Video - Is your dentist ripping you off?
Six signs that your dentist might be ripping you off, and an extra piece of advice
Your dentist may be ripping you off. Here are six useful tips to help you avoid it.
1) You probably don't need all your fillings ripped out and replaced
You should doubt any new dentist that prescribes a ton of work for no reason, like ripping out all existing fillings and replacing them with new ones. Unless you're really going in due to pain, there's usually no reason for that.
2) Beware practices that offer deals to get you in the door
"Free" cleaning or "free" whitening are often practices to get you in the door, so they can prescribe you a big treatment plan (that you may or may not need.)
3) Fluoride treatments and prescription toothpastes are generally useless
These sorts of products might be helpful for childs who usually get a ton of cavities, but they're entirely unnecessary for the vast majority of adults.
4) Night guards and sealants are often unnecessary
If they have jaw pain, some people genuinely need a night guard (which stop you from grinding your teeth at night,) but not everyone needs one!
Sealants (which cover a tooth's surface so plaque doesn't accumulate,) can also be more useful for kids who don't usually brush very well, but shouldn't definitely be prescribed for everyone.
5) Veneers are purely cosmetic
Veneers (artificial tooth surfaces) are a purely cosmetic choice, and one that costs thousands of dollars. They have nothing to do with the health of your teeth. And if you don't like the color of your teeth, it's generally much cheaper to go for whitening rather than veneers.
6) Dental insurance can end up costing you more
Health insurance is essential, but dental insurance is often a bad deal, because it can set up a conflict-of-interest for dentists. As the base reimbursement fees from the insurance companies are very low, some dentists may "find" work to do to make up for it.
And here's an additional piece of advice:
7) Don't be afraid to ask to see X-rays and get a second opinion
It's entirely within your rights to temporarily refuse treatment, and get a second opinion. And your X-rays are legally your property, and your dentist is required to turn them over to you to bring to other dentists. So don't be afraid to ask to see X-rays and get a second opinion.