Health & Wellness

Do you feel like your Dentist is scamming you?

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  • May 12th, 2023 10:34 pm
Deal Addict
Nov 1, 2009
2646 posts

Do you feel like your Dentist is scamming you?

I must admit that I hadn't gone to a dentist cleaning in about a year till last week - b/c we moved and my previous dentist was too far away. Anyway, the previous dentist was pretty good and did not mention anything about cavities and such. Found a new dentist and went in last day for a cleaning. The new one says that I have 5 cavities that need to be filled and something about filling some other spots between/around the gums to prevent stuff from getting in between or some nonsense like that?

What have your experiences been? Any shady dentists try to push wisdom teeth removals, cavity procedures, etc. etc.?

Not really sure what to do. I "could" go for a second opinion I suppose, but that's more time wasted.
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Jan 31, 2006
8152 posts
It might be true that you have cavities consider that you have not gone to a dentist more than a year. But you can seek a second dentist for an checkup and opinion.
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Aug 14, 2009
2175 posts
5 cavities within a year sounds difficult to believe assuming that hasn't been the situation for you... I agree with cgtlky, get a second one for another checkup and opinion.
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Feb 24, 2015
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A dentist would be more likely to try to scam you if you have insurance.

Most health care professionals have to be concerned about scamming people because if patients were to seek out second opinions, and the second opinion were to be vastly different, then patients could complain to the professional college. If a particular professional/dentist were to receive a number of complaints, then he or she risks losing his or her license to practice. In the case of a dentist, that's a license to print about 300k a year. It's not really worth it to take a risk with that.

Patients with insurance are certainly a lot less likely to seek a second opinion, so dentists will be considerably more likely to take that risk. Not to mention most people, dentists included, don't have a lot of sympathy for the insurance companies.

That's just the rational cynic in me. Being pragmatic, you could ask the dentist to see the x-rays showing the cavities. This is a standard practice actually; the dentist should have shown you the x-ray. A cavity should be pretty apparent.
May 28, 2012
12186 posts
Not sure if the site Ratemds is still useful...I found my old dentist on there and most of the comments were that he was in it only for the money. I switched dentists and (miraculously) have non-cavity prone teeth. ;)
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Aug 23, 2010
990 posts
two dentists will have different interpretations of the same clinical findings and also different approaches to how aggressively they treat decay. this is especially true for smaller cavities.

your xrays and stuff get audited like crazy though. so chances are if he's saying you need some fillings, there's not NOTHING there.
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May 28, 2012
12186 posts
heyjoe wrote: two dentists will have different interpretations of the same clinical findings and also different approaches to how aggressively they treat decay. this is especially true for smaller cavities.

your xrays and stuff get audited like crazy though. so chances are if he's saying you need some fillings, there's not NOTHING there.
I didn't see a dentist for almost ten years...went to see my husband's crook dentist for the first time and I had to get two cavities filled...which was understandable given the time since my last appointment. However, we went to see him for regular checkups every six months and on every single visit I had two small fillings that "needed" to be fixed but without freezing. He was a walking advertisement, kept his bottom teeth natural and super-bleached his tops for contrast. A family of five stopped going to him due to his greed. If all dentists were routinely audited, I can't see how he wasn't reprimanded.
Sr. Member
Mar 19, 2012
924 posts
Absolutely! If I take my baby to her I'm sure she will say he needs filling! Another dentist removed My hubby's wisdom tooth and she has damaged his tongue. He was in constant pain for 11 days and could not eat anything and lost for 6kg. The dentist (well hygienist ) I went to ask if I have insurance and they did calculate so that I don't have to pay anything but when I was about to leave they charged me 45$-80 something and another 55$. Like I said if I take my baby I'm sure she will say he needs filling! It's almost impossible to find a decent, honest dentist.
Jun 23, 2013
36 posts
Once the dentist found out that I have company insurance, she took away $800 in one visit. Filling, cleaning whatever nonsense..

