What Your Dentist Wants You to Know

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1. A lot of patients are worried that dental X-rays can cause cancer, but if you’re outside for an hour, you’re exposed to more radiation than you’d get from a full set of dental X-rays. What I worry about is that if I don’t take an X-ray, I might miss something serious.
– Bryan Tervo, DDS

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2. When someone meets you for the first time, the first thing they notice is eyes. Second is teeth, and third is hair. But people spend way more money on their hair than their teeth.
– Damian Dachowski, DMD, general dentist, Horsham, Pennsylvania

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3. If your breath is bad, we won’t tell you unless you ask.
– Gary Herskovits, DDS

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4. Patients come in with pictures of celebrities and say, “I want to look just like her.” I’m sitting there thinking, You can’t have a smile that looks like Angelina Jolie’s, because you don’t have a face that fits those teeth. It’s like when you get your hair color done—you can’t just put the same highlights or lowlights in everybody’s hair.
– Jay Grossman, DDS

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5. For the past 20 years, we’ve been telling parents about baby bottle tooth decay and not to let a child go to sleep with a bottle. But I haven’t seen much of a change.
– Winifred J. Booker, DDS, pediatric dentist, Owings Mills, Maryland

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6. If you want to reduce the bad bacteria in your mouth, you should be all over xylitol (a sugar substitute found in chewing gum). It changes the chemistry of your mouth. Six or seven pieces of xylitol gum every day will help keep cavities away.
– Chris Kammer, DDS

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7. With any kind of mouth piercing, there’s a huge risk of infection if it’s not done in a really sterile environment. I’ve seen cases where we’ve had to cut out pieces of the tongue because the infection was so rampant. Even when things go well, virtually everyone I see with a tongue piercing has chipped front teeth. Don’t pierce your tongue.
– Jay Grossman, DDS, cosmetic dentist, Brentwood, California

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8. People say something difficult is like pulling teeth. But pulling teeth is really fast and easy.
– Mark Mutschler, DDS, pediatric dentist, Oregon City, Oregon

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9. When choosing a dentist, Check if the magazines in the waiting room are current. That shows attention to detail.
– Michael Alkon, DMD

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10. People come in for an appointment without knowing what their insurance covers. They think we have a crystal ball that tells us everyone’s insurance information. We don’t. And we need to find out what’s covered before we can do anything.
– Damian Dachowski, DMD

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11. Don’t eat a heavy garlic lunch before coming to see us—we’d appreciate that.
– Jennifer Jablow, DDS

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12. If your hands bled when you washed them, you’d run to the doctor. But in the public’s mind, bleeding gums are okay. Unless you’re really whaling away with your brush, if your gums bleed even a little, that’s periodontal disease, period.
– Ron Schefdore, DMD, general dentist, Chicago, Illinois

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13. People come to me with a mouthful of tooth decay and say, “I got my grandfather’s soft teeth.” I don’t even know what soft teeth are.
– Bryan Tervo, DDS, expert at JustAnswer.com

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100 thoughts on “What Your Dentist Wants You to Know

  1. Yes, true! A fear of dental x-rays is how much reasonable today, a big question. Today’s medical science has solutions to every serious problem that existed yesterday (possibly, removing every discrepancy after every successful application) and today has something grateful that will get better and better with time going through!

  2. I never bought the idea about the xylitol gum. Six or seven pieces of that will only give you many trips to the restroom and a belly ache. That one dentist thinks that people, women probably, spend more money on their hair than their teeth. Really, it depends on the income of the person involved. You’d be surprised at how many women have a relative that does their hair as a favor or as payment for babysitting services, etc. Hair supplies aren’t that expensive. For example, a quart of peroxide and three tubes of haircolor are $20 or less. Also, I’ve met several excellent hair cutters that work in the chain shops that charge $25 for a haircut. Most hairdressers don’t make the money that the most “celebrity” hairdressers do. You can bet though, that the dentists’ wife goes to “Mr. Rick” with the fancy shop uptown spends $150.00 on a hair cut.

