Mouth invasion

This brief post could have been about the first Atlantic article I picked up this morning, concerning lab-vat-grown meatlike substances--which, who knows, may turn out to be palatable some day)--but it's actually about weird dentists who overtreat us with expensive procedures.

When we first moved here, I had been receiving excellent care from a dentist in Houston whom I trusted.  On my first visit to a local dentist I was disconcerted to be advised to get two expensive crowns on teeth that weren't hurting.  My first instinct was to say go ahead, having always been a little skeptical of doctors but not of dentists.  Somehow, though, the rush and pressure from the new dentist encouraged me to call my old one, who told me flatly:  no prophylactic crowns on vague evidence.

The new dentist was uncontrollably hostile about my changed decision, so I quit seeing him.  He went out business not long afterwards.  I found another local dentist, who has given me the excellent service I was used to in Houston.  Maybe even better, as he has these wonderful new flexible titanium drills and sensing equipment that make a root canal a painless procedure completed in 45 minutes.  He doesn't do root canals unless a tooth is extremely painful, with the sharp sensitivity to heat and cold that unmistakably signals root nerve damage.

Never hesitate to get a second opinion when a dentist proposes something dramatic and expensive, especially if you have dental insurance, which is catnip to some charlatans.


ymarsakar said...

I heal nerve root damage with peppermint oil. Works wonders and costs far less than the dentist's hundred to thousand dollar treatments.

Full healing is much harder, as teeth regeneration is, but I can just wait until Death or the Resurrection. Either one is fine with me.

Anonymous said...

I have orthodontic crowns to correct a jaw deformation. I got a second opinion, and my primary dentist recommended three possible plans of treatment. Alas, because of previous dental difficulties, options one and two proved to be exceedingly difficult and would still have required at least some orthodontic crowns, so I opted for Plan C. Let's just say that when your jaw joints are so deformed that they are starting to lock, something needs to be done.

I agree that not every recommendation for wild and crazy procedures should be followed. In my case, it made sense, but if I could have gone with option one or two, I would have. And those would have been less expensive (braces vs. crowns).


Texan99 said...

I've got no beef with aggressive dental solutions. I just think a second opinion is a good idea.

My neighbor had great good luck with a set of implants, done at a dental college for a reasonable price and very good service, when his ability to chew was becoming severely compromised. The crowns my earlier dentist recommended almost 15 years ago turned out to be completely unnecessary then or since.