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Money Drain – Beware of Small Town Dentists

My family thought we found the perfect dentist! 

His office was really a Victorian home that was converted into a dentist office.  It was a clean office with new equipment that looked great!  During the visits, he was nice and would always talk to his assistant and me talking about his trip to other countries or other fun vacations like Disney.  The dentists hygienists all were friendly and attractive.

Sound like the perfect dentist?  Well he wasn’t, and here’s why:

  • My city (it’s just a little bigger than a town) is small, much to small to afford the lifestyle of this dentist.
  • He was taking way to many vacations for a small city dentist.
  • Every checkup it seemed that I needed to scheduled to have some type of work done for the next visit.
  • He kept trying to convince me to get crowns for some of my teeth.
  • He tried to get my wife to do crowns too, and her were molars.
  • He wanted to do major work on our kids, while they had their baby teeth still in.

My wife took the kids to a different dentist, and he said they didn’t need the work, and especially now at such a young age.  The new dentist also said that my wife didn’t really need a crown.  I stayed with my this dentist…  big mistake!

The turning point for me was when my dentist removed all of my old filling in a tooth, but not actually fixing the slow cavity on the side of the tooth.  The way in which he fixed my tooth was brutual, I actually saw pieces flying out of my mouth!  The integrity of the tooth is now very poor, I have problems eating peanuts and many food now…

Learn from my mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions!  Since my experience, I’ve talked to other people that have had similar experiences with the dentist that I previously went to.  I have one buddy at work that went to him and my old dentist was pushing for him to get a crown for a molar too.

If you suspect a dentist is using you as a cash cow, ask him to show you why he wants to do what he claims!  After all, it’s your teeth in addition to your money!

-MR

10 Responses to Money Drain – Beware of Small Town Dentists

  1. I was having these exact same thoughts about my dentist earlier in the week. I always need something done to my teeth. But I think my teeth may be the softest teeth ever. My husband goes to the same dentist and never needs work, so that is the one thing that makes me think my dentist might be on the up-and-up.

    The thing is, it is so hard to tell if the dentist is diagnosing correct or not. There isn’t a whole lot of proof with teeth and you just have to take the dentist’s word for it.

    So, are you switching dentists?

  2. @Everyday Tips and Thoughts
    Yeah, I’m going to switch dentists… I hate to do it, but I’m pretty sure my dentist isn’t on the up and up.

    After adding it all up (it took me years), it makes perfect sense… But unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone with a sign saying “This dentist is a crook”…

    Oh well, live and learn 🙂

  3. They are called mouth miners around here. One guy even knows the yearly maximum for each insurance plan. Then he plans your work out 3 to 5 years ahead of time.

  4. @Daddy Paul
    Hey, I remember hearing my dentist mention the insurance plan to his assistant too. “Mouth Miners“, how appropriate!

    I was naive, the new dentist I’m going to go to was recommended by a friend!

  5. Once a dentist (also in a small town) told my wife she had a cracked tooth and needed the tooth to be crowned. My sister worked in the dental industry for many years (though not a dentist) and said she ought to have either noticed cracking it (on an unpopped popcorn kernel or something), or should have some sensitivity or something.

    She waited and went to her longstanding dentist in Europe, where she’s from. He told her she had no cracked teeth and her teeth were just about perfect! She’s been fine since.

    Needless to say, that was that with that dentist. When I later found a good guy I felt I could trust, I would go out of my way to stay with him.

  6. @cm
    I hate that small town dentist can get away with this kind of activity! I wish there was something I could do about it, but I can’t.

    I wonder if I can print flyers and distribute them around town… hmmm

  7. People in positions of responsibility regarding health really should know better.

    I guess he’s in an impossible economic position. It would be better if he was paid a flat fee to keep your teeth healthy, rather than for work done when they rot, I suppose.

    Go down that road and you’ll end up with our European health systems though! 😉

  8. @Monevator
    He’s only paid if there is work to do, so I think he’s trying to create work for himself. Especially when he tries to replace everybody’s teeth with crowns…

    My one buddy is from the same city, and after a bad experience with the dentist I am with, he went to a different one that he recommends. I’m going to jump ship and go to the one that the goes to.