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 Post subject: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:40 am 
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How do you know if your dentist is taking you for a ride? My husband and I have always had pretty good teeth, no major issues, but neither of us have been in a while. We finally booked appointments with a dentist, and my husband was told he had something called microcavities and was rebooked for two sessions that are coming in at $800 each. Most of it is covered by insurance, but still. I haven't had my first appointment yet, so I guess we'll see what they recommend for me. We've never been to a dentist that hasn't treated our entire families for years, so we kind of just had to pick at random since we live in a different province now.

How do you chose a dentist if you don't have a long time family dentist? How do you know if what they're recommending is really necessary or just trying to drum up business? I've had experiences with optometrists trying to scare the living daylights out of me in order to book me for an expensive test or product, so I guess I'm a little wary? I mean, we have good insurance and I don't want to skimp on our health to save a few bucks, but 20% of $1600 is a lot of money (and for two people!). This decision was always made for me before by simply NOT being able to afford anything but basic care... so yeah, I'd don't really know what to do.

anyway, a) what are microcavities and will they kill me? and b) should I spend money on the dentist or go on vacation/buy a new vacuum cleaner?


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:13 pm 
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I would call another dentist office and, just over the phone, tell them that your dentist has found all these microcavaties and that you're concerned he's overtreating. I think if this is an obvious scam, the other dentist will tell you. You could also ask for copies of your x-rays to bring to another dentist for a second opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:55 pm 
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I've never heard of micro cavaties before. I'd definitely get a second opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:22 pm 
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I have the same problem right now. Dentists have a 50% error rate. Ugh. I just canceled the appointment for my $750 of magically appearing cavities and I am going to schedule with the place by my orthodontist's office, which was recommended.

Word of mouth is the best way to find a dentist. It's a funny question but not weird to ask anybody around like your boss or something where they go. I also ask if they go to other doctors and such to see if they like quacks (I don't outwardly judge, hah) and that also helps me gague their dentist choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:57 pm 
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I just fired mine. It was an obvious scam though because he "scanned" my finger with a blue laser and it said I needed more fruits and veggies and he had an expensive supplement to help me and I had damage to my teeth because of the lack of nutrients.. He kind of changed the subject when I said I'm vegan. We found a cool one, it's a real small office and he sometimes runs the front desk.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:31 pm 
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I am suspecting a recent dental recommendation too. Monday I used a Living Social deal to get a full cleaning, exam, and xrays for $49, which is crazy excellent. But the dentist said I have two small cavities, she showed me, and yet I'm still not sure and not feeling like I will be getting them filled there for $250 a pop. I may go for a 2nd opinion at a low income clinic I've heard about. The hygienist also said my enamel is wearing away and that I should get a varnish for $65.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:03 pm 
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I'm going with since a google search found very few related articles to 'Micro cavity teeth" SO I'm saying they made that up.
I just had my dentist try to sell me a $165 toothbrush that is $100 on line-That made me a little mad. I just had 2 'real' cavities filled 2 fillings replaced and a cleaning with a antibiotic implant and it only cost the insurance $600. $1600 sounds like a crazy amount.

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:22 pm 
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I tried one dentist that didn't do a good job (told me I didn't have a cavity when I knew I did!), then went to a different one that was recommended by a friend. I really like my current one... everything they say makes sense to me and I'm comfortable with them. I basically only see one hygienist though, she is really good and I like her better than the other 2 I've seen there. I also go in 4 times a year for a cleaning, otherwise I get cavities (not microcavities, I can feel these, I think I'm getting one now that I'll have checked when I go in next).

I just finished my 2nd gum graft, which they recommended but didn't really push for. I knew I could pretty easily get away from work at this job, so I went ahead with them. It was made clear to me that I probably would eventually need it, but not necessarily if I started brushing super gentle and stuff, but I had some sensitivity already and am glad I got them. Those cost $350ish each out of my pocket, insurance paid 75%.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:32 pm 
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Yeah get a second opinion, over the phone or by email. Ask friends/coworkers for reccomendations, then you could say "My friend so-and-so goes to you so I knew you'd give me good information."

