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Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic?
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Joel M. Eichen
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 4062

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

Why would an auto mechanic say your braces need to
be redone? Are the teeth noty straight enough for him?

And when driving past as forty miles per hour its
barely noticeable.


Joel


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JimSocal
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:59 am    Post subject: Re: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

On Wed, 21 Jun 2006 04:34:01 GMT, "L505" <ng_(@)_atz505.com_> wrote:

Quote:

"Culican" <tabby55@gmail.com> wrote in message news:QWplg.26$RD.15@fed1read08...
We have auto mechanics who say you need your brakes re-done. You go to
another who says they are fine. And guess what, that brakes last 30,000
miles more.

I had a dentist that said I had 6 decayed teeth. Another that says they
are fine. And guess what, those teeth are still fine 30 years later.

I have a great dentist now. But that seems to be a matter of luck.

Why should it be so hard, especially with so-called "professionals?"

This can go the other way too - in my case I had a dentist who said my teeth
were fine, each year, for 3-4 years of 6-12 month regular checkups!

But I was looking in the mirror myself every odd week, with my own bright LED
light and pick. I found several cavities myself in the mirror with my light.

I went to see two new dentists. Second opinion and third opinions do help.
But guess what? The second and third opinions cost money.

But how come if I go into a grocery store or a computer store I don't get
charged for an opinion or advice on what to buy? Stores offer free advice on
their products - to get you to buy the product! Dentists offer no free advice
(at least the ones I've seen). They charge you just for an opinion! And they
charge you for the actual product, AND the service!

Anyway, and only one of these two new dentists finally confirmed all of my
suspicions. The first dentist said that yes there were problems with my teeth,
and that there was a large hole in one tooth - he pulled it out and the hole was
GIGANTIC. I am going to take pictures of it because it is so disgusting and
huge. He wasn't saying there was a hole in my tooth just to make a quick buck -
he pulled it out and I SAW THE HUGE hole with my own eyes, and I have the tooth
in my drawer for proof.

Even though this dentist found that hole, he didn't really tell me about any
other problems in my teeth - while I new I had more problems. I pointed out
another cavity to him that I'd been monitoring - and he filled that. But I had
to point it out to him. I could see it in the mirror and I had to point it out
to him! It was maybe 3MM-4MM deep and I kept getting food caught in it. And it
was a bit painful when I cleaned it out. So you can't say that it didn't need to
be filled.

Then I saw another dentist, a third dentist. This third dentist confirmed that I
did have more problems and confirmed my suspicion about another tooth that was
rotting away, and a couple more cavities that needed to be checked later this
month. One needs either a root canal, or if he can preserve it - a large
filling. I have looked in the mirror myself and this hole is huge - it
definitely needs attention.
When I shine my light in I can see black inside the entire back of the tooth!

Yet the other dentist didn't seem to mention ANYTHING about these huge
holes? For 3-4 years? And the second dentist didn't mention anything
except one hole, when in fact there were at least 2 major and several
medium holes.

I'm very humble and not aggressive at all in person. I'm conservative
and slow moving. So it's not as if I'm exaggerating here.

I'm dead serious when I say 2 dentists have basically MISSED two huge cavities
which have cost me YEARS of stress.

It's not the PAIN that is causing me stress, but the continual THINKING I do
about WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO? Why do we have to put up with this? That is
what is causing me stress.

Get your OWN bright light (LED, WHITE COLOR) and get your own pick.
Get your own dental mirror from a drug store or pharmacy store.
Because you cannot trust a professional! You cannot. Don't do the
dental work yourself, just check your own teeth yourself.
Then go in to the dentist knowing what needs to be done
and let him do the work - but pay close attention and be
educated.

I will regret not paying attention to my own assessment of my teeth
for the rest of my life.

I trusted them - I thought that maybe I was just hallucinating, and
maybe there really weren't two HUGE holes and several medium holes
in my tooth. I trusted the experts. I made a big mistake.


Wow. That's almost hard to believe.

I say almost because I do believe you, and because I have seen some
really bad dentists, myself. This one guy did a bad root canal on my
wife, then when we went back to point out the problems she was having,
he looked at it and said, "No, it's perfect. I did really good work on
that!" He complemented himself on the work!

Then we went to another dentist who took xrays and said, "That is
really a bad root canal that guy did!" I took those new xrays and
showed them to several other dentists. They concurred that it was a
bad root canal job.

Meanwhile this guy had the nerve to continue to send us reminders for
our dental appointments and say hello to my wife in public, as if he'd
done nothing wrong.

I threatened to take him to small claims court unless he gave us the
money back for the root canal. I did not threaten to charge him for
the apicoectomy my wife had to have as a result of his bad work, but I
should have.

He finally paid us back for the bad root canal and we of course
changed dentists.

Lesson learned: I will never let a regular dentist do a root canal
again. I know some CAN do it, and I hate to discourage anyone from
going to those GOOD dentists who CAN do good endodontia. But I
personally will only go to an endo for root canals in the future.

