Fake Cavities

Status: Scary scam
An Indiana dentist has been charged with diagnosing patients with cavities that didn't exist. This is the kind of thing that feeds the popular paranoia about dentists:

The attorney general's office said Dunlap diagnosed three patients with cavities, but the patients sought second opinions and were found to be cavity-free. State officials said Dunlap diagnosed a child with 10 cavities in June, but another dentist found that the child did not have any cavities. A similar complaint was filed by a patient in May 2004, said Staci Schneider, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office.

Personally, I've never had a cavity. But one time a dental assistant cleaning my teeth told me I had three or four cavities. Luckily the dentist who checked her work recognized that the 'cavities' were just grooves in my teeth.

Con Artists Health/Medicine

Posted on Wed Nov 09, 2005


heh i can top that, i saw a documentary on bad dentists once, and this dentist told this guy he needed all his teeth out, so the guy had all his teeth remvoed and then almost bled to death though his gums because the guy didnt sow up the openings. it turned out he needed no teeth removed and the dentist was just, well a freak

and what was the dentists defense? he claimed that the guy had asked to have all his teeth removed....
Posted by joeodd  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  12:40 AM
I've had this same thing happen; both my wife and I had appointments, and the dentist had all sorts of fancy new equipment. He told us both we had a bunch of cavities, after not having any for a decade, so we went to another dentist who didn't find any. Guess I should have called the VA authorities. Oh well.
Posted by rob  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  05:42 AM
They get paid for removing cavities, so it seems perfectly realistic that this guy is a poor sob who tries abusing his job for the extra money he can scorch
Posted by Blood For Nothing  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  06:43 AM
I found a book at a discount bookstore called MediScame ny a guy name Chuck Whitlock. He has a whole chapter on the scams dentist pull.
Posted by Dany  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  09:24 AM
A few years ago Erik and I went to a new dentist to get our teeth cleaned. The first appointment we went to, I never even made it in because he spent well over an hour and a half yelling at a patient over insurance, and how theirs is bad etc. (Don't know why they stayed for it either.)
The second time I went, he did get me in to look at my teeth for about 3 minutes, 2 hours after my appt was scheduled.

He told Erik he needed all kinds of stuff done, including gum scraping surgery etc. I was told I needed a ton of work done as well, all very expensive.

Well, we went to another dentist instead - 6 months later because we figured we needed to up our dentist insurance first so we could afford all this work... Erik got his teeth cleaned normally, and I needed a single filling. That's it.

The problem with dentists, is, as I found out, they're not regulated the same way physicians are. I'm just glad we decided to see a different dentist in the end, so the whole thing left me rather sceptical and picky about dentists. I now travel 2 hours each way to go see one I'm happy with.
Posted by Winona  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  10:23 AM
My previous dentist, working with my HMO, always insisted I needed work done even though everything was fine. I had one cavity, and he said he found a whole bunch of them. I think he was just trying to get my healthcare moolah.

Soon as I switched dentists to one who my HMO didn't cover (which I had to because of the personal situation which I won't go into here), sure enough, there was less work to do.

Of course, I still wish I could go to an HMO-approved dentist, but not if they're gonna be so greedy with my money and time.
Posted by eriC draveS  on  Thu Nov 10, 2005  at  07:48 PM
As a dentist, the #1 cause of scams is...a difference of opinion.

There are a lot of ways to find a cavity. The traditional way is to take an explorer (that sharp, hook-shaped thingy) and poke it into the tooth. If it sticks-cavity. But there are many problems.

The first problem is, a dull explorer rarely sticks! So, a dull explorer will throw off a dentist.

Second, teeth go through cycles of becoming softer and harder, depending on your mineral uptake. So, the outside of a tooth may get harder if you use fluoride or ingest calcium, even if the inside is a big, "jelly donut" of tooth decay.

Third, dentists are people. They are not perfect, and may miss some areas of your tooth.

So is it any wonder that, even using standardized methods in a university study, the traditional method of finding cavities is 46% effective?

To make matters worse, everybody has their preferences. I prefer to treat cavities as soon as I find them, That way, I only have to make a little hole and I save more tooth. My buddy likes to leave little cavities alone, because he feels that as long as a cavity isn't getting bigger, it's OK. (how he measures this I don't know)

So, while second opinions are usually different, that doesn't mean that the first dentist is ripping you off.

I have a device that uses a laser to find cavities. It's called a "Diagnodent" and it's made by Siemens. It is 93% effective in finding cavities. I would recommend finding a dentist that uses this technology-they are keeping up with the times.
Posted by Trevor Clemons, DDS  on  Fri Nov 11, 2005  at  06:35 PM
So is it any wonder that, even using standardized methods in a university study, the traditional method of finding cavities is 46% effective?

