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Old 03-21-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
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So many cavities, so little time.

I keep thinking about this, and I wanted to get y'all's thoughts on it.

I used to take the kids to a pediatric dentist. I liked the place. Neither kid had any cavities while we were going there. Insurance paid most of those visits, but they were out of network, so I had to pay out of pocket up front for the visit and then I got reimbursed a few weeks later. I ended up switching to some random dentist that was near our home because with two kids needing regular visits, I couldn't float that much money before the insurance reimbursed us.

My first visit at that new dentist, one of the kids (I can't remember which one) needed some "fillings." But not really fillings, b/c they didn't even have to numb him or anything. They were just spots on his teeth that they said needed treating. It was something quick and insurance covered some of it and my portion was reasonable, so I did it. They scheduled me for the next visits and we went on our way, and I made an effort to be more diligent with their oral care.

The next time I went, between the two kids, they told me that 11 of those fillings were needed. I was flabbergasted. I brush their teeth. They drink water (no soda, no juice). They get their dairy products. I couldn't afford 11 of those fillings. I was 8 months pregnant with my rainbow and stressed about that, and these "necessary" fillings just put me over the top and I was bawling in the waiting room (which was empty except for us), and the dentist came out and explained that they treat primary teeth "more aggressively" than permanent teeth. I didn't understand and that still didn't mean I could afford it and so she finally agreed to just do the worst spots, which were three on one kid and one on the other.

Oh, and by the way, the exam where these imperfections or whatever were found, was about 20 seconds per kid.

When I was crying at the front desk, waiting to find out what would happen that day, I noticed a white board hanging in the office area and it looked like it had sales goals or cold-calling goals or something that didn't really seem like it "fit" in a dentist's office.

Between that chart and the short exam time, I left with the feeling like they were "selling" to me instead of being actually concerned about my kids' dental health. One of the staff tried to make me feel better by saying that her kid had cavities, and "she works in a dentist's office," so don't feel bad. That didn't help me feel better.

The whole experience just really left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended) and I wanted to see what you guys thought.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

I think it is common for dentists to want to do unnecessary procedures. Years ago a dentist wanted to do fillings on me because I had no cavities, but my teeth were deep. I said no. Everything is fine in my mouth. I saw a different dentist and she didn't recommend fillings at all.

I'd find a new dentist.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

Yeah, I think I'd go back to the first dentist for a second opinion.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #4
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

I think I'd find another dentist, at least for a 2nd opinion. Actually, I'd probably go back to the place you were taking them first since you all ready know them.

We've never had any problems with the kids until Isaac last summer - he had 5 cavities (sorta... 2 were between 2 teeth, so affecting both teeth... technically 3 cavities but 5 fillings needed, kwim?). They were obvious even to us, we definitely didn't question their diagnosis.
Our kids get a good cleaning, brushing, flossing, flouride with the hygenist, then a check by the dentist - which he always asks DH or I to be present for so he can show us anything he sees. I've never felt pressured by him to do anything - in fact, when we've asked about things that he could have used to make some $$, he's always told us to wait it out, not to rush to anything. Not that he won't do work that's necessary, just saying we've given him openings that he could have used, kwim?
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

I have the SAME feeling about my dentist!! 3 of my kids still see a wonderful pediatric dentist but as soon as my oldest got her braces off, she felt ridiculous going to little kid place. I started taking her to my dentist, who is an acquaintance outside of the office of mine.

Well, I am always left feeling as if they are searching for work to do. I also saw a goal sheet on the receptionist's desk that listed how much money they wanted to make that week. Really turned me off.

I posted in OT about it with no responses, but earlier this week I took my teenager in for a filling. They did the filling and then told me she'd need a root canal. I asked why I was paying for the filling instead of doing a root canal and she answered me in a roundabout way. Then she told me with the work they did today, my daughter wouldn't need the root canal for a few years. Yah...when she's over 18 and no longer covered by our insurance? No thanks.

I'm getting a 2nd opinion.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

If you have a feeling about it, I would DEFINITELY try another dentist.

Just at my last visit, our dentist was telling me how the labs he uses to make crowns or whatever sent him a thing saying if he referred X more patients he would earn a free iPad. And he's like, "I am NOT sending my patients for work they don't need!" But I do think that some would....ugh. Hate to think like that, but it's the reality.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

Like a PP mentioned, many doctors (dentists included) are offered incentives. I have loved both ped dentists my kids have seen and nothing is ever pushed. The one time I took DD to a regular dentist, he 'recommended' lots of treatments. We went to a ped dentist and he said her teeth were just fine, that she'd need braces but not for a long time. I'd go with your gut.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #8
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I just read an article earlier this year about crack-pot dentists who do unnecessary work to make more money. They were working for some kind of chain and were pressured by the company make money. This reminds me of what I read in that article. Maybe you can get a free second opinion somewhere else?
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

There was a story about this on our local news a while back...sad.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:17 PM   #10
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Re: So many cavities, so little time.

I would definitely get a second opinion from a different dentist. If it does turn out that they need fillings, search online for fermented cod liver oil and butter oil and tips for healing cavities.
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