I really like my new dentist!!! The one I had before said I should start thinking about getting my wisdom teeth out, and referred me to a surgeon. Then said they probably wouldn't come in at all or cause problems. So I asked why I would need them out if they weren't going to be an issue? He said because they MIGHT and just to go to the surgeon to get his or her reccomendation. But what are the chances that they wouldn't reccomend it? My new guy is super nice, said I was lucky I probably wouldn't need my wisdom teeth out but we would do x-rays periodically to be sure, AND he's vegan!!! Ok I'm way too excited about my dentist hehe.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:51 pm 
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I am a dentist. "micro cavity" is not a technical term - it was probably used as a way to describe something to you. Perhaps they meant "incipient caries" which just means a tiny cavity that may or may not turn into a bigger cavity. Most dentists aren't going to use the technical terms when talking to patients, because most patients will look at them funny if they do.

I would wait to get a second opinion until you talk to the same dentist that told you about these "micro cavities" - most dentists are happy to explain these things to you. Ask about the treatment options for this. You might be relieved to hear his explanation - and save money from having an unnecessary second opinion. Or perhaps, your might be resolved in seeking that second opinion.

I doubt the dentist is telling you this to make money off you as a small filling is one of the cheapest things they can do. It is much better for a dentist to have major treatment to do. This doesn't mean your dentist isn't scamming you, but he could be making more money doing other procedures, so it seems unlikely.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:25 am 
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Puma wrote:
I'm going with since a google search found very few related articles to 'Micro cavity teeth" SO I'm saying they made that up.
I just had my dentist try to sell me a $165 toothbrush that is $100 on line-That made me a little mad. I just had 2 'real' cavities filled 2 fillings replaced and a cleaning with a antibiotic implant and it only cost the insurance $600. $1600 sounds like a crazy amount.


This.


I know kimba said most dentists won't normally say the actual medical terms, but I think a good doc would and should to an adult; even just to mention it once. I mean, I've been told tons of weird tooth terminology by my dentists, and I didn't really care what it was called, but I did look up a few things about wisdom teeth after my dentist told me about my semi-impacted one...

Dentists using medical terminology is not the point. What people should be allowed to know is the real situation with their teeth, and for the dentist to give straight info; no made up terminology, and DEFINITELY no jacked up prices! $1600 seems REALLY high to me. $1600 is what I paid to get 4 wisdom teeth surgically extracted at a really fancy frou-frou maxillofacial doc, complete with stitches and anesthesia.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:22 am 
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CNA wrote:
Puma wrote:
I'm going with since a google search found very few related articles to 'Micro cavity teeth" SO I'm saying they made that up.
I just had my dentist try to sell me a $165 toothbrush that is $100 on line-That made me a little mad. I just had 2 'real' cavities filled 2 fillings replaced and a cleaning with a antibiotic implant and it only cost the insurance $600. $1600 sounds like a crazy amount.


This.


I know kimba said most dentists won't normally say the actual medical terms, but I think a good doc would and should to an adult; even just to mention it once. I mean, I've been told tons of weird tooth terminology by my dentists, and I didn't really care what it was called, but I did look up a few things about wisdom teeth after my dentist told me about my semi-impacted one...

Dentists using medical terminology is not the point. What people should be allowed to know is the real situation with their teeth, and for the dentist to give straight info; no made up terminology, and DEFINITELY no jacked up prices! $1600 seems REALLY high to me. $1600 is what I paid to get 4 wisdom teeth surgically extracted at a really fancy frou-frou maxillofacial doc, complete with stitches and anesthesia.

It also sounds like if they are tiny cavities that may or may not turn into bigger cavities, that the procedure is elective. That's something else a dentist should tell you about.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:32 am 
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thanks for the input. i think i will ask around and see if i can find another dentist. i'll still go for my cleaning since that seemed to be a normal price (from what i remember paying). and if they recommend some really expensive procedure for me too then for sure we'll go elsewhere. i convinced my husband to hold off on this micro cavity fixing procedure until i go for my cleaning and until i can get a second opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:42 am 
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ooh a dentist for our dentist thread - helpful!!

i once had a dentist told me i needed to get veneers for all my teeth. i picked a new dentist.

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:16 pm 
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appifanie - I am not familiar with situations that require someone getting veneers. Now there's an expensive treatment!


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:17 pm 
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kimba wrote:
appifanie - I am not familiar with situations that require someone getting veneers. Now there's an expensive treatment!


exactly! my teeth are just fine.

well, maybe not quite so fine. apparently the cavity under my composite filling was really big and went almost to the nerve. the dentist said something about a medicated layer between the nerve and the filling that he put in. also, he asked beforehand if i wanted composite or amalgam and i've gotten screwed on high composite prices before and he told me that they don't last as long so i got the amalgam. then after he tells me that having amalgam so close to the nerve can increase sensitivity - argh! any words of advice to calm my panic? my tooth hurts when i drink water now :( it's only been 7 hours so i hope it gets better.