Even using x-rays???
Posted by Joe  on  Sun Nov 13, 2005  at  02:30 PM
The same thing happened to my childhood dentist--he lost his license for insurance fraud and misdiagnosing. He was replacing fillings that didn't need it.
Posted by Travis A Finucane  on  Thu Nov 17, 2005  at  02:14 PM
Wife and I just got done with a new dentist. I don't need cleaning I need "deep" cleaning..which of course isn't covered. We both feel like going to dentists these days, with their fancy offices , tools and large business and personal debts, feels a lot like going to a car dealership to have your car fixed.

Can you get your xrays from your dentist?
Posted by peter  on  Fri Dec 16, 2005  at  05:11 PM
As a hygienist, I am very sorry to hear about your impressions of dentists these days. Here are some things to consider. As far as the "deep" cleaning goes-if your probe readings-those are measurements that indicate gum disease (or periodontal disease) are above 4mm with bleeding, you have early indications of gum disease. Bone and enamel have to degenerate over 30% for it to show up on x rays. If you are unhappy with the diagnosis of either gum disease or decay, I urge you to go to another dentist and EXPECT to have someone explain everything to you, ask questions. Probing and xrays are essential, and be wary of any dentist who says "no you don't need this or that, that does not exist." A good dental office will not bash another professional If a dentist wants to change every tooth in your head, then there might be a problem with the dentist. The Diagnodent that Trevor Clemons mentioned is extremely accurate and finds cavities when they are small, not when they have broken through the enamel and are heading dangerously close to the nerve leading to a root canal. I too have been a victim in my pre hygiene days to insurance fraud and misleading diagnosis. Your dentist/hygienist/assistants are there to serve you! If they lack patience and understanding, maybe they should lack you as patients as well. As far as your insurance goes, they own some responsibility as well, did you know that the max you have right now is the same max they allowed 20 years ago. 80% of the population has a form of gum disease, I urge you to check out periodontal disease on the internet and arm yourself with more knowledge other than what the insurance company will or will not cover--they are out to make money too. You would be surprised at the antics that they will go through not to cover your treatments.
Posted by JRM  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  07:55 PM
i have a question on crownlenghening. i believe that a dentist i had in the past did some work i did not need on a perfectly fine tooth. he root canaled a tooth that was not in any pain. he never put a crown on it, just filled it. he then told me i would need to make an appt for a crown. i changed dentists. my new dentist said he would not crown that tooth without a crwon lenghening and showed me the xray and explained why. i am satisifed with my new dentist and so far trust him. however, crownlenghtheningis not covered on my insurance. my old dentist apparently drilled away at this tooth way under the gumline. what can i do? please give me someadvice. i amfixing the toothe regardless, because it is very visible. i feel as though i have been taken for a ride by my formaer dentist. is there anythingi can do to maybe have the dentist that ruined my tooth be responsible for the repair of this tooth? when all is said and done the tooth will have cost me 2000.00 give or take. am i just screwed or can i do something? pleasehelp
Posted by jackie  on  Mon Mar 20, 2006  at  04:13 PM
I just hate dentists - I go in to have a couple gum line cavities filled - (2 appointments) they are all nice - fixed em up perfectly. Then I get a cracked tooth from some corn nuts (ha) - I go back they drill and fill - I am told to bite down - she makes a face then says I broke the tooth - we gotta do it all over - she redrills and fills it with some white stuff - I come home the novacaine wears off and I'm in ice pick splitting pain - I give it a few days w ibuprofen - still pain - I go back they file it down a little but still pain - they tell me if it still hurts in a week I will need a root canal and a crown- I go in tommorrow - I'm getting it pulled - I'll be damned if I'm giving those crooks any more money for sabotaging my tooth - I'm so pissed - it hurts so damn much.. They act like I'm a drug addict for asking for pain meds when I have to pay for thier screw up - I hate Dentists - all of them have a scam - One I went to I had to pay more because he called it a hook - he had to twist his wrist funny so it cost me another 150 bucks - I hope they all die in pain
Posted by Sean  on  Wed Apr 19, 2006  at  07:32 PM
Jackie, unfortunately you had come across a dentist that was not so good. I am afraid your only recourse might be legally. But it would probably cost you more than paying for the tooth.
Posted by JRM  on  Thu Apr 20, 2006  at  08:13 AM
Long "Deep Throat" style post.

Hello everyone. As a Dental Hygienist I have seen and felt terrible about all of what you patients have been and will go through. You are truly up the creek when dealing with Dentistry.

If you want it to change here is your chance.
Copy and Paste this post as well as the others and write, not e-mail your state and federal representatives and ask them to introduce a bill.

A bill to oversee and to regulate dentists and free hygienists to offer cleanings in their own offices. The rep is going to ask you whom should oversee them. What do we know about it they will say. Answer below.

