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Is my dentist trustworthy?

deathnote666deathnote666 Registered User regular
I had the same dentist for 20 or so years before he retired. Said everything was healthy at the end, never once said my wisdom teeth had to come out. Covered by insurance I no longer have.

Dental records got sent to another dentist in town (dentist #2). Said everything was healthy, didn't say anything about pulling wisdom teeth. No insurance coverage so I look for another dentist.

16 months after dentist #2, I go to a dentist covered by my new insurance. First words are my wisdom teeth need to come out and have cavities.

I get a 2nd opinion by another dentist covered by my insurance. First words are my wisdom teeth need to come out and different teeth have cavities.

Think I should go back to dentist #2, even if I have to pay?

Posts

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    IANADentist

    They should have shown you the x-ray of the cavities and explained everything. It's entirely possible you have spots that previously weren't cavities but they were keeping an eye on which have now penetrated the enamel.

    Depending on the condition of things the wisdom teeth may need to come out, or the different dentists have care philosophies that aren't the same. Either way I wouldn't have a dentist take out my wisdom teeth, that would be an oral surgeon referral, who could then tell you more about why they need to come out.


    Edit: So I'd ask to have them show you on x-rays, ask for a referral to an oral/dental surgeon.

    dispatch.o on
    ceresEncXaquinJansonSiskaElvenshaeadmanbPLAMrVyngaardNightDragonSkeith
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I think for me it would depend on whether or not they could (or were willing to) show me what they're talking about on an x-ray. I never like going to the dentist, and I certainly never like going back for work, but my dentist always takes the time to show me the x-ray and explain what I'm looking at and best- and worst- case scenarios. I would say if you have a dentist who does that, it's probably worth keeping them whether or not they'e covered, but that also depends on your finances of course.

    I will also say that I've seen a number of different philosophies on wisdom teeth and if/when they should come out. Figure out which dentist will make sure you really understand your x-rays and what they're telling you. Go back to that dentist.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    dispatch.oDonnictonBlameless ClericDescendant X
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Ask the dentist to explain why they want to pull your wisdom teeth. Some do it as a precaution, but it is possible you have cavities in them.

    What confuses me is that they each diagnosed different teeth with cavities. How can you know which ones to get filled? Get a recommendation for a good dentist from someone else with your insurance.

    Donnicton
  • DonnictonDonnicton Hey it's me, your old pal Movie Sonic - let me in. LEMME IN. Registered User regular
    My dentist's office will show me the results of anything they record on a given visit - they have an LCD screen mounted in front of every patient's chair that shows the X-Rays, the video feed, photos and any areas they've marked for monitoring and the doctor and assistant will go over everything they see with me on the screen and run through a plan of what to work on and when. I'm not sure how comparatively easy it would actually be to find a dentist willing to go quite that all-out, but at the very minimum the idea of a dentist that wouldn't even show me the X-Ray is completely foreign to me.

    Have any of them at any point shown you what they see and why they think the particular teeth should be treated?

    legallytiredceresBouwsTzepherin
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    it could be that they have different opinions on what makes a cavity a cavity that needs to be treated and something that needs to just be monitored.

    camo_sig.png
  • deathnote666deathnote666 Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Neither new dentist used the x-ray to show me what needed filled.

    I brought #3's x-rays to #4 since I didn't want to get x-rayed again. #4 said the x-rays weren't even that good.

    Dentist #3 said 3 wisdom teeth had cavities. Dentist #4 said the molars next to the wisdom teeth had cavities.

    Both 3 and 4 are using the excuse that I can't "open my mouth that far" to say I can't clean the wisdom teeth properly. Dentist #1 never said I "couldn't open my mouth that far". Don't think #2 said anything.

    Apparently I fail the "3 finger test" for how far I can open my mouth.

    Dentist #2 is booked out till February.

    deathnote666 on
  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    IANADentist, but I worked for a Dental insurance company for five years

    Dentistry should be pretty straight forward. The cavities should show up on an X-ray. Some Dentists will try to pull silly Goosery, taking X-rays that they do not need, give you fillings that are probably not necessary, want to pull Wisdom teeth that are not needed to be pulled.

    It's really hard to know who to trust, but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

    If you have dental insurance you should not have any work done beyond your routine cleaning without having the dental office submit their treatment plat to your insurance for a Pre-Authorization. This forces your dentist to submit proof to your insurance company that you need the work done. If you insurance denies the claim, you can call and talk to them about why the claim was declined. When you are leaving, and they are scheduling your next appointment, decline to schedule it, and ask them to submit the work to your insurance for Pre-Auth, and let them know that once they get the response you will schedule the appointment.

    Here's the rub. The Dental office does not care if your insurance pays or not. They want to get you in as quick as they can, do whatever services, and if you insurance doesn't pay, they will just bill you. They will get their money either way. It's on YOU to protect YOU.

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
    MrVyngaardHeirBrody
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Both 3 and 4 are using the excuse that I can't "open my mouth that far" to say I can't clean the wisdom teeth properly. Dentist #1 never said I "couldn't open my mouth that far". Don't think #2 said anything.

    Apparently I fail the "3 finger test" for how far I can open my mouth.

    This is not necessarily BS, btw, but it's hard to know if you don't feel like you can trust your dentist. But this is why you need a dentist willing to go over x-rays with you. Generally speaking, even if you don't know a cavity when you see one, they can show you what's going on vs a healthy tooth in the image. Maybe you could make an appointment with one or both just to go over your x-rays with you? I mean, you shouldn't need to do that, but hopefully you'll at least come out with a better understanding of what's going on in your mouth and your options going forward, whoever you decide to go with.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    dispatch.o
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    How far back you can clean is tool-dependent, as well. Some motorised brushes need less space than some manual ones.

    MrVyngaardHappylilElfzepherinBrody
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Here's the rub. The Dental office does not care if your insurance pays or not. They want to get you in as quick as they can, do whatever services, and if you insurance doesn't pay, they will just bill you. They will get their money either way. It's on YOU to protect YOU.

    This isn't my experience for cleanings or fillings. The dentists I've been to will just take the loss if your insurance doesn't pay out.

    I would recommend going to another dentist that takes your insurance and getting a third opinion. You shouldn't go to a dentist you don't trust and it sounds like you don't trust either of the new ones. Also as others have said if the dentist isn't willing to explain things to your satisfaction then you should find one that will.

    khain on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    To get a trustworthy dentist get a recommendation from someone you know who goes to that dentist.

    38thDoe
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    FWIW, when I relocated across the country years ago I waited like a year and a half before I bothered finding a new dentist to go to. At that first appointment I ended up having a couple cavities despite never having had one before in my life. A lot can change in your mouth in a year, and going 16 months without a professional cleaning probably isn't great for dental health.

  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    khain wrote: »
    This isn't my experience for cleanings or fillings. The dentists I've been to will just take the loss if your insurance doesn't pay out.

    If your Dentist has a contract with your insurance company, then he has contracted rates which means he cannot legally charge more than what the insurance pays (with some exceptions, trying not to get too confusing thought)

    -OR-

    You have a great dentist, and there are really great dentists out there. It's just not always easy to find one. It's hard to find reviews for them most of the time. Asking friends, family and co-workers for referrals is a good place to start.

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
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