I also now (as a result of the above AND several other bad dentist
experiences) go into any dentist's office with the attitude that I am
dealing with the likes of a used car salesman, someone who may just be
out to cheat me, and/or is just incompetent and really knows nothing
about cars (or teeth, as the case may be).

I know that Dr. Bornfeld and other dentists here are not like this and
I hate to bad-mouth dentists, but it just seems like it is necessary
to let people know that the dental profession is no longer one that is
full of trustworthy professionals as it may have been in years gone
by. Now you have to really question every one, and be careful, and
educate yourself. At least where I live, which is a big city.
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JimSocal
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 13:00:35 GMT, Steven Bornfeld
<dentaltwinmung@earthlink.net> wrote:

Quote:


Culican wrote:
We have auto mechanics who say you need your brakes re-done. You go to
another who says they are fine. And guess what, that brakes last 30,000
miles more.

I had a dentist that said I had 6 decayed teeth. Another that says they
are fine. And guess what, those teeth are still fine 30 years later.

I have a great dentist now. But that seems to be a matter of luck.

Why should it be so hard, especially with so-called "professionals?"


Two reasons: First, it's nice to think that dentistry is hard science,
but it's half dark art. Sometimes we have to make judgements about
appropriate treatment without knowing the patient's history, health,
diet, etc. that can tremendously affect the outcome of treatment. Some
dentists are also by inclination more "aggressive" about filling
questionable cavities, replacing serviceable but wearing prostheses,
etc. While it's convenient to say the more aggressive dentists are
overtreating, I can tell you that many times my admonition to patients
that "something may need to be done to that tooth next year" leads to a
next visit 5 years later for an extraction. It is not always easy to
tell which patients will follow your advice and which will go their own
merry way.
IOW, what goes on between a patient and a doctor is supposed to be some
kind of partnership. You must feel comfortable with the dentist's style
as well as competence. Some patients need to be told what to do; others
will be very good about return visits to check something that may need
to be done.
Then of course there are the crooks and incompetents. They are there
because dentists are people. The question as to how to weed out these
losers is difficult because weeding them out is going to be an imperfect
process as well, and it's not always easy to tell after the fact exactly
what has gone on. Regulation of the professions doubtless can be
improved. I am not a public-health expert, so I'm not aware of all the
issues involved. I know it's difficult because the professions are
regulated by the state, and doctors move around. Maybe there's a public
health forum where these issues are discussed, but I haven't checked.

Hope this helps,
Steve
I think you hit on a lot of the answers to the poster's question.


I would only add that I think one major problem is the whole "dental
insurance" scam, that is HMO dental plans where dentists can't make
any money off of the participants without using bait and switch
techniques and talking them into procedures they don't really need, in
order to make a buck.

It would be a major task to fix this problem, and with insurance
companies like CIGNA and DELTA involved, they have so much power it is
unlikely any bought and paid for government official will get anywhere
trying to regulate them...

So one tip I recommend to anyone looking for a good dentist is:
Don't go to a dentist who accepts HMO dental plans.

Another tip: Go to a Graduate School of Dentistry dental office where
they are more interested in teaching grad students the right way to do
dentistry, than in making a buck. (Though surely they do operate at a
profit, so prices are not that low. However, my experience there so
far has been great.)
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L505
medicine forum beginner


Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:34 am    Post subject: Re: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

"Culican" <tabby55@gmail.com> wrote in message news:QWplg.26$RD.15@fed1read08...
Quote:
We have auto mechanics who say you need your brakes re-done. You go to
another who says they are fine. And guess what, that brakes last 30,000
miles more.

I had a dentist that said I had 6 decayed teeth. Another that says they
are fine. And guess what, those teeth are still fine 30 years later.

I have a great dentist now. But that seems to be a matter of luck.

Why should it be so hard, especially with so-called "professionals?"

This can go the other way too - in my case I had a dentist who said my teeth
were fine, each year, for 3-4 years of 6-12 month regular checkups!

But I was looking in the mirror myself every odd week, with my own bright LED
light and pick. I found several cavities myself in the mirror with my light.

I went to see two new dentists. Second opinion and third opinions do help.
But guess what? The second and third opinions cost money.

But how come if I go into a grocery store or a computer store I don't get
charged for an opinion or advice on what to buy? Stores offer free advice on
their products - to get you to buy the product! Dentists offer no free advice
(at least the ones I've seen). They charge you just for an opinion! And they
charge you for the actual product, AND the service!

Anyway, and only one of these two new dentists finally confirmed all of my
suspicions. The first dentist said that yes there were problems with my teeth,
and that there was a large hole in one tooth - he pulled it out and the hole was
GIGANTIC. I am going to take pictures of it because it is so disgusting and
huge. He wasn't saying there was a hole in my tooth just to make a quick buck -
he pulled it out and I SAW THE HUGE hole with my own eyes, and I have the tooth
in my drawer for proof.