The Dental School they graduated from should be responsible for their behavior. Have the state or fed fund a program for spot checks and interviews of patients. Will this work? Oh yes. Dental students are scared of instructors in school. They dreamed of the day they would get their license and never be told what to do again.

Everything had to be PERFECT working on patients in school. If today, they(Denists) knew that someone from their school could "drop-by" and evaluate their work, patient environment, billing, at a moments notice, gone would be the "god complex"

We are all fighting when dealing with our Dentist.
You can make it stop with a letter. Keep sending. Once a month would make a real effect in this.

What causes all this?

Money is the problem.

An ethical dentist is the one in the regular house and regular car. Making honest money on teeth is HARD these days. If you see signs of extreme wealth, your insurance is getting emptied every year for CERTAIN. These Dentists believe your coverage is money owed to them. They just need to find a way to bill for it on procedures you will agree to. They call it making the patient compliant.

Non-compliant patients are something whole seminars are held for to teach wealthy Dentist about. Patients are the Denist's adversary they are taught. Seminars to keep you from suing for negligence, seminars for getting you to sign over insurance check directly to them by giving them copies of your signature. The list is endless.

Does the office have lots of associates? One owner? These associates are usually foreigners or recent graduates who have very little exerience. The host or owner Dentist is supposed to be around constantly watching or improving these person's technique. Most of the time you will find the owner Dentist not on premises or even out of state (vacation again?)
Dental Groups and HMO/DMO identify these practices most frequently.

Now to my group. Poor souls, really.
Posted by D.T.  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:50 PM
Part II

An ethical Hygienist gets paid per hour to clean your teeth. The better job they do, the less work next visit. The better educated you are about your teeth and how to keep them healthy, the easier their job will be year after year. An unethical Hygienist is in "bed" with the Dentist to sell you on cavities and expensive root canals before the Dentist even comes in the room to give you an exam. "Soften them up, they trust you." They tell us. Dentist want to go in that room after a cleaning and just get verbal approval without any explanation on their part. Lawyers have taught them explanation educates the patient of what to expect. Let the Hygienist do it for you.
It lessens their exposure to successful lawsuits.

Hygienists with the highest incomes get paid for production in these office. The more drilling that is diagnosed the more they get paid in bonuses, including powered toothbrushes and prescription fluoride rinses and such. If your hygienist tells you that you have a cavity, they commited a crime in 98% of the counties in the U.S.

Why? A little know law and the iron ball that enslaves and prostitutes Hygienists to Dentists.

The law that keeps Hygienists from practicing in their own offices and giving reasonable cost cleanings to the public is the law prohibiting anyone but a Dentist telling you you have cavities.

If a Hygienist or Assistant tells you there is a problem with your teeth; cavity, abscess, gum disease, run from that practice. Go. Now. Tell everyone that that is what they are doing. They broke the law. Hygienist: "I told them they 'might' have a cavity, so the Dentist would not be mad at me." Ask a judge or a member of the Board of Dentistry if "might" or "area of concern" means you were not the first person to bring up the idea of a disease infecting the patient? Thought so. You just diagnosed a disease and committed a crime under the Dental Practice Act.

Why was it written?

Simple problem, Dentists need sales. No time to butter every patient up themselves. Tell Hygienist or assistants to talk to patients while cleanings and x-rays are being done. Problem solved.


What if Hygienists and Assistants offer their services to the public?

Damn, problem two.
Posted by D.T.  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:52 PM
Part III

Make what we ask them to do illegal. Conflict? No. Dentistry is regulated by Dentists. The states gave us that right. No one oversees what we do to patients after we graduate. Unless a patient complains to the state. Ha Ha! They can't see in their own mouth! Second opinion? Dentist do not tell on each other. It is part of the ethical code we agreed to in getting our license. We can pull a complaining Hygienist's license based on accusation. A Dentist gets a hearing and can still keep drilling teeth. We will fine him and the public will be happy. Hell it is just money to us. We have plenty!

There are check and balances in every other profession EXCEPT Dentistry. Why not Dentistry?

The morality of the men going into the field was unquestioned during most of the twentieth century.

Remember what has changed in our society in the 21st century. How do people feel about morality?

How many people lie about things every day now? Kids think lying is a skill set, not a liability for living life.

People lie a lot today. People who can get extra money from you for lying have motivation to lie more than those that do not.

Dentists have : Motive and opportunity to steal.

Little ache from cold water sir? No. That is the beginning of an abscess. With all my years of experience I have seen it before. (Bad Hygienist or assistant looks at floor so patient cannot read if we agree or not. Good Hygienist or assistant raises eyebrows and shakes head no, just barely to let patient know something is not kosher and should seek another Dentist.)

