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Old 01-17-2015, 12:51 PM
16 posts, read 18,846 times
Reputation: 32


So I moved to town and went looking for a new dentist. One dentist had been advertising all over town and had a special price for Exam, Xray and Cleaning. Her offices were just beautiful and there was a large staff of good looking smiling people.

So after my exam, she sat me down and told me I needed close to $5000 worth of dental work done. I was shocked. Lots of cavities, crowns and root canals. I told her that was funny because just six months before I had finished up some dental work (a couple cavities) with my previous dentist and he told me that there was nothing else that needed to be done.

I told the flashy new dentist I would get a second opinion and walked out. Well the next dentist was in an old 1960s era building and was in his 50s. He told me I only had one cavity and did not need any root canals or crowns.

Should I go back to the first dentist who told me I needed $5000 worth of work? Or is there a way to have an investigation done by some dental board?
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:58 PM
11,039 posts, read 8,666,014 times
Reputation: 17965
I think you should file a complaint.
If you're in the US, go to State Dental Boards, and find your state's website. Almost all state dental boards have an online complaint process.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:40 PM
595 posts, read 2,400,515 times
Reputation: 1214
You can report her, but to what end exactly? Some Dentists are more aggressive in treating cavities than others. Some are more aggressive in treatment planning the need for crowns on teeth with large amalgam (silver) fillings. You, as the patient, now have two different treatment plans, so it's up to you to decide which way to go. Either go through with the treatment plan with the newer dentist, or go with the older more conservative dentist. I don't see where either treatment plan is wrong per se. So to report the younger dentist to the board for the need for more aggressive treatment is erroneous, in my honest opinion. She didn't hurt you, and only presented you with what SHE diagnosed.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:20 PM
Location: I am right here.
4,949 posts, read 4,421,577 times
Reputation: 15691
Sounds familiar....they have to pay for all the flashy stuff somehow.

Years ago...we're talking probably 20 years ago....I went to a dentist regularly, and she started off great. Cleanings, xrays, no problems. Then the office underwent a remodel, so when I returned for my 6 month check, it was super nice! Big screen TVs in the waiting room, hand held games for the kids, plush leather chairs...beautiful. And...suddenly I had 2 cavities and a cracked tooth, so I needed a root canal and a crown for all that. But I had no pain....so I filled the cavities but deferred the root canal and crown treatment and said I'd have to wait for a few months.

Well, we changed insurance plans, and my new insurance was no longer accepted at the old dentist, so I had to find a new dentist. So at the first appointment at the new dentist, I had the full exam. Nothing wrong! AFter he told me my mouth looked in great shape, I told him what the previous dentist had said, and he told me there was nothing wrong me my teeth.

So I saw that dentist until he retired last year. He was wonderful. The new guy who has replaced him told me at my last appointment that I have a cracked tooth and will need a root canal and a crown....so I am looking for a new dentist again.

It's a scam, I tell ya.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:33 PM
16,071 posts, read 20,899,859 times
Reputation: 26381
I'd call the dental board and report the dentist.....or at least file a complaint with the BBB...Better Business Bureau.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:07 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,570 posts, read 3,706,282 times
Reputation: 8668
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
I'd call the dental board and report the dentist.....or at least file a complaint with the BBB...Better Business Bureau.
There exists in greater Seattle metro a cosmetic dentist of some renown. She boasts famous clients, with verifiable portfolio. Office is in the opposite of the low-rent district, ...well, let us say "a nice part of town".

I visited her summer of 2012 for an initial opinion on my case: I (had) healthy, but unattractive teeth. She promptly sent me to an orthodontist, also of good reputation. That was solid counsel. Two years of that fixed most of my issues, a necessary first step indeed.

Fast forward to 2014, and on return to said-cosmetic dentist, she wanted...wait for it...

$40K for full veneers. Twenty of them. Whoa.

I'm far from poor, but neither Bill Gates. I said I'd think it over, and got out of there.

Well, just got eight porcelain veneers done elsewhere, 40% of the other specialists's scope, and everything looks great. The rest are now healthy and straight, and only need whitening to match. All finalized today, in-fact, about which I may post more if there is interest.

Total cost for that? $8K, which while still "not cheap" to most of us seems more in-line with what people can pay. Done by my regular dentist, who I should have trusted to begin with to complete the scope of work.

Get second opinions for major scopes of work, or medical procedures. Yes indeed.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:34 PM
Location: Not where I want to be
4,826 posts, read 7,611,227 times
Reputation: 7677
Most dentists are no better than used car salesmen. They insist you need 10s of 1000s of $$ worth of work, outright lie about what is wrong, etc.

I would never, ever trust any dentist and would always go for a second or even third opinion!
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:36 AM
1,982 posts, read 996,610 times
Reputation: 1816
You paid nothing and did not commit to the first younger dentist.

Contacting the dental board might be counter productive and a waste of time. If anything, the less aggressive dentist might be the one under review by the board for underestimating the scope of work to be carried out. The costlier first dentist could argue , and quite successfully, preventive work was needed in those areas to avoid future pain or loss of teeth. Which one looks better to the board representing the dental profession?
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:22 PM
Location: Coastal Georgia
39,553 posts, read 48,738,489 times
Reputation: 67430
I remember filling out a questionaire when I first went to my dentist. It asked what my expectations were, such as routine maintenance, or a movie star smile, or something in between.
I feel a bit sorry for dentists, because it must be frustrating to have the skills to give patients perfect smiles, but since only a few can afford it, they can only do patch up jobs.
Maybe the expensive dentist wants the Cadillac business, but not the routine business.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:39 PM
Location: Southern California
26,908 posts, read 10,220,377 times
Reputation: 17350
IF I had listened to my THEN dentist and his endodontist buddy, I would have spent $1000's and lost maybe 4 teeth and look forward to replacements etc. I took my time and found ways to heal what was going on and that was about 10 yrs ago and I'm still doing good with what I do.
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