  3. I like to eat a whole box of Oreo cookies and then go to the dentist without brushing. Sometimes I even eat a box of Oreos while I am in the waiting room……….the look on my dentist’s face is priceless!

  4. My dentist-after the lady cleaned my teeth and noted anything suspect-passed info on to dentist. Then he checked my throat, the back of mouth and looked at and touched w/instrument every tooth. Cannot find a dentist who looks at my teeth-its always the xray at every visit-same w/my grandkids. I guess its book, book, book patients and get them in and out-gotta make that money. They seem to leave the real dentist work to the person who cleans the teeth and the xrays. To bad-I miss good dentist-they are hard to find at least in my area.

  5. I’d like to chew more sugar free gum with the xylitol but it makes me very flatulus and I get painful stomach cramps :( If there something else with xylitol in it that doesn’t have those side effects?

  6. This article is a joke.  The real things dentists won’t tell you is how dangerous amalgam fillings are.  They use them because they are cheap compared to the alternatives.  There is much proof out there how amalgams are making people ill.  Fluoridated water is another hoax perpetrated on us.  The fluoride they put in municipal water is NOT clinical grade fluoride.  It is a manufacturing by product (aluminum industry is one)  that would be illegal to dump in a landfill, yet they put it in our drinking water.  How dangerous is that?  There is no way to regulate a proper dose.  A small kid that drinks a lot of water will get way too much fluoride in their system.

  7. I like how the dentist who said pulling teeth is easy is a PEDIATRIC dentist.  Sure, pulling a baby tooth that’s flapping in the wind is easy, but I’d like to see him/her surgically extract an impacted third molar hugging the inferior alveolar nerve.

  8. Comments per item:  (1) Well the hygienist does leave the room to do the x-ray :-)  (2) They probably do–but lately, my teeth have been getting most of the money…:-(  (3) Yes, please be considerate–after all, you don’t want your dental professional to have that problem!  (5) Traditions ARE hard to break–and in addition, conventional wisdom is “that’s just their baby teeth” (6) That’s a lot of chewing!  (7) Yet another reason not to do that! (8) That depends on what side of the tooth that you’re on! (9) It always seems–in ANY professional office–the length of time to wait on the dentist/doctor/lawyer/mechanic is inversely proportional to the “interest” or number of magazines!  (10) Insurance companies don’t have a clue what the current going rate is for services, and who needs them, and how often.  Dental professionals will tell you that you need to visit AT LEAST every 6 months–some more often–but insurance companies pay no more than once every 6 months TO THE DAY!  Also, they don’t pay for fluoride treatments for over age of 14–some people [including myself, in my 40s] still need it!  And finally, when choosing a dental plan, if you can’t choose a “general payment type” (choose anyone, and they pay same percentages), choose a “PPO”, and stay with whoever you choose–even if “out of network”.  They still pay, and you may get better care, which could be “more for your money” than if you choose an “in-network”, who may not be as experienced!  (11) Duh!  (4 & 12) No comment.  (13) Type of teeth can be “genetic”, and how to take care of them–START EARLY!  (My elders didn’t know that–I wish they did–or else my teeth would be “harder”, or maybe it’s “hardier”!)

  9. Dentists and veterinarians get much of the same training as doctors. So why does the law prohibit dentists and vets from advising about medical problems? I’m quite serious. I’d much rather be operated on by my dentist or vet (the vet did a good job fixing up my cat when he got hurt in a fight) than going through a bunch of rigamarole with doctors and insurance companies.

    1. Really?  You would prefer to have a vet remove your appendix, do a double bypass or maybe perform neurosurgery in his office? 

  10. Question:  Why are the teeth not considered part of the entire body and in need of seperate health insurance??  Perhaps people would be inclined to see the dentist  more often if it was included in their regular insurance, and wouldn’t cost so much.  Even dental insurance doesn’t cover very much, and usually has a $1000.00 or $1500.00 yearly cap….great for routine care, but not much else.