Nice older patient who has always listened to their Dentist even though the practice was bought by a recent new graduate who has lots of certificates on the wall from "Advanced Dentistry Weekend" courses, say "you know best doc, I just thought Ice cream was giving me the problem that's all."

Ethical Hygienist and assistant know sensitivity to heat is the test for an abscess. They know that the x-ray showed no abscess. They are powerless if they want to feed their family, since if the Dentist loses his license for doing things like this, they have no job. They keep quiet and hope things will someday change.

Wheew. That is 1,000th of the problem that needs to be addressed. Don't get me started about how a room that needs 10 minutes to properly disinfect, sees a new patient before the chair is even cold from the last... Ask to look at the patient schedule. They will tell you no. It violates the privacy of the other patients. It will also show you that there is no time between patients for proper disinfection. It is done in under 60 seconds for most rooms and is not CDC or WHO comliant to kill disease from the previous patient. Want to be safe? Be seen first in the morning. Most virus and bacteria could not survice the whole night at room temperature and no water supply.
Posted by D.T.  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:53 PM
Part IV

Ask for an internal affairs type program for dentistry like the police have. Ask to see your Hygienst freed from being "Pimped" by their Dentist. Patients want a cleaning every six months to look good. Dentists designed that exam at the end to convince that drilling needs to be done. Ask for an exam every year, not every six months and see how fewer fillings you will have. A real test of the problem is the following. If the Dentist still wants to come "check on things" after you told him you did not want to have an exam billed, and says there will be "no charge." They cannot find a filling to fill up their schedule with profitable procedures if you will not agree to letting them in your mouth every six months to convince you they are needed.

Tell the Dentist your insurance is maxed. They will probably tell you to wait until it renews to get your work done. Another insurance crime, but a way to keep you happy not paying out of pocket and feeling like the Dentist is "helping" you get the most out of your coverage. The Dentist really just made you party to insurance fraud. You did not know that, but that is not what the Judge is going to tell you. Watch out!

Hygienists are Prostitutes? Looks like it. Feels like it every day. If a Hygienist feels otherwise, she just likes the arrangement she has and looks forward to keeping things as they have always been. Abused wife syndrome comes to mind.

It is illegal for her to do her job unless she does it on his "corner"(office) and he gets his "cut"(70-80% of the procedures she performs.)

Think she got what she asked for becoming a Hygienist?

If not, tip her some cash, she works hard all day so his wife does not have to!

After ten years of being there, you think of all the patients and staff who have suffered...for inflated fees and Dentists down the street that knew, but never reported what was happening.

Failure to report is complicit in crime remember Doctor?
Posted by D.T.  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  12:54 PM
P.S. For all you Hygienists and Dentist will halos and white angel wings, no it was not just one office. Not it was not one area. It was a county that is the third most wealthy in the United States.

I have fought with Dentists to do the right thing and watched them laugh and do it anyway. I have watched new graduates come in wanting to do good in the world and seen the slow and steady transistion into what I described above. They want the wealth, the opportunity is there and they succomb.

Please ignore any spelling mistakes since I type close to 80 wpm. Dentists use Hygienists as Secretaries when things are slow. Typing is one of the requirements in a lot of offices.
Posted by D.T.  on  Tue May 02, 2006  at  01:06 PM
i found this website today after i came home absolutely pissed after going to the dentist. i have good insurance that pays for twice yearly routine exam and cleaning. i go to a new dentist today and they take a bunch of xrays and look at my teeth. then he says i need to come back another day for a "deep cleaning" which the insurance doesnt cover. i tell them i just want a routine cleaning covered by the insurance and he says he wont do it. then i later find out that my insurance wont cover the unnecessary "full mouth" xrays he took. so basically i'm stuck with a $100 bill for some useless xrays, and my teeth are still not cleaned. these guys are just a bunch of crooks. i'm going back to the cheapo dentist in the mall who just does the basic stuff without all this extra fluff to steal my money and the insurance's money. as for the dentists and hygienists reading this, i'm a physician in an academic hospital and i dont treat my patients this way or make clinical decisions based on how much money i can get from them. i do what's in their best interest.
Posted by F.T.  on  Fri May 05, 2006  at  07:33 PM

You are correct. He does not have to clean your teeth the way you want it done. Each Dentist gets to do what they want in their own offices. Unless he does irreparable damage, you can't sue with even the slightest chance of victory. Lawyers laugh when patients try to convince them to take dental cases. Even if he broke your jaw during an extraction, as long as it heals reasonably well, no one will win against a dentist.

