If any advice you are given at the dentist's office doesn't sound quite right with what you've known to be true in the past, seek a second opinion before having expensive procedures done. I had TMJ many years ago, and it recently started bothering me again. The dentist told me I needed thousands of dollars of procedures done. I knew neither procedure was ever recommended to me in the past by the maxillofacial surgeon who had treated me for this, so I sought a second opinion. It turns out my "gut feeling" was correct and I only needed a night guard this time. It pays to be proactive in your health care decisions. I saved between $2,000-$4,000 just by having a second opinion! A dentist had also told me I needed two crowns for cracked molars by this same dentist. I got a second opinion for that too, and the second dentist told me the teeth were sound and not cracked at all!
By Monica from Cortez, CO
I had a similar experience, but it involved my children's mouths. Twenty years ago, when my husband and I were busy raising children and having a hard time financially, a dentist in town offered to check out local children for free one Saturday.
He looked at all 4 of my kids' teeth, and told me that 2 of them had 2 cavities each, one had 3 and the 5 year old would have to have a silver cap put on his tooth. My son had been in a slight wreck and his grandfather had not put his seatbelt on him, so he had a front tooth that needed a root canal. I knew that, but a silver cap on a first grader? I was crushed!
That afternoon i was telling this story and someone recommended that I get a 2nd opinion before we went through what was going to cost me over $900. I made an appointment with another doctor just to see what might be different.
The second dentist, who had not been told about the first dentist, came out a told me that God had smiled on my first child and she wouldn't need braces at all. The next child would only need braces if I wanted complete perfection. The next would need braces, but that could wait a couple of years. The youngest, my son, would need a root canal. I asked, "But what about the cavities?" to which he replied, "What cavities? There's not a cavity in any of these little heads!" Talk about cold chills.
Then I asked if the cap that would have to be put on my son's root canal would have to be silver. He looked at me as if I were crazy. He said that the cap wouldn't even have to show, and that it would cost a minimal amount to put this on. When I explained what I had been told by the other dentist, he shook his head and said, "All I can figure is that the other dentist must be very hungry."
Always get a second opinion!
I work in the dental field and I know that there are many dentists (especially corporate dental offices) who are much more interested in the bottom line than in their patients' dental health. Please, please make sure that you select a dentist (preferably in private practice) and who is well established. Then, don't hesitate to get a second opinion if they are proposing expensive work and/or lots of "extras" that you didn't ask for.
Wow, No kidding.
I was to have 6 teeth pulled, however, the rest would have had to be pulled over a short period of time as my teeth were getting pulverized from the inside out by my taking of Morphine and Methadone (prescribed of course and taken separately, not together). Well, finally I met an oral surgeon who was willing to do things my way. I wanted all the teeth pulled and dentures made only once. I wanted the dentures put in my mouth at the time of surgery so that while it would hurt for a few days, it would also be a quicker recovery time. I would advise you all to do it. It is cheaper to pull out 23 teeth all at once than it is to pull 8 teeth one at a time! Imagine that?
Boy, I wish I'd been bold enough to do this years ago! Now I'm fighting to keep in my mouth what teeth remain, about half. And I only went to the dentist who insisted on all the extractions because my dental insurance wouldn't cover the dentist my family had gone to for years. Thank goodness, my current insurance lets me go to my original dentist. :P
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