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Old 12-06-2012, 05:52 AM   #1
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Going to the Dentist

So, went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in probably 2 years. Not because I have toothaches, but because I just started on my own insurance (finally got kicked off the 'rents), so I figured I should make use of the money I'm spending.

The cleaning technician came in and reviewed my xrays and said they looked pretty good, but then the actual dentist came in for the exam and seemed kind of like an arrogant guy. Wearing casual clothes, fast talker, and went through the exam very quickly and ended up telling me I need 10 fillings (!). I said I haven't felt any pain and was wondering if they were absolutely necessary, or if stringent flossing would prevent any further decay. He basically laughed in my face, like how dare I question his opinion. After insurance, I'd end up paying nearly $700 for these fillings.

I feel like he was rushing through the exam and just calling out fillings left and right, and his smug attitude to my questions kind of reinforced that feeling. 10 just seems like a lot to me, so I'm wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or if I should try a new dentist and get a second opinion? I definitely understand the importance of teeth health and maybe I'm just being a tightwad haha. Just looking for some thoughts
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:00 AM   #2
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Well it is a business. There are probably a few of those fillings that need immediate attention and probably a few that don't. Do the bad ones first and do the others as you think you can afford it. Might also see if your company offers a flex spending plan, that way you could pay for it with non taxed money. So you will get a nice savings there.

One last thing, take care of your teeth, they are freaking expensive when you have to go putting caps and crowns on them.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:04 AM   #3
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Pull em and get dentures.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:05 AM   #4
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If you do not like the personality of your dentist, get a new one. Most of them let the assistants do most of the work and they pop in at the end for the final call, at least it seems that way to me. It maximizes the number of patients they can see in a day.

If you have decay in your teeth, get them taken care of. I ignored the need for a small filling and it ended up costing me a tooth. A wisdom tooth thankfully, but it had no need to be removed except for my neglect.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:31 AM   #5
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Part of the reason it is such a high bill, is my allowable insurance limit is set at $1000/year but it resets January 1. Unfortunately I don't think I have time to get back to the dentist before the year end, so my plan is to get the worst ones done at the beginning of the year and then wait a year for the not so bad ones. That would cut the bill from $700 to $300. Just hope I wouldn't be risking anything serious by waiting a year.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:33 AM   #6
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A good dentist will understand your financial restraints and give you advice on prioritizing the fillings. He will tell you which need to be done now and which, if any, can wait a year.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:35 AM   #7
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I hit the dentist every 6 months and have had only routine visits for years until I changed dentists. The new guys wants to replace all my old fillings stating that over time, the teeth & fillings had changed shape. I'm not convinced as I can't feel any difference. But, as has been said it is a business....or I could be wrong...don't know. I do wonder why my old dentist didn't recommend it....
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #8
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Go to a female Dentist if you can, trust me! It makes going to the dentist much better! seriously
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlleiber View Post
So, went to the dentist yesterday for the first time in probably 2 years. Not because I have toothaches, but because I just started on my own insurance (finally got kicked off the 'rents), so I figured I should make use of the money I'm spending.

The cleaning technician came in and reviewed my xrays and said they looked pretty good, but then the actual dentist came in for the exam and seemed kind of like an arrogant guy. Wearing casual clothes, fast talker, and went through the exam very quickly and ended up telling me I need 10 fillings (!). I said I haven't felt any pain and was wondering if they were absolutely necessary, or if stringent flossing would prevent any further decay. He basically laughed in my face, like how dare I question his opinion. After insurance, I'd end up paying nearly $700 for these fillings.

I feel like he was rushing through the exam and just calling out fillings left and right, and his smug attitude to my questions kind of reinforced that feeling. 10 just seems like a lot to me, so I'm wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or if I should try a new dentist and get a second opinion? I definitely understand the importance of teeth health and maybe I'm just being a tightwad haha. Just looking for some thoughts

get a second opionion if you dont feel comfortable. However, any cavity should be fixed no matter how small it is. They WILL only get worse over time. you can stop decay once it starts. Kinda like rust, you have to remove it all to stop it. Your cost of $70 a tooth is fair and isnt much when it comes to the only teeth you will ever have.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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You have the right to switch dentists. Ask your friends to see who goes where. Google their name and see what kind of reviews they have.

Or

1800 DENTIST.

That being said, I've had the same one for over half my life. He is actually a friend of mine and I've gone to him since he started his business. He knows to be gentle with me because I am very resistant to the pain meds so he has to dope me up. Last time I didn't have enough, he got popped in the face.

A sempai has those kind of reactions to pain...especially when half doped and on happy gas.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neontrail View Post
Go to a female Dentist if you can, trust me! It makes going to the dentist much better! seriously
Legitimately interested in knowing...why is that?