I have done deep cleanings Pro bono just to get it done for the patient. I got yelled at by the Dentist for the loss of money, but it was my time during lunch and the person was unemployed and a single mother who had just quit smoking. It was the right thing to do. If I had billed it as a regular cleaning for the lesser fee, it would have been fraud even though we lost money on the harder procedure being billed as a simple cleaning. I had to do it for free to get it done at all. It was what you would have done in my place I am sure. Most Dentists give away services to friends and family, but I have never seen one do any free work for strangers or new patients.

When you write to say you are a good dentist and you resent my characterization, ask yourself what you have done to stop your money driven comrades down the street in the next office? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Dentist Mantra to keep them from getting involved in the problem.

Write your representatives and put it on your letter head from work. We all need these guys answering to someone other than themselves.

Good luck!
Posted by D.T.  on  Sat May 06, 2006  at  09:02 AM
"I have done deep cleanings Pro bono just to get it done for the patient. I got yelled at by the Dentist for the loss of money, but it was my time during lunch and the person was unemployed and a single mother who had just quit smoking. It was the right thing to do. If I had billed it as a regular cleaning for the lesser fee, it would have been fraud even though we lost money on the harder procedure being billed as a simple cleaning."

.....And by most insurance carriers' standards, by performing a procedure for free for an uninsured patient, you are still committing insurance fraud. Not that an insurance company is even likely to find out it was done in the first place. I'm a dental office manager, and I recall specifically reading on one of Delta Dental's websites that they consider the discount or offer of free services to uninsured patients to also be insurance fraud. I suppose the insurance carriers don't think it's fair that they get charged $130 for a quad of root planing when someone else walks into your office and gets it done for free.
Posted by M.K.  on  Wed Jun 14, 2006  at  12:24 PM
I have had about 7 dentists, and have been skeptical of most. This latest dentists does excellent work. However, they have a staff that is a machine for making money. He just presented me with a $3000 estimate to clean my teeth (deep cleaning estimated to cost a maximum of $800!!), as he pays the hygenist by the hour and it's about $200 per hour for this deep scraping. I asked how they justify that price? They responded that they sharpen their instruments every morning for 1.5 hours before they open, and are more thorough than most in this procedure. It's a one time procedure to address some pockets with 5's and 6's. How can one educate themselves to make a good decision on what is really needed?
Posted by MP  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  05:57 PM
7 dentists continued...
The $3000 included a $400 mouth guard for tooth grinding, 4 new cavities???? ranging between $200-$300 each, and the max $800 tooth cleaning!
Posted by MP  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  06:00 PM
Hygienist's get 1/5 to 1/3 of the fee for a cleaning. I have been a Hygienist for 10 years at three different offices. The assistants do the sharpening and I personally, can do your whole mouth in an hour and you will feel nothing more than when you cut your toenails. Doing your deep cleaning in four treatments is just to satisfy the insurance company and get the maximum money payed to the dentist.

Call your State Senator and Congressman and ask why Hygienists who are 99 percent women cannot perform cleanings unless they are employed by a Dentist (80 percent male.) If the law was changed a cleaning would cost the same as a hair cut and you would not be getting imaginary fillings.

The state representatives will say they are "looking into it," and collect their campaign money from the American Dental Association. Dentists are Free Masons. They are living off of laws written in the 1800's and the American public is taking the drill where the sun does not shine.

Free Hygienists to practice on their own and you will finally find out what is a real cavity and what is real gum disease without having to pay for a Dentist's boat payment or private school for his children. I hear Dentists brag at conventions about how much they make off an uneducated Christians. The actual public that pays their bills and ask no questions about how the bill was accrued. We all get sodomized and never ask why.

Accuals are the answer. Learn what they are. Dentists make a whole lot of money negotiating with insurance companies as to what they will pay for as to what the Dentist "says" he performed.

Learn the insurance codes. Ask what the numbers mean and what the Dentist bills for on a cash basis and what he is payed for on an insurance basis. The cash basis will always be higher. He gives a break to insurance companies to get their approval and payment and tells you, "that is the price, pay it or I will send you to collections."