  11. I have gum disease.  One I contracted from my brother who used someone else’s tooth brush and then mine.  Later in life I suffered from severe depression, and the medication caused my gums to bleed profusely.  Once I changed medication I was okay, until it was changed again.  This will be a constant battle and it causes cavities along and below the gum line, which dentists and the people who do yearly cleaning hate.  When I travel around I carry “Whisps” so that I can scrape some of the placque off and brush my teeth.  They are small, compact and handy.  I pay $1.00 at the dollar store for a package of two.  I have family members who are afraid of going to the dentist.  Many dental offices offer sedation now.  My daughter-in-law wound up needing 7 root canal’s due to her fear of dentists.  It cost over ten thousand dollars.  If she had gone sooner, the cost would have been considerably less.   I noticed that someone went to a dental school to get her teeth fixed, it is a great alternative if you can not afford to go to a regular dentist and they are just as good.

  12. Here’s a good piece of advice speaking of food: If you eat anything, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even a small snack before your dental appointment, and are in a rush because you are on a lunch break at work or something, ask the dentist if you can use one of their toothbrushes and tooth paste to brush your teeth in their restroom before your appointment. They have a ton of those in the back so losing one will not be a big deal to them.

  13. what about if you do not have dental insurance,I need root canal,my teeth do hurt some yes i have always taken very good care of them but we have been going through hard times ,I did go to the Baylor Dental School put me on a 8 month waiting list,even the studit where shocked my tooth well no tooth now is black hurts the temp. came off i need help!!!!!

  14. Unbelievable what this dude said about dental xrays. Thyroid cancer is in epidemic proportions right now and is directly related to dental xrays done without the thyroid shield. I don’t understand why most dentists are so bullheaded about this proven information. Dental xrays give your thyroid a direct jolt, being outdoors doesn’t. WAKE UP YOU DUMB DDS’s!!

  15. Unbelievable what this dude said about dental xrays. Thyroid cancer is in epidemic proportions right now and is directly related to dental xrays done without the thyroid shield. I don’t understand why most dentists are so bullheaded about this proven information. Dental xrays give your thyroid a direct jolt, being outdoors doesn’t. WAKE UP YOU DUMB DDS’s!!

  16. Do an internet search for Gerard Judd to get some information on caring for your teeth that no one has mentioned!  He has an article called something like “goodbye to tooth cavities” 

  17. my dentist said bleeding gums isn’t necessarily gum disease…he said that sometimes plaque builds up under the gum line and that brushing can cause bleeding but should go away within a few days to a week with some good brushing, if it doesn’t go away then you can start to worry (and if you think it’s b/c you’re brushing too hard, you have to REALLY REALLY brush hard and unless it hurts REALLY bad you’re not brushing too hard unless you have sensitive gums)

  18. Be careful with Xylitol gum. It can kill your animals. Please keep it away from your pets!

  19. Sandra, I agree with you.  BTW was your name Aitcheson? If so, mail me at “yvehenry@yahoo.com

  20. Sandra; Your comments are right on target. If you are Sandra Aitcheson, mail me at:yvehenry@yahoo.com

  21. Actual the says is “Hard as pulling hen’s teeth” chickens don’t have teeth!

  22. Haha… It is true that there are people who prioritize buying trendy clothes and having the latest hairstyle over enhancing their dental needs. Just imagine if a pretty girl has rotten teeth and bad breath. Oh, God! Now that’s a real turn-off! People must prioritize their dental needs, not only for good hygiene, but also for good health.
     

  23. ..And, insurance companies pay for Xrays 100%. So they take as much as they want because it’s sure money, not because they might miss something serious. Something serious doesn’t develop in 2 weeks, so they don’t need an Xray every time you’re in. Plus, if it’s so low radiation how come we don’t do routine heart, brain, lung, kidney and other organ xray?….

    1. Actually insurance companies only pay for initial xrays… all the extra ones the Dentist or dental office has to pay for themselves, but are generally needed to make sure your teeth are being treated correctly.

