Almost everyone researches online before they visit a dentist. They visit the dentist’s website, look at the reviews on platforms like Yelp, and decide which one is most suitable for them. When you look at these reviews, you’ll notice that many mention the dentist overcharged or overdiagnosed them.
This is a serious concern because you don’t want to get needless procedures done or overpay. But is there any truth to these concerns? Or have the patients simply misunderstood the diagnosis or costs. Dr. Oz conducted a thorough investigation to determine the truth by sending an undercover patient.
Establishing a Baseline
Investigative reporter Mara Schiavocampo had a poor experience with a dentist in the past and hadn’t visited one in over two years. She decided to go undercover to find out whether there was any truth in these allegations.
She first established a baseline by visiting a trustworthy dentist, Dr. Justin Rashbaum. After a thorough examination and an x-ray, Dr. Rashbaum determined that there was no severe problem with her teeth and all she needed was a cleaning and maybe a filler replacement.After this baseline was established, she put together a list of dentists in New York that had negative reviews.
Visiting the Dentists
Based on the negative reviews on Yelp, Mara compiled a list of 7 dentists to visit. She only visited three because the differences in diagnosis and cost were alarming. She spent a total of $450 on consultation alone.
The first dentist she visited told her she had two cavities in her wisdom teeth that needed to be addressed immediately. He was 100% certain there was a problem that needed to be attended to without delay. He recommended two fillings and a mouth guard, which amounted to $1,150.
The next dentist said she needed to get a root canal in place of a tooth with a crown. This dentist also said there was a filler that needed replacement and that there was some decay underneath the filler, all of which would cost Mara $3,500.
The final dentist provided a diagnosis in less than 10 minutes and said Mara had six cavities that required treatment. The total cost of the procedures would amount to $1,930.
These diagnosis reports where vastly different than the diagnosis provided by Dr. Justin Rashbaum.
Conservative vs. Proactive
Many dentists are conservative with their treatment recommendations. They won’t recommend a procedure unless it is actually necessary at that point of time. Their main goal is to preserve the integrity of the natural tooth as much as possible.
Some dentists are proactive and will recommend multiple treatments simultaneously, even if they’re not urgent. There’s a whole spectrum of diagnosis that can fall between conservative and proactive treatments, which can lead to the differences that Mara found when she visited the dentists.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the dentist is over diagnosing or overcharging. However, it means that you need a second opinion from a more conservative dentist.
What Do Trustworthy Dentists Recommend?
If the dentist diagnoses a cavity or filler replacement, ask them to point the problem out on an x-ray and explain the condition, so you have a better understanding of the problem.
Most dentists willingly provide all the answers you seek, helping you to make an informed decision. It is also best to avoid online deals and offers that provide free cleaning or bleaching, etc. You’re more likely to be overdiagnosed or overcharged at these clinics.
It is important to get a second opinion if your current dentist recommends a complex procedure. You can then compare both the diagnosis and make an informed decision regarding your dental health.
If you want to know more or need a trustworthy dentist for a second consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us at David Eshom. You can also call us at 858 455 9151. When you choose to get a consultation at our dental office, you are assured of an objective opinion.Leave a reply