America is laws, not lies.
Posted by D.T.  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  07:34 PM
When I didn't have insurance, my teeth were perfect. That's what I was told by the Dentists. They were very surprized that a heavy smoker and coffee drinker had no cavities. I recently got insurance through work and decided to take my two children and my self for a check up. This was one month ago. We had Xrays taken and my girls had their cleaning done. I was told that they couldn't clean my teeth! Reason was that "she's affraid" that all my teeth will fall out if she touches them. Said that I have very progressed gum desease and need "deep cleaning". Well, One week ago I had right side deep cleaned (upper&lower;)and today she finished up the left side. I've had deep cleaning before and never have I required to be numbed for that. This deep cleaning has cause me so much pain, it was unbearable! 4 shots for the top and 5 shots on the bottom.(for each side) Did they really absolutely have to give me all those shots??? I still felt the deep cleaning and my inner gums did not get numb! My face got numb, my chin, my lips but I still felt everything that was being done to the teeth and gums. And when the needle went into my lips, I moaned. And the person holding the needle-laughed at me. That was very unproffesional!!! Anyway, it appeares that I have cavities in every one of my mollars. Can that really be true??? I don't want to have holes made in my teeth just for the porpose of filling them up. If nothing hurts, shouldn't I just leave it alone???? Or, shall I just "trust" the dentist and allow them to drill and fill all my teeth? Please , I need some advice before my next appointment. And by the way........they are so booked that they can't even give me one. I'm on a "stand by" for cancellation!
Posted by Inna Kushnir  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  07:07 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention that some of my teeth are now very loose. Is that normal? Dentist said it was. I'm affraid if I bite on an apple, if the pain doesn't kill me, the loose teeth will fall out! Awaiting any and all replies. Thank you!
Posted by Inna Kushnir  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  07:09 PM

Switch Dentists. Go to one in a wealthy neighborhood. Get your records sent from old Dentist. Get new x-rays from new Dentist. Take copies of both records to a Lawyer specializing in Dental cases.

The number one reason Dentists are sued successfully for large sums is: Undiagnosed Gum Disease. The fact that you were not told you had gum disease before you had insurance is a smoking gun.

If you want to be really sure how to do this, print this page out, go to the Lawyer first and then do as they say about going to a new Dentist to get new x-rays.

You could get 30,000 if the Lawyer can prove a case of negligence or failure to diagnose.

In layman's terms, the Dentist was like a mechanic that ignored a leak in the gas tank until it exploded because you had no money to fix the leak. Now that you have insurance he is willing to fix the leak. It is something a jury will find in your favor in an instant.

Good Luck!
Posted by D.T.  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  08:41 PM
I absolutely do not think fake cavities are a hoax. I just moved from another state. In previous state: My daughter was diagnosed by dentist#1 as having many (ie.4-6) cavities last year that still needed filling after some were filled. I thought gee, how many can she have? She doesn't eat sweets and brushes a lot and her teeth look perfect with no pain.
Then, Moved here and dentist#2 filled one, said come back to fill the rest. So basically the same diagnoses. I just TODAY took her to a new closer by dentist who is highly touted in the area and what do you know? NO CAVITIES show on the xrays! That is how I found this website, I want to know if others think this way. I was not the only parent suspicious of this. I do believe I now know that it happens and it is very sad.
Posted by Mary Young  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  11:00 AM
I regularly get dental checkups and had no cavities. I moved to a new city and due to a toothache I went to a new dentist. This new dentist informed me that I needed a root canal. Later on, after the first one was done, he said I needed a second root canal for my upper molars. I went back home to my old dentist who took an did a check up and an x-ray and said it is just a big cavity, no root canal necessary. Due to time constraints I had to go back to the new dentist and informed him of what my old dentist had said. He took a look at the xay and said oh yeah no root canal. Then he took a full set of xrays and said I had seven cavities. I received three fillings last week and now I have a severe toothache that resembles the pain I had when I needed a root canal. I had no prior pain before the fillings were done. Plus now when I floss the teeth where the fillings are at, I find large chunks of food there everytime. I suspect he may be diagnosing fake cavities and improperly performing restoration procedures. I need some advice. Thanks.
Posted by charity  on  Mon Mar 12, 2007  at  08:19 PM
I have worked for a number of different dentists over the years, and I know that there are good dentists and bad dentists out there. There are also a lot of "lazy" dentists, who don't want to do anything about a problem until it gets big (ie: this cavity is really small, let's keep an eye on it for now; or, he's a heavy smoker and never flosses, but we won't bring up his gum disease now, because it's only in the early stages). Only once have I worked for a dentist who I think was trying to rip people off, and he did it with crowns (suggesting crowns on teeth that were not healthy enough to support them). Dentists don't make a ton of money from fillings. If they really wanted to rip you off, they'd be doing it with more expensive procedures. Although a couple hundred bucks out of your pocket is a lot to pay for a couple of measley fillings, the overhead in a dental office eats up a lot of that before it ever gets into the dentist's pocket.

That said, find a dentist who is highly recommended. If you know anyone who works in the dental profession, ask advice. Educate yourself on any dental procedures they tell you are necessary, and if the dentist or his assistants don't give you enough information and don't seem to want to thoroughly explain your options and the risks and benefits of the treatment, go somewhere else. I find that a lot of people who think the "new" dentist is trying to rip them off often had and "old" dentist who was really slacking off, and there's a lot of catching up to do.
Posted by c.miller  on  Wed Jul 25, 2007  at  01:25 PM
He is my story. Had a Dentist want to charge over $1k for a molar extraction. I balked and went to another one who yanked it for $180. The first dentist wanted to even put me to sleep. Took the 2nd dentist like 10 minutes if that. Ok Im happy with new dentist, but they say I need a "deep" cleaning that insurance doesn't pay for, and I'm like I don't even like a regular cleaning, not going to sit through a deep one. I really think I angered the hygenist because I didnt agree.

