Dentist/Hygenist bees – I need advice!

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Wow, 8 cavities when you’ve never had a cavitiy before? That seems suspect to me. my mom was told by a dentist when I was very little that I had four cavities (in my baby teeth!), he drilled one that day and I screamed bloody murder. She took me home and found a new dentist… the new one said I had NO cavities. I have had only one tooth with a cavity my entire life and I have strong teeth. I would get a second opinion!!

Post # 4
Member
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MsGinkgo:  I would suggest getting a second opinion.

whens the last time you went to the dentist?

Post # 6
Member
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’d go to a new dentist.

I’ve been to a dentist that drilled and filled in the “white spots” on my front teeth. He should have tried to whitened the teeth instead, but he made it sound like an emergency and we fell for it. 
Now I can never whiten my teeth as I have composite fillings in the front that weren’t necessary.

Some dentists make their money by inventing problems when there are none.

Post # 7
Member
6525 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MsGinkgo:  yea 8 cavaties seems a little much to me in that time frame. i’ve gone over a year not going to the dentist and ended up with 1 cavity…go for a second opinion immediately. Don’t tell them what the other dentist. My mom is a dental assistant and she is the first one to admit that dentists can be very sneaky.

Post # 9
Member
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@MsGinkgo:  Nah, fillings shouldn’t hurt. My current (crappy) desntist filled a tooth that was so freaking close to the nerve it took 8 months to de-sensitize it. But before then, I hadn’t had a filling that caused me so much discomfort before, and I totally had cavities filled. (ahem)

I got into the habit of flossing twice a week (hey, it’s something) I use tape floss, which is like slippery plastic – it’s awesome!

A lot of people do this thing called “oil pulling” for gum issues. I do it occasionally (because it makes my teeth feel so clean!) but not regularly. It’s kind of a holistic thing but worth looking into if you want to address any gum issues.
But of course the perio is going to tell you you have problems. The last perio my mom went to (the one the dentist recommended) tried to bill her insurance for every single tooth in her mouth, literally. Insurance rejected it because she was there for issues near two teeth. She switched to a new perio who is much better and less of a con artist.

Post # 11
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I would definitely get a second opinion. I’ve worked as a dental assistant, and I’ve heard too many stories of dentists who try to do unnecessary treatments to make money. The last doctor I worked for sometimes had patients come in for a second opinion with a list of treatments they’d been told they needed, but when he examined them he couldn’t find any sign of an issue. My recommendation is to find a dentist in your area who has a reputation for being honest andconservative with treatment. They are out there!

 

Post # 12
Member
989 posts
Busy bee

@MsGinkgo:  I work for a dentist who won’t do work that doesn’t need to be done. If there’s a suspicious area, we make note of it to check again at the next check up appointment. If there is obvious decay, he will recommend doing something about it sooner. The idea is to be as minimally invasive as possible. The fact that you’ve never had a cavity before, and suddenly you have 8 is suspicious to me, although every dentist is different. You may have had areas of erosion that they thought were better off being filled now, whereas other dentists may have opted to keep an eye on it.

It is not often, if ever, our dentist recommends replacing fillings. He may recommend redoing them if they’ve broken, or if there is decay under the filling, but other than that, it’s not something that’s commonly done.

I felt bad that a lot of people get taken for a ride by dentists, a bad few give the lots of good a bad reputation. My sister had a simple extraction done at a different dentist, I asked if I could look at her account. The item numbers he used were for a full check up (he didn’t do that) and for a surgical extraction requiring bone removal (which is more expensive than what he actually did). Of course she had no idea, and most people don’t really understand what they are paying for. Our dentist is so good – he takes X-rays and shows the patient where any problems are. He also has an intraoral camera so we can show patients where problems are. So not only does he show where the issues are, he explains in detail what needs to be done and when it should be done, and why it needs to be done -also the potential complications from doing it/not doing it. He also takes after shots, so that the patient can see what’s been done. 

I encourage anyone who seems a bit doubtful of treatment plans by dentists to seek a second opinion – it’s your right. I’ve told patients that too – no hard feelings, you’re welcome back any time. 

As for the braces – would this be something they refer off, or do they offer orthodontic services at that clinic? Be a bit wary about seeing anyone other than a specialist orthodontist for that kind of work. Not to say that dentists who can do orthodontics are dodgy, just that it costs so much that you may as well see someone who specialises in that kind of work.

Post # 13
Member
5883 posts
Bee Keeper

@MsGinkgo:  Most dental insurances don’t just randomly pay for dental treatment because a bill was sent. The anticipated work suggested has to be charted on a tooth chart, treatment described, along with the correct dental ins. code, and usually have to be accompanied by xrays as proof the work is actually there and needed. Many insco.s use retired dentists or dental professionals to examine the forms and xrays, and many times, treatment and coverage is denied. The fact that you had no balance to pay suggests to me that the treatment provided, was indeed, necessary.

