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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Get a second opinion!

Everybody loves going to the dentist, I know.
I never feel lovelier.
It may be worse than my yearly pap. (Sorry guys. All three of you who read my blog.)
Getting work done seems to me to be a civilized form of torture. You know, something they'd do on Alias, but with TV's to watch and a potential co-pay.
I had an experience last week I HAVE TO share!
I went to a brand new (to me) dentist here in town, by referral from a close friend.
She loves the staff, and has had a lot of work done there.
(Maybe that should have been a clue.)
I went there for a cleaning, and they truly were very nice.
But by the time I left, the nice man told me I needed three crowns and five fillings!! Take that in for a moment...crowns are multiple visits and incredibly expensive.
Three of them. And five fillings.
That's bound to be atleast $3,000, if not more. Right out of our pocket.
I think he basically wanted to re-do everything in my mouth, and then some.
I was fighting tears as I blindly made my appt. for the first torture visit.
But as I pulled out of the parking lot, I called my dentist at home. These are people I've known almost all of my life and I still know their office number by heart. They are amazing, sweet Godly people who live in my hometown, Magnolia.
I told them what he said and that I thought I needed their second opinion.
She squeezed me in for the very next day, and told me this happens all the time.
There are plenty of dentists doing superfluous work on us innocent victims.
So I drove an hour to see my beloved, honest dentist, and you won't believe it...
He said he didn't recommend doing ANYTHING to me! Not one thing.
I was apalled. And relieved of course.
I can save about $3,000. I think we'll take a vacation.
Now let me say here, I know there are different schools of thoughts within dentistry.
The call as to whether or not to mess with a tooth is far more subjective than I think we realize. The only reason I am not putting this first dentist's name on here is because I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, that he is part of an extremely perfectionist school of thought within his profession, and this is not motivated by greed.
But it might be.
(E-mail me if you want to know if he's your dentist.)
All this to say- GET A SECOND OPINION.
Or just drive to my wonderful dentist in Magnolia in the first place.
That's what we'll be doing from now on.


D. Bacak fam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D. Bacak fam said...

One of three guys, checking in. I am with you 100% on this, Jenn. Not the pap, the dentistry. Phantom dentistry is a common occurrence and I fully agree that there either is widespread greed or a huge range of potential treatments. While I'm no dental expert, to me dentist treatment plans should be fairly black and white. Your teeth are either rotting and falling out or they are not. You either are having pain chewing on the Starburst washed down with a Hershey bar, or you are not.
Similar experience to yours happened to me during my college years while visiting a dentist in Katy. I've seen it happen since then with other dentists. Find someone you trust and drive distances if you have to to remain loyal to the dentist you trust. I've seen way too many suspicious treatment plans in my life to believe half of what dentists say anymore.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I've been victim of the dental visit that probably wasn't completely necessary. I now have one of those awesome dentists here in College Station who is not all about doing work for the sake of making money. We've used him for a total of 10 years, and I've been seeing him for 7 years now (this time), and he hasn't done a thing except check my teeth and routine cleanings. His name is Thomas Davis. He also has an awesome, trustworthy staff.

Cathy Trimble

Anonymous said...

My dad is a dentist, and crowns are more of a tedious necessity than extra money.

I think it depends on the dentists' personal opinion of how much decay constitutes a cavity and the liklihood of the person getting it filled soon. You can let them go for a little while, but if you can't make another appointment within 3 months, it will have decayed beyond repair by then.

There are a lot more factors.

But, like all things, we live in a fallen world. I can easily see how dentistry can become a consumeristic practice.

I hope you have better luck next time!!

I love you!


Karen said...

Ok I am seriously hoping this isnt my dentist. I did just get a crown. A VERY expensive crown!

Claire Bellington said...

When Joey and I finally do decide to get a dentist...I'll give you a call..

Jennifer Bacak said...

OH, sorry the estimated bill on this work was $4,000, not $3,000.

Rachel Hood said...

jenn, this is rachel hood and i don't know if you remember but i did make it to dental hygiene school and am working now! yay for out of school! :) unfortunately, there are definitely some dds offices where treatment recommended is to "do it all" and others are more conservative. i prefer to work in the more conservative practices where you treat when definitely needed. Great idea to get a second opinion...usually that will always help to determine in your mind what is necessary or just a way to "make it look better". hope y'all are doing well. we miss you guys!