental experiences as a kid, mostly due to the spotty quality of care at Medicaid dentists.  I am always very loathe to trust new dentists.  
 

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14 minutes ago, Wanttohomeschool said:

Large student loans for dental school.

And even larger ones for the loans on the equipment for their practices.  I read a long article about the economics of running a dental practice and it was clear it's not as easy to make money as one might think.  Our dentist is married to a dentist and they have their practices side by side in the same building they built for that purpose (he does general dentistry, she is a pediatric dentist).  I assume they carry a huge loan for it but at least they can share some of the costs.  

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On 7/15/2021 at 7:56 AM, plansrme said:

My

Interesting that one of the examples this article cites is the routine removal of wisdom teeth. I only have (had) two wisdom teeth, and my dentist, who is not particularly aggressive, told me at every visit for 20 years that I should have them removed. I finally had problems with one on a Saturday morning when I was nearly 50, so I had it removed Tuesday morning.  Removal was a piece of cake. I drove myself to and from the appointment, went through the Starbucks drive-through on the way home, and carried on with my day as if nothing had happened. I was recently cleaning out some files and came across my receipt--it cost me about $300. Compare that to the experiences I see my kids' friends have, with general anesthesia and massive pain and swelling and four-figure bills? I am pretty sure I made the right call.

Often times if you are going to need orthodontia, they want the wisdom teeth out because the wisdom teeth coming in will cause the teeth to shift, ruining the investment in the orthodontia.  My orthodontist doesn't remove teeth so I don't think there's much of an incentive for her to tell me they need to come out for no reason (also, I had on and off fevers/infections from them for years before I had them removed).  While I know that some orthodontia is done for small aesthetic reasons, sometimes it is very necessary (I didn't understand what biting down on something was supposed to feel like until I had braces and my top and bottom teeth could meet)  and sometimes the cosmetic reasons aren't minor- my son had two teeth that stuck straight out of his mouth, you could see them when his lips were closed.  

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3 hours ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

This looks interesting. I am dairy intolerant, so I don't use MI Paste. It looks like I can use Theodent, though. I'll order some. Did your child use the regular or the 300? How long does a tube of it last?

Hmmm....  I know the tube was brown and the toothpaste tasted like mint, not chocolate.  I paid about $15 for it.  I don't remember how long it lasted.  Sorry!

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Are they young?  or long established?

is it just a difference between conservative treatment vs aggressive treatment?

Some of it can also be the horrendous debt load dental students can take on (from my son's childhood friend who attended a top dental school.) - scholarships aren't available, as the attitude is generally "you're going to make a lot of money after you graduate, we dont' need to help you pay for it".

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I’m officially on the hunt for ANOTHER new dentist.  
I don’t think my kids’ is *terrible, but I’m frustrated. Dd (the 17, now 18) was having pain and definitely needed several small fillings 6 months ago. The treatment plan was to do several visits for them and do the big X-ray for wisdom teeth.  With COVID precautions, I wasn’t right there.  
Fillings got done (over quoted price), but recently her wisdom teeth have been bothering her. They never did that X-ray over those several visits! So they said they’d do it at her cleaning.  
Finally did it yesterday and said all 4 need to come out.  THEY don’t do wisdom teeth. So she needs to make an appointment with the people who do, which will be a consultation before scheduling extraction.  So... why???

I cancelled my freaking mammogram to get that X-ray done because the kid is in pain.  We could have had all of this done and over with by now if we’d been told to see someone else 6 months ago.

 

Also, my (different) dentist doesn’t visit patients for routine stuff. That was new to me. If I want to ask my dentist questions, I have to make a separate appointment from my cleanings. 🤨

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This thread makes me grateful for our dentist. They (it's a two dentist practice) do recommend things like additional cleanings, but nothing else on the level of things in that article or what people here are saying. Dh had a crown before we came to them so he has had it repaired. And we've each had a couple of cavities over a period of a decade. But otherwise. 

That article was horrifying.

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I have had the same dentist for 18 years now. He has never told me I need anything although when I first moved here he was super surprised that I hadn't been to the dentist for years since my teeth were so clean. 

 

4 kids and 2 adults went 18 years and only one kid was told they have one cavity at one time. Another was referred to an orthodontist for an obvious underbite that I could easily see and they also had to fix a few things on my husband's teeth but only here and there over the decades and mostly things that had been done by other dentists like my husband's crown falling out.

 

I am curious now though if the dentist who gave me fillings in all four of my back teeth was honest. That was when I was four I think. We all have such good enamel that it makes me suspicious now.

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We have, surprisingly, never run into dentists that were aggressive. Dh and I have each only ever had one cavity. Of the four kids I think the most any had was four and that was spread over the whole childhood.

We are surely lucky to have good teeth. I wonder if the insurance has anything to do with it. We have always had dental insurance. Maybe the kind we had the dentists knew wouldn’t go for extras? I really have no idea. 
 

The only issue we have had is similar to another poster about the pediatric dentist making comments about staining. My 13 dd has braces. She has never had a cavity but since she got braces the dental hygienist makes a huge deal out of staining. The ortho says dd is doing a great job and some saliva just reacts to braces and then clean her up and it is no biggie. The pediatric hygienist brings out a big scary binder of rotten teeth to scare my dd. The hygienist refuses to believe dd is not drinking dark sodas and eating candy every day. Dd drinks only water and an occasional lemonade. She hates carbonation and wouldn’t drink a dark soda if you paid her. We aren’t anti- candy but we don’t keep it in the house. She eats it when it comes her way somehow. Definitely not a nightly habit. I stuck up for dd and told the hygienist that she only drinks water and the hygienist said “well lots of kids sneak it during the night and their parents don’t know.” 
 

So that is my bad dental story. A pediatric dentist accusing my already hygiene compulsive and truth telling dd of sneaking cokes in the middle of the night. And telling her that her teeth would be stained forever and there would be no treatment for it. That was the worst.

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9 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

The pediatric hygienist brings out a big scary binder of rotten teeth to scare my dd. The hygienist refuses to believe dd is not drinking dark sodas and eating candy every day. Dd drinks only water and an occasional lemonade. She hates carbonation and wouldn’t drink a dark soda if you paid her. We aren’t anti- candy but we don’t keep it in the house. She eats it when it comes her way somehow. Definitely not a nightly habit. I stuck up for dd and told the hygienist that she only drinks water and the hygienist said “well lots of kids sneak it during the night and their parents don’t know.” 

The majority of my dental office trauma has been from hygienists with control issues. Hygienists I've seen as an ADULT. They can be super, super mean, and they like to find things you don't know so that they can make you feel and sound ignorant. For instance, I thought flossing was to get crap out from between your teeth. I didn't really know about it removing plaque above the gumline (the grisly article linked seems to suggest this is not established either). For many years, I could squeeze water between every single one of my teeth and almost never (unless I ate popcorn or something like that) had anything at all come out of my teeth when I flossed (DH, meanwhile, removes a four-course meal every time he flosses), so I didn't floss regularly. The hygienist was SO MEAN to me over this. Eventually, my teeth have moved close enough that I do need to floss, and I do sometimes have plaque-like stuff work loose, but that was definitely not the case for most of my life. I have surveyed a lot of well-educated friends, and they also thought flossing was to get stuff out from between teeth. I think some of the packaging says so as well. But some hygienists get a kick out of seizing on things like this and then berating people. 

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