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:33 am 
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they both can cause sensitivity - and actually i've heard the opposite - that the composites cause more sensitivity. some post-operative sensitivity, no matter the filling material, is normal. it should go away. the liner that he put in will help. if it doesn't go away after 2 weeks or if it becomes really painful, then i would get it checked again.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:07 am 
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I found a new dentist last year after not going for a really long time. I have never been an avid dental patient. But I was having some discomfort and figured it was time to have it checked out. The dentist I picked is actually in my office building. I looked him up online and he had great reviews. And I was happy after my first consultation. I have had three cleanings, a filling, and an old crown replaced since I started seeing him. All work that I totally agreed with. The crown wasn't fitting anymore and nasty stuff was leaking underneath of it = PAIN! And the filling was on a wisdom tooth. It's a hard to reach place in my mouth so I wasn't brushing that area well enough and I got a cavity. He is very informative and explained the entire process of how my new superb crown was being made. This was to justify the cost. And he let me make payments when I explained that the new superb crown was a bit out of my budget!

All in all, I think you gut should be trusted in cases like this. If you are getting bad vibes from the dentist then check out another one.

Not that this matters or is really needed. But my dentist office is really high tech and they could show me my x-rays and teeth right away on a computer screen in the office. So when he was explaining things to me he could point it out and I was able to understand better. I do have a tooth that is trying to develop a cavity. But it is really small and he suggested a special tooth repair something he could sell me. I didn't take it because it had milk in it. Instead I am using Sensodyne toothpaste and he said that he would not suggest working on the tooth anytime soon or unless it is causing me pain.

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:46 am 
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graciaKai, i think that is sort of similar to our dentist. i haven't been yet, but i think they are super high tech too. D mentioned something about seeing his teeth on a computer screen too. anyway, what do i know... they might be super awesome and not pushy and my husband just decided he HAD to have this super expensive treatment that they suggested.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:53 am 
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I think suggesting a filling for a micro cavity might be going to far. There should be other ways to treat something like that before the filling. If your husband is using preventive measures (brushing twice a day, flossing, mouthwash, and a good toothpaste) then he should be able to prevent the need for the filling. I think! At least thats what my dentist explained to me.

And as Kimba said, I don't think the dentist was suggesting it because he is going to make a lot of money from that procedure.But it doesn't sound like he offered another option either, so I would be careful and make sure that he is looking at all options of treatment. Not just the ones that will cost you money!

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:15 pm 
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Aliks wrote:
I just fired mine. It was an obvious scam though because he "scanned" my finger with a blue laser and it said I needed more fruits and veggies and he had an expensive supplement to help me and I had damage to my teeth because of the lack of nutrients.. He kind of changed the subject when I said I'm vegan.


HA! Busted!

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:08 pm 
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kimba wrote:
they both can cause sensitivity - and actually i've heard the opposite - that the composites cause more sensitivity. some post-operative sensitivity, no matter the filling material, is normal. it should go away. the liner that he put in will help. if it doesn't go away after 2 weeks or if it becomes really painful, then i would get it checked again.


Thanks! I'm so glad we have a dentist here :) It's reassuring to hear about the composites causing more sensitive and that things should get better for me. I have another filling appointment on 1/31 for the same tooth on the other side. He also said if it gets much worse I'll need a root canal :( Those two words scare the crepe out of me.

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:01 pm 
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I'm going to the dentist on Monday. I've been putting it off for about two years now because I still don't have dental insurance, but I have a tooth that is commanding my attention by hurting like hell, so to the dentist I go.

Pi, I'm glad you mentioned the price of gum grafts, because my gums are receding a lot and I will undoubtedly need some of those very soon. I'm paying for this appointment with my student loans, a job soon would be most excellent!

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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:18 am 
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I fell on my face today. Now my tooth hurts. :(
Also, my lip is not doing too hot.
I'm not particularly happy about this. It could have been a lot worse though. The first thing I did when I was able to sit up was feel if my teeth were loose and still intact. I was at least good on that.


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 Post subject: Re: Dentistry
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:56 am 
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kimba wrote:
I fell on my face today. Now my tooth hurts. :(
Also, my lip is not doing too hot.
I'm not particularly happy about this. It could have been a lot worse though. The first thing I did when I was able to sit up was feel if my teeth were loose and still intact. I was at least good on that.


Oh no! My kid fell on her face on Halloween. Only later did someone point out how great it was she didn't lose her teeth. I'm glad yours are good!

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