Even though this dentist found that hole, he didn't really tell me about any
other problems in my teeth - while I new I had more problems. I pointed out
another cavity to him that I'd been monitoring - and he filled that. But I had
to point it out to him. I could see it in the mirror and I had to point it out
to him! It was maybe 3MM-4MM deep and I kept getting food caught in it. And it
was a bit painful when I cleaned it out. So you can't say that it didn't need to
be filled.

Then I saw another dentist, a third dentist. This third dentist confirmed that I
did have more problems and confirmed my suspicion about another tooth that was
rotting away, and a couple more cavities that needed to be checked later this
month. One needs either a root canal, or if he can preserve it - a large
filling. I have looked in the mirror myself and this hole is huge - it
definitely needs attention.
When I shine my light in I can see black inside the entire back of the tooth!

Yet the other dentist didn't seem to mention ANYTHING about these huge
holes? For 3-4 years? And the second dentist didn't mention anything
except one hole, when in fact there were at least 2 major and several
medium holes.

I'm very humble and not aggressive at all in person. I'm conservative
and slow moving. So it's not as if I'm exaggerating here.

I'm dead serious when I say 2 dentists have basically MISSED two huge cavities
which have cost me YEARS of stress.

It's not the PAIN that is causing me stress, but the continual THINKING I do
about WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO? Why do we have to put up with this? That is
what is causing me stress.

Get your OWN bright light (LED, WHITE COLOR) and get your own pick.
Get your own dental mirror from a drug store or pharmacy store.
Because you cannot trust a professional! You cannot. Don't do the
dental work yourself, just check your own teeth yourself.
Then go in to the dentist knowing what needs to be done
and let him do the work - but pay close attention and be
educated.

I will regret not paying attention to my own assessment of my teeth
for the rest of my life.

I trusted them - I thought that maybe I was just hallucinating, and
maybe there really weren't two HUGE holes and several medium holes
in my tooth. I trusted the experts. I made a big mistake.
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Steven Bornfeld
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Posts: 492

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

Culican wrote:
Quote:
We have auto mechanics who say you need your brakes re-done. You go to
another who says they are fine. And guess what, that brakes last 30,000
miles more.

I had a dentist that said I had 6 decayed teeth. Another that says they
are fine. And guess what, those teeth are still fine 30 years later.

I have a great dentist now. But that seems to be a matter of luck.

Why should it be so hard, especially with so-called "professionals?"


Two reasons: First, it's nice to think that dentistry is hard science,
but it's half dark art. Sometimes we have to make judgements about
appropriate treatment without knowing the patient's history, health,
diet, etc. that can tremendously affect the outcome of treatment. Some
dentists are also by inclination more "aggressive" about filling
questionable cavities, replacing serviceable but wearing prostheses,
etc. While it's convenient to say the more aggressive dentists are
overtreating, I can tell you that many times my admonition to patients
that "something may need to be done to that tooth next year" leads to a
next visit 5 years later for an extraction. It is not always easy to
tell which patients will follow your advice and which will go their own
merry way.
IOW, what goes on between a patient and a doctor is supposed to be some
kind of partnership. You must feel comfortable with the dentist's style
as well as competence. Some patients need to be told what to do; others
will be very good about return visits to check something that may need
to be done.
Then of course there are the crooks and incompetents. They are there
because dentists are people. The question as to how to weed out these
losers is difficult because weeding them out is going to be an imperfect
process as well, and it's not always easy to tell after the fact exactly
what has gone on. Regulation of the professions doubtless can be
improved. I am not a public-health expert, so I'm not aware of all the
issues involved. I know it's difficult because the professions are
regulated by the state, and doctors move around. Maybe there's a public
health forum where these issues are discussed, but I haven't checked.

Hope this helps,
Steve
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Clinton
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

Culican wrote:
Quote:
We have auto mechanics who say you need your brakes re-done. You go to
another who says they are fine. And guess what, that brakes last 30,000
miles more.

I had a dentist that said I had 6 decayed teeth. Another that says they
are fine. And guess what, those teeth are still fine 30 years later.

I have a great dentist now. But that seems to be a matter of luck.

Why should it be so hard, especially with so-called "professionals?"

Hint...see other thread in this group. Now ask yourself who regulates
automechanics? Who regulates drugs? Who regulates dentists?
Would you have more faith in the quality of a randomly selected
mechanic, dentist or drug?
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tabby55@gmail.com
medicine forum beginner


Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:43 am    Post subject: Why is finding a good dentist like finding a good auto mechanic? Reply with quote

We have auto mechanics who say you need your brakes re-done. You go to
another who says they are fine. And guess what, that brakes last 30,000
miles more.

I had a dentist that said I had 6 decayed teeth. Another that says they
are fine. And guess what, those teeth are still fine 30 years later.

I have a great dentist now. But that seems to be a matter of luck.

Why should it be so hard, especially with so-called "professionals?"
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