    2. The reason dental x-rays are so effective is because the teeth are the hardest structures in the body and we benefit from the contrast between healthy enamel and decayed enamel.  It shows up well and we can detect it early.  All other soft tissues (such as all organs with the exception of bones) have very little contrast for x-rays to effectively “see” anything.  MRI and CT scans are much more effective for soft tissues of the body.

  24. The obligation of the dentist is to inform the patient of the condition of their mouth and then give the patient ALL their options regarding treatment. . .from doing nothing at all, to anything high-end of cosmetic.  It is ultimately the patient’s decision, based upon thorough explanation by the dentist, what treatment will be rendered.  After the initial visit, the patient should be allowed to mull over their options before diving in and starting treatment which may or may not be covered by the insurance company.  This allows both the office and the patient to research the coverage and then determine the course of treatment that will work within their budget and time frame.  There are no surprises, the patient knows what their financial obligations will be before treatment is started and treatment proceeds as payment is received from both the insurance carrier and the patient. Treatment should never be based upon what an insurance company covers or doesn’t cover.  An ethical dentist should always give options and encourage second opinions.  This approach has served me well in my practice for over 25 years and my patients appreciate my honesty.  If I am unable to perform a certain procedure, for whatever reason, I tell the patient exactly why I am referring them.  Communication is the key.

  25. The obligation of the dentist is to inform the patient of the condition of their mouth and then give the patient ALL their options regarding treatment. . .from doing nothing at all, to anything high-end of cosmetic.  It is ultimately the patient’s decision, based upon thorough explanation by the dentist, what treatment will be rendered.  After the initial visit, the patient should be allowed to mull over their options before diving in and starting treatment which may or may not be covered by the insurance company.  This allows both the office and the patient to research the coverage and then determine the course of treatment that will work within their budget and time frame.  There are no surprises, the patient knows what their financial obligations will be before treatment is started and treatment proceeds as payment is received from both the insurance carrier and the patient. Treatment should never be based upon what an insurance company covers or doesn’t cover.  An ethical dentist should always give options and encourage second opinions.  This approach has served me well in my practice for over 25 years and my patients appreciate my honesty.  If I am unable to perform a certain procedure, for whatever reason, I tell the patient exactly why I am referring them.  Communication is the key.

    1. I had dentist tell me to sell my engagement ring, my ten year old car and borrow against our modest house that we didn’t have much equity in. He also wanted the money that I used I to get my hair done (I do my own hair) and the $5 for my daughters cheeseburger. He also told me I dressed too nice to be that poor. ( I bought most of my clothes at Goodwill and clearance sales at Hills and KMart. I wear a size 5 or a 6 in clothes that is easy to find new items in the thrift store. Of course he didn’t believe me.) Then he told me to get a job. I did get a job and it’s with a company that he didn’t like because they are known for their low wages. (Trust me, everywhere else in retail is just as bad if not worse in pay and benefits. I know, I’ve worked at a few places) He then wanted me to get a job with a certain hair salon, which I refused because I had a gut feeling something was up with that and it was too far to travel anyway. I found out just recently that his business partner owns and practices in that salon. (He lied to me about that.) I still couldn’t afford dental care anywhere even with both of us working and two kids. We always made $20 too much to even qualify for food stamps let alone anything else. Now it seems that there is some sort of “note” in his records that is making it hard for me to get dental care. This guy was paid but it took awhile.

  26. THIS WAS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME EVER TO READ ALL 13 PAGES.  I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE USEFUL INFORMATION,BUT WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT.  ALSO STOP ALL THESE EXCESS PAGES…. ITS SO ANNOYING.  ALL OF THIS COULD HAVE BEEN DONE ON ONE PAGE AND SAVED SO MUCH TIME.. I GUESS THE WRITER DIDN’T READ ABOUT WEB PAGE EDIQUETTE

    1. You had the option of viewing all 13 pages on a single web page.

      Speaking of etiquette (note the correct spelling), it is rude to post in all caps.