Then 2 years later I go back. Angry hygenist still there, but now they call it some kind of scalling, and even though I came in with no pain, just a check up, they find 8 cavaties??wtf? They want to do the scaling, and 4 cavities on each side. I call and say forget the scaling, take care of the cavities since insurance wont cover it all. Right side goes great I pay my money and insurance covers rest. Month later do the other side, then he claims after forking over $200 more that I need a root canal, and he couldn't get to another tooth. So now he wants $1k next week for that, and when I went in there I had no pain, no issue I can think of, and the dental hygenist was making the initial calls on the cavities.
So if I go back, he will do $1k root canal, and then tell me come back for the other tooth? Perpetual dentistry? I am so pissed and feel so scammed right now. Even when I told them, can the root canal wait till next year so my insurance will reset, they said well then you won't have insurance money for the work next year like they have some kind of 5 year plan or something.

I have never felt so victimized in my life and I feel there is nothing I can really do.

They have a soft filling they called it on the tooth they want to root canal, so I guess that probably guaranteed to come out in like 30 days if I try and bypass the root canal on a tooth with no pain. Nothing was wrong with it until he started drilling around on the cavaties.

So sick and frustrated.
Posted by Don  on  Thu Jul 17, 2008  at  04:44 PM
Don, While you are not alone on not liking any type of cleaning, when a dentist/dental hyg says you need a deep cleaning, they are saying you have gum disease or peiodontal disease. Please google it and educate yourself and do not ignore it-there are far reaching problems that can occur. Gum disease is a chronic condition, not one that is treated once and done. After initial deep scaling, a regular regimen of 2-4 months cleanings should happen. Periodontal disease is the number one reason for tooth loss, not decay. Typically it does not just get better, you need intervention. There are also overall health implications: it is highly correlated with heart disease and stroke, just to name a couple. On some sites it also mentions cancer, that has not had too much research to back that claim. As far as root canals go...it is tricky. If you don't get one you run a big risk of infection and pain, but if you don't feel you need one, I would get a second opinion.
It is extremely difficult to find a dentist that you trust. I encourage you to talk to your friends/family/co workers to see who they recommend. If I were going to find a dentist in a place where I was unfamiliar with, I would first try the crown council website...http://crowncouncil.com/
Ultimately Don, all treatment is up to you...it's your body and your money. Trust your instincts and find someone you trust and can build a relationship with, that would be best for you and you are the important one.
Posted by JM  on  Thu Jul 17, 2008  at  09:40 PM
I recently went to my HMO Dentist for a cleaning and check up. They told me I needed a treatment of special medicine to prevent gum disease and it costs $200 for one treatment. I declined because I could not see how a half of a syringe of anything could sell for $200. They also told me that along with the normal cleaning I needed a light scaling. After the cleaning, I asked the Dentist what part of the cleaning was the scaling and she told me that she didn't have time to explain and that I should just set another appointment and she would explain. I noticed that the cleaning was exactly like the 3 I have had in the past. On the way out they told me is was $175 total. I asked the person at the desk to explain to me what exactly the $175 was for because they did not do anything different than the last few cleanings. After quite a while in the back she came out and said it was a mistake and that the procedure they were charging me for was not anything they did to me. The total was now $0 since 2 cleanings per year are covered on the HMO.
My opinion on Dentists is that I do not trust any of them. I am sure that all of them are not trying to rip off the patients, but my advise to others is, "Question everything they say you need and make them explain it to you in plain English. If they cannot explain it, don't let them do it. Also, don't pay hundreds for the little syringe of medicine to control gum disease, just keep your teeth clean with a sonicare and some mouthwash/plac control."
Posted by Jeff  on  Mon Aug 11, 2008  at  01:31 PM
"Deep cleaning" is new and it's pure BS. Unless
they can show you cavities in your X-RAY do not
fall for it.
Posted by John  on  Tue Nov 04, 2008  at  01:57 PM
Treatment of gum disease is one of the most confusing aspects of dentistry for patients, and we answer many questions over the course of a day about it.

The difference between a "deep cleaning" and a regular cleaning is that a deep cleaning (AKA "Scaling and Root Planing" or "SRP") is a specific treatment for removing hardened plaque deposits ("tartar" or "calculus") that exist below the gumline. It is tedious, detailed work, and helps reduce or stop gum disease.

