What's the deal with the dentist?

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What's the deal with the dentist?

Post by JoeChick10 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:48 am

My wife recently moved to the US from the UK and she and I went yesterday for a dentist appointment - check-up for me and first time (check-up, x-rays) for her. At the end of her appointment, she had a laundry list of items they 'recommended' she get taken care of: 2 cavities, a crown on an old filling and the removal of 3 wisdom teeth.

This was VERY overwhelming for her because she had just gone to her dentist in the UK 2 months ago and had no issues - they did mention that when she moved here they would likely recommend she remove the wisdom teeth. In addition to the conflicting advice, she has no pain anywhere in her mouth and 2 of the 3 wisdom teeth are already fully grown in.

Her experience has made me question some of the prior recommendations I've received from the dentist. Although, we are also considering that her dentist in the UK might have missed some of this stuff. While there is no doubt that the medical/dental industry in the US is a business and is treated as such (i.e. 'your insurance will pay for this so just get it done'), we don't want to ignore something that she needs and are a bit confused on how to proceed.

The easy answer is to get a 2nd opinion (or find a new dentist) but I'm more interested in getting feedback on how others handle getting this type of work done. Like many of you I'm sure, I'm a proponent of taking control of our medical decisions and not just going with whatever the doctor orders however when it comes to dental work, it seems very difficult to determine what makes sense.
  • If a dentist tells you to get something done and it causes you no discomfort do you just go with it?
  • Are there any methods you've found useful to separate the conversation 'you can get this done' and 'you need to get this done'?
  • In general, am I missing anything here?
As always, thanks for your feedback and insight.

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Re: What's the deal with the dentist?

Post by goaties » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:55 am

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Re: What's the deal with the dentist?

Post by dbr » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:57 am

I think medical advice is off limits on the forum, but suggesting a second or even third opinion might be acceptable consumer advice rather than medical advice.

A second comment is that with any medical or dental opinion one should ask for more information, specifically to understand the consequences of doing or not doing the recommended treatment. An explanation of the reason for the recommendation would help. This falls in the category of taking responsibility for one's health.

You might also check the terms of your dental insurance if you have any. Generally in the US dental insurance is not like health insurance and tends to only cover minimal costs and with copays of about 50% for procedures like crowns, 20% for extractions, etc. It is a kind of up to $3000 prepayment of costs for people that have significant work done.

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Re: What's the deal with the dentist?

Post by mtmingus » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:59 am

My experience tells me there are used car sales dentists here.
We have decent dental insurance thru work. But there were times when my (prior) dentists (specialists) submitted estimates for some procedures they recommended for us, but got totally rejected as "unnecessary",. While went to a different dentist (specialist) for consultations, estimated to be paid 50% or 80%, according to the book. I am talking about the same dental issues but different dentists want to treat them differently.

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Re: What's the deal with the dentist?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:05 am

This topic has been locked as seeking medical advice (in this case, dental). See Unacceptable Topics:
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Re: What's the deal with the dentist?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:35 pm

Upon further review, this thread will remain locked (medical advice - questioning of a medical treatment).
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