    2. I apologize and do not mean to sound rude, but there is an option under the headline photo to view all of the topic on one page.

  27. “A lot of patients are worried that dental X-rays can cause cancer,
    but if you’re outside for an hour, you’re exposed to more radiation than
    you’d get from a full set of dental X-rays. What I worry about is that
    if I don’t take an X-ray, I might miss something serious”-

    This is true.  Nobody sits in the dental chair and worries about their last chest xray.

    1.  And no one freaks out about hopping on a plane and going to Hawaii.  Even though that is the equivalent of 60 (yes, sixty) chest x-rays over your entire body.  I have never heard anyone decline to travel by plane bc of radiation worries.

    2. Actually, it’s technically not true, but the point is still valid.  An FMX delivers much more radiation than being outside for one hour.

  28. sorry for all typos….plaque beneath gumline

    And forest in neighbors yard is what I meant…

    But really….please visit dentist and take care of periodontal disease. No one gets mad at the oncologist for telling us we have cancer. That comes from years of neglect also. No one talks about them ripping you off. It’s not a rip off, right? It costs money for us to stay healthy.

  29. sorry for all typos….plaque beneath gumline

    And forest in neighbors yard is what I meant…

    But really….please visit dentist and take care of periodontal disease. No one gets mad at the oncologist for telling us we have cancer. That comes from years of neglect also. No one talks about them ripping you off. It’s not a rip off, right? It costs money for us to stay healthy.

  30. sorry for all typos….plaque beneath gumline

    And forest in neighbors yard is what I meant…

    But really….please visit dentist and take care of periodontal disease. No one gets mad at the oncologist for telling us we have cancer. That comes from years of neglect also. No one talks about them ripping you off. It’s not a rip off, right? It costs money for us to stay healthy.

  31. sorry for all typos….plaque beneath gumline

    And forest in neighbors yard is what I meant…

    But really….please visit dentist and take care of periodontal disease. No one gets mad at the oncologist for telling us we have cancer. That comes from years of neglect also. No one talks about them ripping you off. It’s not a rip off, right? It costs money for us to stay healthy.

    1. are you seriously saying that my grandmoyher got breast cancer at 28 years old was from years of neglect she lived for 20 years after the first diagnosis when it finally reached her brain (she never smoked, did any drugs or even drank alcohol)

  32. Unfortunately, when you don’t go to the dentist every 6 months plaque build up beneath the him line. This turns to calculus which is hard and can only be removed by the hygienist. The plaque contains harmful bacteria that eat away at your bone. Bacteria are literally millions of tiny bugs crawling in your mouth). If you do not do a good job with your oral hygiene, do you really expect for the dentist or hygienist to remove 10-15 years of plaque for what it costs to remove 6 months of plaque? Would it be fair to pay a landscape company $20 to mow a lawn that has not been maintained for 1 yr? No! You wouldn’t like it if you maintained your yard and got charged the same amount as the forest I’m tour neighbors yard! Brush and floss or ber treated for a deep cleaning so you can keep your teeth, not to mention life. Periodontal disease is a silent killer being that it’s linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Place go to the dentist.

  33. Unfortunately, when you don’t go to the dentist every 6 months plaque build up beneath the him line. This turns to calculus which is hard and can only be removed by the hygienist. The plaque contains harmful bacteria that eat away at your bone. Bacteria are literally millions of tiny bugs crawling in your mouth). If you do not do a good job with your oral hygiene, do you really expect for the dentist or hygienist to remove 10-15 years of plaque for what it costs to remove 6 months of plaque? Would it be fair to pay a landscape company $20 to mow a lawn that has not been maintained for 1 yr? No! You wouldn’t like it if you maintained your yard and got charged the same amount as the forest I’m tour neighbors yard! Brush and floss or ber treated for a deep cleaning so you can keep your teeth, not to mention life. Periodontal disease is a silent killer being that it’s linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Place go to the dentist.