Gum disease is not painful, and the only symptom you might notice is bleeding of the gums when you brush or floss. However, it silently destroys the support system around your teeth, and is indicated to be a contributing factor for diabetes and heart disease.

SRP is charged out by the quadrant, and the dentist usually judges how many quadrants to charge for given your gum measurements. Generally speaking, the longer you've gone without a cleaning, the worse the gum disease is, and the more quadrants of SRP you will require.

Certain medicaments can also be used to help SRP heal gums. Usually, these are derivatives of the tetracycline family. One, called "Arestin", is designed to stick to the gum tissue and kill bacteria for around three weeks-giving your gum a chance to heal in a near-sterile environment. Since this drug is still under patent, it is expensive. But, it's far cheaper than gum surgery!

The bottom line is this: it's your body and you're ultimately responsible for whatever treatment you get.

However, while I've met a few dentists that are unethical, the vast, vast majority of dentists I've ever met are NOT going to put their bottom line above giving you appropriate treatment.
Posted by Trevor Clemons  on  Sun Jan 10, 2010  at  10:01 PM
RE: x-rays and cavities

There are several ways to detect cavities. X-rays are the most common way we have to find cavities that are in between teeth. They do not show cavities that are in other locations on a tooth, (unless the cavity is enormous). When cavities between teeth DO show up on an X-ray, they have to be pretty big, in fact, studies have shown that they are 2X-7X bigger in the mouth as they are on the X-ray.

So yes, a competent dentist will be able to detect cavities that do not show up on X-rays. And you should hope he/she does, because when cavities show up on X-rays, they have usually gotten to be very large, indeed.
Posted by Trevor Clemons  on  Sun Jan 10, 2010  at  10:08 PM
Dentists routinely lie about cavities. I have had unnecessary extractions, root canals and fillings (23 fillings in all) I only have an upper and lower moler on my left side to chew with and only 4 on the right top and bottom total. With wisdom teeth most people have about 16, 4 in each quadrant, to chew with. I have a total of 6. Only about 3 to 5 of my fillings were necessary.
Posted by Bigbaby  on  Sun Sep 26, 2010  at  09:05 PM
Yes, I have had experiences with Dentists lying about Cavities and work needed. The Dental industry has become exactly like buying a used car. Without fail, the last four dentists that I've been to over the years have found an excuse to use up every penny of my dental insurance each year. This is always done on my first visit, and then each year after. I have had dentists claim that I have Cavities where I literally JUST had one filled by another Dentist.

The part that bugs me, is that it's always a set number of Cavities. It's never just one, it's always 5-7 of them. That's just impossible. I have very healthy gums, I floss, brush and use mouthwash. Not to mention, my teeth are very strong due to a healthy diet and plenty of minerals.

The sad thing is the wingman (or woman) that they use to try to rack up possible charges once you've been taken to the final stage of the visit. It's ALWAYS well over $1000 and usually upwards $8-10 thousand dollars. Dentists always ask you what you do for a living in their paperwork, and then in the chair. This way, they can figure out how much to rip you off. I've tried telling Dentists different things, and I get different treatments.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that all Dentists are honest, they are not and this problem is more widespread than people realize.
Posted by not happy  on  Thu Sep 30, 2010  at  06:00 PM
Its been a few years since I posted here. Anyways I go back to dentist after 3 years or so and had the drill and fill on a tooth that was bugging me. - The lady picks around and finds a "sticky" spot - says she doesnt have to drill or use the numbing stuff. She grinds some with the drill until I squinch in pain then stops - puts some goop on and I'mm off. - Well the tooth I go in for is pain free - the one she drilled on hurts - HA. Anyways I figger the tooth heated up and burned some nerves. - I say to myself I'm not going back - after a month the pain goes away. - Actually what was funny about the whole thing is that the female dentist and the female helper are all prim and perfect - w perfect hair and flashing perfect teeth. The lady who did the work had a little piece of lint stuck in her hair sprayed rats nest. Before I left I said "you have a piece of something in your hair - looks like a maggot" - she ran to the bathroom lickity split and her worker laughed and laughed - she knew it was there just didnt say anything the whole day... 2 prim biatches - one with a maggot in her hair.. too funny !
Posted by Sean  on  Thu Sep 30, 2010  at  07:48 PM
OH - forgot to say the price was over 200 bucks for a month of pain.
Posted by sean  on  Thu Sep 30, 2010  at  07:50 PM
I told Dentist I didnt want any gas or numbing medication to pull my tooth. He came back with a Viagra pill. I said "Whats that for?" He said "You will need something to hold on to while I pull your tooth."
Posted by Sean  on  Tue Nov 09, 2010  at  08:14 AM
Posted by robert  on  Wed Jan 26, 2011  at  12:58 PM
Posted by ROBERT  on  Wed Jan 26, 2011  at  01:10 PM
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