 

It is very common to hear stories about people going many years with no decay and then what seems like all of a sudden, to have many areas develop. Was your prior dentist more conservative or did they miss it? Were xrays taken of suspicious areas and were they being ‘watched’ and they didn’t tell you or you’ve forgotten? Since most teeth touch each other at some point, if an area of decay starts on one tooth, the adjacent tooth may soon develop it as well. Flossing regularly is one way of helping to prevent it, but early treatment of decay is always better than waiting it out. Again, opinions by different professionals may vary. Some will fill and some will not…doesn’t make one better or worse than the other. Some even hope you will return for more regular visits to keep on top of things rather than wait many years in between, where small things can become much larger and require more work.

 

Replacing old fillings can often be needed, as over time, the filling material used can ‘shrink’ allowing areas that were previously filled to be exposed and new decay to develop. Removing older mercury fillings has become one of those things that I’ve seen in the past years, and using white fillings (which don’t hold up as well or last as long) instead, but again, when insurance is involved, will only be covered if it is necessary.

 

If you’ve lost confidence or are questioning this office’s professional opinion of the treatment they’ve suggested, you may be better off elsewhere. The perio issue is one that should most definitely be addressed,tho. If orthodontics has also been suggested and is needed, that may be making your perio issues worse…..overlapping or misaligned teeth make it harder to keep certain areas as clean, and bone loss can occur. As far as the ‘sudden’ development for the decay goes, that can be caused by many factors. You’ve admitted to not flossing and the long time between checkups, so those 2 factors alone can account for some of it. Has your diet changed to a soft,mushy one (lots of bread,chips,rice,etc) rather than hard,crunchy foods that help cleanse? Do you drink a lot of soda or acidic drinks? Do you have any mouth habits like chewing on ice or chewing gum incessantly? There’s lots of reasons people get decay! Remember also that a posterior tooth is like a box, and can have 5 surfaces where decay,if present, can be filled. 8 areas doesn’t necessarily mean you have 8 decayed teeth.

 

If you do decide to go to another office, I’d make sure they do a thorough exam, including at least 14-18 xrays (a full mouth), and that they go over the xrays with you until you fully understand and can see any problem areas for yourself. An ethical, caring dentist will WANT you to know exactly where you stand.

 

Good luck.

 

Post # 15
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Hi OP, I am a dentist, and it is almost impossible to comment based on what you are telling us whether your treatment plan is definitely legitimate. Firstly because every dentist’s treatment philosophy is different, and second because I cannot actually have a look in your mouth myself. When was the last time you had xrays taken? You say that you have been 3 times since 2008, were they just for cleans, or for a full dental exam and xrays?

Some thoughts, it is actually not unusual for people to need as many as 8 fillings, especially if they are not regular with dental exams, xrays or have poor oral hygiene.

The issue with bone loss and surrounding support with your teeth suggest a form of periodontitis, possibly aggressive periodontitis, particularly if you have been referred to a specialist and your treatment plan has included gum surgery. The way you bite may also affect your periodontal (bone and gum) condition, so that could be why they are suggesting correcting your bite with braces or Invisalign.

If you feel you can trust your current dentist, go back and have another chat with her so she can address your concerns. If not, get a second opinion to put your mind at ease. Based on what you have told us, my gut feeling is that this dentist is doing the right thing by you, given that she has taken xrays, shown you the xrays and referred you to a specialist. Most dentists are honest and scared of litigation, just that some are not very good with communication.

Good luck.

Post # 16
Member
272 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@MsGinkgo:  

I see you’re in the GTA and you mention that this is a chain dentist. Any chance it’s a chain with the initials DD? I just went to a chain type dentist for the first time and ended up with the worst experience of my life. A painfully root canal ($2100!! Benefits declined to pay the full amount because they say he completed a much more complicated one then was necessary) – he did a lot of the work without me being completely frozen – even after me yelling out, he continued until eventually refreezing it. I went back the next week to have that tooth prepped for a crown – he put in a post (which the hygenist was asking why he was doing the things he was doing), started to do a temporary filling then sat back, said I should never have told him to do the procedure (WTF?? He made the recommendation, I agreed!!) and gave me the option of leaving with my root exposed or pull it because he wouldn’t finish the procedure. As I had never had a tooth pulled before, I was freaked out and shed a couple of tears…I couldn’t stop shaking. He made me sign a form, told me to “Chill out” and “Stop crying” then froze me, broke the tooth apart and pulled it out. I was provided with no after care instruction from him and my jaw is still very sore (this was completed on Dec 30th). 

There was even more to it than I just wrote, but this is getting long enough! I’m in the process of filing a complaint with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons. 

Good luck sweetie!! 

Leave a comment


Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors