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Dentist the new used car salesmen

July 16th, 2008 at 03:19 pm

I went to the dentist today for a routine cleaning. That is all! In the lobby they had a new flat screen tv, promoting the horrors of oral cancer. When I sat down in the dentist chair the hygienist stated, it was their new policy I had to have an oral cancer exam or they couldn't clean my teeth. After a 1/2 hour consulting with their office manager about their lack of customer service for not telling patients ahead, I decided to go ahead. It cost $65 (I'm mad).

Okay, then the hygienist check my gums and says I need a procedure to do a deep cleaning that cost, get this, $836. Oh yes, and if I didn't get the procedure done, she couldn't even clean my teeth. So I walked away with, get this, a $100 bill. In the past checking my gums was always FREE, but today they said it cost $25 (plus my $10 co-pay), and in the pass three years, she said, “Someone dropped the ball for not charging me to check my gums.” Unbelievable!

My husband immediately cancelled his and our daughter's appointment for August. We are now looking for a new dentist. I felt like we were dealing with used car sales people. A visit that should have taken 1/2 hour, turned into 2 hours, and I'm out of $100, mad, disgusted, and almost ready to leave dentists alone.

Are "dentist" the new suckface savages stealing our wealth? What do you think?

11 Responses to “Dentist the new used car salesmen”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    I have heard that dentists can be compared to a car mechanic. They tell you all these things you need and you have no way of knowing if it's true or they are making it up.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    We have had a very trustworthy dentist for about 30 years (my whole life). But we moved a couple of hours away, 6 years ago.

    We tried a few dentists, but tired of $3k quotes for my perfectly fine teeth, we just gave up.

    A dentist friend pointed out that dentists who went to public school as opposed to private school, tend to be less aggressive. (Just a tip).

    I would hesitate to say all dentists are like used car salesmen. But my experience has been that most are.

    We found a decent pediatric dentist nearby, which I would say is sheer luck. Word of mouth is really no good. Everyone is a sucker, if you ask me. I have had rave reviews for the most horrid dentists. Most people don't think twice when they are handed a $1k dental bill and a pile of dental work.

    We have dental appointments back home, this week. We figured we'd just drive the 4 hours round trip twice a year. It saves us the most money in the end. Big Grin Though I dread my dentist's impending retirement.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Wow, that does sound like the office is inventing new ways to get more money (extort?) out of you. How could they be in your mouth for any reason whatsoever and not just routinely look for signs of cancer or other problems? Glad your husband canceled the up-coming appointments. That would be like a medical doctor charging to look up at you and take note of your general appearance even though you came to the office with complaint of a lingering cough. I think that car mechanic analogy has merit, too. I need to get a new dentist and I will be on the lookout for such bait and switch tactics and arm twisting. I hope this is not a practice that spreads.

  4. my english castle Says:

    So many people have told me similar stories lately. I think this is a growing trend. And add to that the whammy of insurance turndowns. My insurance SAID it would cover my last procedure, but it didn't. And the periodontist who supposedly checked with the insurance demanded all the money immediately.

  5. snoopycool Says:

    I went to the dentist today and feel the same way. I didn't have a copay, but I have a tooth that needs to be extracted. I had my teeth cleaned and the oral cancer screen (whoopie... they turned my tongue over and looked at it). Dentist did mention whitening and Invisalign. I politely said that I cannot think that far ahead, that I just want to work on the problem at hand. He seemed fine with that and talked about my options for the tooth extraction/replacement. Anyway, I don't know what to believe, either. I have more luck with a mechanic because I have a good foundation in that and can understand enough to know whether he's snowing me or not. Teeth? Not so much.

  6. aevans1206 Says:

    Agreed! I recently went to the dentist, and ego aside, I have fabulous teeth. He used some new "technology" that gives off a beeping sound when it hits deep decay. I was given a quote that I would have to pay over $300 to have these two teeth excavated and filled (and that my friends is above and beyond what insurance covers). I am not having this "preventative procedure" done. Hmph. I'm finding a new dentist ASAP!

  7. Broken Arrow Says:

    I know first-hand that dentists can be as unscrupulous as some car mechanics. Some can and will tell you and encourage procedures that are very expensive but often times unnecessary (but nice to have).

    My experience involved a molar extraction. This particular dentist explained basically only one option, and it would cost me $3k for one tooth.

    I didn't have that kind of money at the time, so I held of the procedure.

    Since then, I've moved and ended up with another dentist and guess what! They quoted me for a basic procedure that costed only $300! And that's before insurance! After insurance, I didn't pay a penny!

    Beware of dentists with toothy grins if you know what I mean.

  8. MariRDH Says:

    I really hate hearing stories like yours. I am a Dental Hygienist and I work for a great dentist. I really wish all dentist offices were like mine. I am given a full hour for every patient, and I do an intra-oral cancer screening on all patients for no extra charge. My dentist is cautious but conservative and will tell you THE TRUTH about exactly what is going on in your mouth, what he recommends and then you can decide what your next step will be. Of course, I know that he is telling the truth, but if I were a patient without dental knowledge it would be extremely difficult to know who to trust. Frown
    It makes me so sad to hear these horror stories about DOCTORS who have NO morals or ethics and treat people like dollar signs. I really wish there were a better way to judge dentists so that laypeople would know which are good and which are bad.

    On the devil's advocate side, if a patient has periodontal disease and needs scaling and rootplaning (sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning but that terminology is not the best), my license could be in jeopardy if I do a regular cleaning on them - since I know they have a condition that requires a more in-depth treatment and do not give them the care they need. It is unfortunate but being this is such a litigious society healthcare providers need to be more careful these days.

    That said, I would definitely say a second opinion is in order!

  9. thriftorama Says:

    I had a dentist in New Orleans who kept trying to sell me whitening and cosmetic procedures, saying "You'll never get a man with those teeth!" First, my teeth are great. One cavity and I'm 33, and second, I was already married at that point. I never went back and found a nice honest dentist.

  10. sharmanl Says:

    It seems that criminal minded dentist are becoming the norm. I mean, stealing and lying to innocent people is criminal, right? The people we trust to take care of us not having our health as the priority but their pocketbook. It's a sin and a shame.

    After venting today, putting reviews on different websites to warn people, and sending a letter to Channel Two undercover investigator to do a story, I feel better. I appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts and experiences, too. Thanks!

  11. ldyfaile Says:

    I had a dentist that stopped filing with insurance companies. We had to pay for everything out of pocket and they'd help us with the forms to file for reimbursement. I left there real fast.

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