Entrance exams at universities (and following internships) are scaled (or skewed depending on your view) and I want the individuals that meet the highest standards working on/with me rather it's a dentist, doctor, lawyer or whatever. Anyone who has at least reviewed entry requirements at most universities know that certain people need higher scores on LSATs, MCATs etc., then certain other individuals. Given the option, I tend to research and gravitate towards those that graduate from institutions and those professionals who have to meet the highest standards. Just my long standing position and 2 cents.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:13 AM   #12
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10 cavities ! Woah ! $700 to fill 10 is a deal . They usually cost $220-350 each .
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #13
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OP, I would recommend a second opinion. Like you said, the guys seemed arrogant, so there's a clue already.
My kids' dentist wanted to do all kinds of fillings on their baby teeth. I took them to another dentist and he just laughed, saying that it would be rediculous to do it since the teeth were bound to fall out in about a year. We did not do anything, the teeth fell out and the permanent teeth came in without spending a dime, other than the second opinion office visit.
I am 42 years old and never had a filling.

On the other hand, if the cavities really need to be filled, as determined by a second opinion, then by all means, whatever it cost will be a good investment.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Joe D View Post
Legitimately interested in knowing...why is that?

Entrance exams at universities (and following internships) are scaled (or skewed depending on your view) and I want the individuals that meet the highest standards working on/with me rather it's a dentist, doctor, lawyer or whatever. Anyone who has at least reviewed entry requirements at most universities know that certain people need higher scores on LSATs, MCATs etc., then certain other individuals. Given the option, I tend to research and gravitate towards those that graduate from institutions and those professionals who have to meet the highest standards. Just my long standing position and 2 cents.
Buzz Killington.. I'm pretty sure he was making a statement that he'd rather have a woman than a man because he's attracted to women

OP, I would say just because your dentist seemed like a dick doesn't mean he's not great at his job. 10 in two years isn't surprising at all and if your teeth actually were bothering you when you went in, you probably would of had a bigger issue. Usually when the dentist is in there they scrape along your teeth to see if the x-ray missed anything.. so chances are most of the ones you have are pretty small. I know this because my x-ray came out clean and he was showing his new assistant how to double check and find the little ones.


If you really can't afford it ask to only get the largest ones filled, or see if they have a nice payment plan. Since you're in a time bind I would just get them done there and go to a new dentist next time.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gelo760 View Post
10 cavities ! Woah ! $700 to fill 10 is a deal . They usually cost $220-350 each .
Well $700 after insurance. They are all originally $160-250
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by neontrail View Post
Go to a female Dentist if you can, trust me! It makes going to the dentist much better! seriously
The female dentist that works at the office is the freaking shot queen. If it's one little thing she wants to shoot my mouth up even if I ask her not to. I always schedule when she's not working now
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
OP, I would say just because your dentist seemed like a dick doesn't mean he's not great at his job. 10 in two years isn't surprising at all and if your teeth actually were bothering you when you went in, you probably would of had a bigger issue. Usually when the dentist is in there they scrape along your teeth to see if the x-ray missed anything.. so chances are most of the ones you have are pretty small. I know this because my x-ray came out clean and he was showing his new assistant how to double check and find the little ones.


If you really can't afford it ask to only get the largest ones filled, or see if they have a nice payment plan. Since you're in a time bind I would just get them done there and go to a new dentist next time.
Yeah I know, he could very well be the best dentist I've seen. His attitude was just off-putting and he came in and basically said all of my teeth need fillings, as if it was pre-determined before looking. And yeah, I guess 10 fillings in 2 years isn't bad, but I had only had 2 fillings ever before that.

Paying isn't an issue, I'm just a tight-wad and want to make sure I'm not paying for something I don't need.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlleiber View Post
Yeah I know, he could very well be the best dentist I've seen. His attitude was just off-putting and he came in and basically said all of my teeth need fillings, as if it was pre-determined before looking. And yeah, I guess 10 fillings in 2 years isn't bad, but I had only had 2 fillings ever before that.

Paying isn't an issue, I'm just a tight-wad and want to make sure I'm not paying for something I don't need.
I'd never had a single filling, and I missed a year and a half and I had 6.. 2 big ones, 4 small. I was pretty surprised. I don't know if a dentist would lie about amount of fillings, but is there more than one dentist that works there/with him? There's 2 at my dentist's practice, but I make sure to always get him.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:41 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Buzz Killington
Jasmine, you nailed it lady & I've heard that a few times in my life (not really something I'm proud of, mind you)! I actually debated it but, when he said "seriously" I had to wonder...if he had some tangible rationale.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jlleiber View Post
Yeah I know, he could very well be the best dentist I've seen. His attitude was just off-putting and he came in and basically said all of my teeth need fillings, as if it was pre-determined before looking. And yeah, I guess 10 fillings in 2 years isn't bad, but I had only had 2 fillings ever before that.

Paying isn't an issue, I'm just a tight-wad and want to make sure I'm not paying for something I don't need.
He may have had a chance to look at the xrays before he came in also.
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