never went back anymore.
Deal Guru
Mar 14, 2005
13811 posts
Yes, I don't trust dentists. Had a bunch of fillings put in when I was going to school. When I had no coverage, I stopped going. WEnt to see a different dentist 10+ yrs later, who said I didn't have any new cavities, but it looked like a filling had fallen off one of my molars. I don't like sweets and always brushed my teeth, so it was kinda suspicious that I had so many fillings put in before.
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Aug 20, 2012
13857 posts
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That's what happens when you deal with scammers not covered by OHIP. Unfortunately dentists, physio's, optometrists, chiro's are all part of the bunch. My former chiro only worked 20 hrs a week and made over $200k/annum, wtf... about half his income from jacking up prices on orthotics from insurance companies and selling miscellaneous items that he said patients needed - from extra pillows, shoes, sandals, blah, blah.. I lucked out on my dentist. Honest guy. When I told him I thot I had a cavity cuz some other joker dentist said I did he took xrays and charged me half off and looked intently at the tooth area for like 10 min and said the conclusion was a chipped tooth and possibly some minor superficial damage due to aging which was normal from crunching food over time but wasnt rotting as say from tooth decay. As for cleaning, he employs 4 dental hygienist and charges me $85 for full 1 hr cleaning (more like 45-50min as the remainder is chit-chatting with the hygienist. ;) )

As for reporting to the RCDSO, body that governs dentists - they're an effin joke! The board is stacked with dentists and they cover their own. Unless it's a pure black and white case such as pulling the wrong tooth, wrong root canal, misdiagnosis which lead to the latter or other work then you have no case. It becomes arbitrary and the board stacked 2-1 with dentists ALWAYS rule in favor of the doctor. I had a case and after 6 mos of nonsense going back and forth they ruled against me even though the assistant/receptionist and doctor LIED versus what I witnessed and what I was told at the time versus their submissions to the RCDSO. And there's nothing you can do about it. You can sue them in a civil lawsuit but that's time, money, and energy out of your own pocket so unless you are wealthy it aint worth it. The only thing I suggest is always get a 2nd opinion. Dentists are not like MD's, they are always accepting new patients. So if one isnt giving you a good feeling get another until you get one that you feel is honest and right for you. RateMDs is a good starting point. Point blank.
If the glove don't fit you must acquit! #WINNING
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Sep 5, 2009
3275 posts
Yes, and the emails and phone calls multiples times a month asking me to make an appointment feel like borderline harassment. Once they know you have coverage some treat you like a cash cow.
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Jul 7, 2003
7362 posts
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My last dentist was the worst. I never had a problem with dentists until I moved downtown and found this guy. First dentist I've ever had that recommended to me 4 month visits. I suggested transferring photos from my old dentist and he said he needed new ones. Almost every visit he wants to take new photos. He also recommended he redo my crown. After that I never went back. I really should have known because he had a new attractive dental hygienist every time I went and multiple times I heard him talk very rudely to them so they had high turn over. The guy was jerk. That experience ruined me and I haven't been to a dentist in 5+ years. I really should find a new one.

Edit: I just googled them and 4 out of 5 people gave him 1 out of 5 stars.
Feb 9, 2017
3 posts
1 upvote
cgtlky wrote: It might be true that you have cavities consider that you have not gone to a dentist more than a year. But you can seek a second dentist for an checkup and opinion.
I agree with this statement. Consulting another dentist could be a positive option if you ever in doubt of the first one especially that it's not your current dentist.
Looking for a dentist here
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Jan 2, 2015
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I love and trust my dentist. He is family, but he treats others the same way he treats us, except others can't text him directly. He semi retired for a bit, and when we found another dentist, I didn't love the replacement. I spoke to my first dentist, and he said the other dentist is good, but tends to be much more aggressive in terms of treatment. He would fill at the first sign of problems and pull if too big of a problem. He said that the first dentist isn't wrong and isn't scamming, but takes a different approach. If I didn't feel comfortable to find a different dentist that matching my approach (or his previous more gentle approach).

The more aggressive dentist told me I need to extract a tooth and get an implant. I didn't like that. So I went to a more gentle dentist (that was highly recommended), who told me to check with the endodontist. The endo told me there was a 50/50 chance of the root canal failing. I could save the tooth, or still spend the money and then end up extracting. The aggressive dentist told me to just extract and go with the implant, the other said up to me, but he would always try and save the tooth. I spent $1800 for the endo root canal, last year. It just failed, and now I will spend $6k. Most of it not covered. None of the professionals were wrong. I just trusted the more gentle dentist. Looking back, I would still do the same based on the information I knew at the time

The point is you need to trust your dentist. If you don't get a second opinion. You can always ask for your scans and bring it to the second dentist. Different dentist will have different recommendations which are still correct. However, if you don't trust them, you will always have that doubt in your mind.
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