U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 10-16-2017, 10:31 AM
Location: Central NY
4,689 posts, read 3,260,089 times
Reputation: 12022


This may not belong here in retirement. But I'm retired, low income, ran into a new problem with my dentist office.

I went in for usual 6-month visit. Was told I had a huge cavity in second to last back molar (has a crown on it). X-rays (I saw them) showed roots that appeared to be growing downward. She said I would probably need root canal/crown replacement, and crown on next-door tooth would need replacing, too. Dollar signs appeared in front of my eyes. I had told her I had just gone bankrupt and could not afford a pricey dental bill. I do have insurance but would not have come close to paying for what I was told I needed.

I left the dentist office feeling pretty angry because my dentist had not even been consulted, was not working that day, but there was a new-to-me dentist who was new to the practice. I felt like I was chosen to be her first "big" patient.

I got a call from the dentist office who said my dentist heard about what happened and wanted me to come in for discussion and maybe he could do right by me.

I went in for a chat. He took another x-ray, and showed them to me. He said he could see no evidence for needing a root canal. And when I looked at them, I didn't see what I saw the previous visit. But I wonder if he thinks I'm a nutty old woman who doesn't know what she's talking about.

He did agree that my insurance would not cover the entire crown replacements and at this point I can't afford to carry a balance. So he has agreed to pull the teeth which is OK with me.

It's worrisome to me that the hygienist I've seen over the years could have deceived me. Whose x-rays did I see that day?

And further, how can I prove anything?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 10-16-2017, 11:59 AM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,217 posts, read 1,358,078 times
Reputation: 6402
Glad your dentist agreed to see you and took new xrays. The hygienist was probably looking at the last person's pics and had no business giving you a diagnosis.

I had a similar experience some years back after having an MRI for back pain. The written report described severe deterioration in one of the vertebra. My doctor never looked at the films, only read the report. I had cortisone shots with no help. A few years later I went to an orthopedist who took an xray and found nothing. A few years after that, went for another MRI and had the new doc look at the old films. There was never any deterioration in the vertebra. In all, I had 6 years believing I had a major bone problem developing/deteriorating when in fact the pain was and still is all muscular.

As to getting dental care, explore your area to see if there is a dental school nearby. They will often charge reduced prices. Of course you might end up having a student work on you, or you could get lucky and become a demonstration case where an experienced dentist is showing the students how it is done.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 12:12 PM
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,886 posts, read 1,411,872 times
Reputation: 10128
Let's go with it was an honest mistake and go from there. If you've seen this hygienist for a while, why would they all of a sudden have nefarious purposes?

I'm always a big fan of getting 2nd opinions before getting any work done. lol, I went to 3 different orthopedics surgeons before I had my knee replacement.

Now whether or not he thinks you are a nutty old women is moot. no matter what you are, every patience deserves a high standard of care.

If you like your dentist i would continue with them, he has seen and heard what happen so he/she may have already spoken with the hygienist. Going forward for your next cleaning, and whenever you get some information from the hygienist I would simply smile and ask to speak with your dentist to confirm.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 12:30 PM
4,349 posts, read 6,067,210 times
Reputation: 10458
My hygienist is an alarmest too. I'm thinking of asking for a different one but keeping my dentist.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 01:51 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,899 posts, read 25,355,967 times
Reputation: 26423
Wow! Perhaps it was a mistake but I would never take this person's word for anything. And you should probably make sure your dentist understands you do not accept diagnosis from this hygienist.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 01:56 PM
Location: Central NY
4,689 posts, read 3,260,089 times
Reputation: 12022
Thank you for all of your responses. Wasn't sure what to expect.

I have gone to the same dentist for many years and want to stay with him. If he retires, I'll find another practice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 02:28 PM
Location: WA
5,398 posts, read 21,417,446 times
Reputation: 5903
I don't get x-rays unless I feel I have a problem, or the hygienist sees something and convinces me it needs further inspection. If I get x-rays (once in the past ten years) I discuss them with the dentist. Like most retirees, all my dental work is out of pocket cash so I refuse to fall into the office routine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 03:09 PM
Location: Prescott AZ
6,131 posts, read 9,101,023 times
Reputation: 11545
Just recently it has seemed like dentists are going the way of scammers and I resent it. Two different offices here have proven to be money hungry and signing me up for stuff I didn't need and canceled. Things have changed in medicine/dental practices it seems. Always check and recheck what they are telling you and then get another opinion.

BTW: If it were me, I would not pull the teeth. That just brings on more problems. Especially if you grind your teeth at night and it leads to misalignment. JMHO (phxbarb)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 03:54 PM
Location: Ft. Myers
17,638 posts, read 11,210,207 times
Reputation: 37680
Your story really hits home. About a month ago, I broke off a front tooth. I have dental insurance and called them to get a dentist in the network. Went to the one they suggested and they got me in immediately. The dentist did a superb job, I had to have 3 root canals and got two crowns. I was extremely happy with them and even took their survey and raved about them.

HOWEVER, then the high pressure started by them to have me come in for additional treatments, like deep cleaning, another root canal and a crown, another tooth pulled, and then partials. I told the dentist I was stopping right there, all I wanted was the broken tooth fixed not a Hollywood smile (I'm 72). But they kept pressuring.

Finally, I had to be very blunt and tell them I had used up all of my 2017 insurance, plus $2,000 of my own money, so I MIGHT see them after Jan 1st, when my insurance kicks in again. But it left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). I was very happy with them until they started the high sales pressure, and, after talking with my ex and a lot of other people, that seems to be what all dentists do, they push you to get more and more work done constantly.

I may not go back to that dentist, even though I was very happy with their work, simply because of the issues I mentioned.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-16-2017, 04:10 PM
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,402,814 times
Reputation: 16299
These new dentists/Drs are just plain scary. I have zero trust in them and wonder what I would do if I ever got sick. I have had several experiences with both in the last couple years and the professionalism just isn't there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top