There is no question that trusting your dentist puts you in a very vulnerable state and we want to help you avoid dental scams. The issues you acquire in your mouth, in addition to the treatment used to fix those problems, are areas of expertise you know nothing about as the patient. That is a big part of our job, making sure we educate you on your dental needs and build a trust in us that you can rely on. You need to remember that even though a practice may have all the required degrees and qualifications, it does not mean they are trustworthy. We have seen time and time again unethical dental actions that have been taken elsewhere. There is a solid percentage of new patients that come to Szmanda Dental because they were taken advantage of and need a 2nd opinion. Let us clarify — we are not writing this blog to bad mouth these other dental offices, but instead help patients learn of how to be aware of these scams and hopefully save them time, money and discomfort.
Worthless treatment, inflated billings and insurance fraud.
We have seen charges for full mouth scaling and root planing without numbing in one day/one hour which is impossible, charges for root canals on teeth with no issues, restorations on teeth with no decay, pushing for unnecessary treatment because their insurance covers it, sealants on people in their sixties all of which are ludicrous and quite frankly FRAUD!
What should you do?
First and foremost – don’t pick your dentist by a billboard or who has the cheapest new patient special. Ask around! Reputations mean everything and you’re bound to hear who in your community has been long trusted and, on the other end of the spectrum, who has had shady stories.
Be inquisitive. You should ask for a treatment plan outlining exactly what procedures are required and have them go over it with you, so you get an idea of what’s going on in your mouth. It never hurts to ask about alternative treatments, because there’s almost always another way. Sometimes the best option is also the most expensive, but if temporary fixes is all you can currently afford knowing that option could be pivotal. Those types of discussions should be thought out to fit YOUR budget and at least brought to your attention.
Get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. If you are ever questioning treatment, always remember you can get a 2nd opinion. Doctors do things differently and we have seen over diagnosing time and time agai. We offer free 2nd opinions for this very reason, so you can feel reassured with whatever treatment you choose.
Please remember, it is your mouth and your money. We are here to assist you in achieving optimal dental health that you can trust in and can afford. Do not ever be afraid to ask questions and feel you can truly trust your dental professional! Education is the 1st step to ideal care. At Szmanda Dental Center we are your advocate!