  34. Unfortunately, when you don’t go to the dentist every 6 months plaque build up beneath the him line. This turns to calculus which is hard and can only be removed by the hygienist. The plaque contains harmful bacteria that eat away at your bone. Bacteria are literally millions of tiny bugs crawling in your mouth). If you do not do a good job with your oral hygiene, do you really expect for the dentist or hygienist to remove 10-15 years of plaque for what it costs to remove 6 months of plaque? Would it be fair to pay a landscape company $20 to mow a lawn that has not been maintained for 1 yr? No! You wouldn’t like it if you maintained your yard and got charged the same amount as the forest I’m tour neighbors yard! Brush and floss or ber treated for a deep cleaning so you can keep your teeth, not to mention life. Periodontal disease is a silent killer being that it’s linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Place go to the dentist.

    1. My overall dental health IMPROVED a lot just because I started going 3 times a year for cleaning and check-ups, not just twice.  Yes, I have to pay out of pocket for the ‘extra’ visit but the PREVENTATIVE benefit is substantial.   Correcting small problems before they become big ones SAVES MONEY.  It also helps motivate me to impress the hygienist that I’m brushing and flossing both correctly and regularly.

      Be proud of your teeth, they’re the only (real ones) you’re going to have.

      I have been going to the same dentist, Dr. Scott Donner (Durham NC) for over 20 years.  He’s the BEST dentist I have ever gone to and his staff is really wonderful.  He is very artistic and does his own decorating, he has these wonderful little landscaped vignettes outside each exam room, and he has a great personality and sense of humor.

      What more could I ask ?

  35. I would like to say that just like medical care, not everyone can pick any dentist they would like with their insurance plan. My plan covers ONE dentist in my area. So for everyone being smart by saying find another one if you’re not happy, take that into consideration. Also, I had never heard the term “soft teeth” until my DENTIST told my daughter that that is what she had. Finally, some people do not understand the EOB for their insurance so please do not treat those people like they are idiots. They are confused and need a little extra help just like you would if you didn’t understand how to restart the server for you computer.

    1.  Sounds like maybe time to switch plans and dentists.  You can still go to any dentist you want.  I have patients that we do not take their insurance but they will pay the difference bc they like us.

    2. I understand what you mean the insurance that I had only had one dental practice in the area that would accept new patients it was 60 miles away (only one in benifits book-in network) others were over 100 miles away in the metro areas where there were hundreds of options can’t afford to drive that far and take off many days of work just to be told once again I need a root canal on a tooth that has never bothered me and insurance won’t cover except to have the tooth pulled I was told about the root canal 8 years ago I’d rather have a tooth that doesn’t hurt than an empty space where my frontmost molar is

    3. I understand what you mean the insurance that I had only had one dental practice in the area that would accept new patients it was 60 miles away (only one in benifits book-in network) others were over 100 miles away in the metro areas where there were hundreds of options can’t afford to drive that far and take off many days of work just to be told once again I need a root canal on a tooth that has never bothered me and insurance won’t cover except to have the tooth pulled I was told about the root canal 8 years ago I’d rather have a tooth that doesn’t hurt than an empty space where my frontmost molar is

    4. Often it’s less expensive to just pay the dentist bill out of pocket than pay insurance premiums.

  36. As a dental hygienist I would just like to say a few things:

    1. Periodontal disease is NOT a normal part of the aging process. Although genetic factors do affect periodontal health, gum disease is a direct effect of inadequate oral hygiene. A patient who brushes and flosses daily does not have to tell me, I can see it.

    2. The choice to go to a specific dentist is yours, do your research and find a doctor who comes recommended, someone you are comfortable with. A nice clean office with pleasant, attentive staff (a clean bathroom is always a good indicator).  All business owners care about their bottom line because after all they do have expenses and still have to turn a profit but you can find someone who can do that and have your best interest in mind as well. 

    3. Dentists are concerned with treating dental problems but unless you are willing to cover what ever the insurance company does not pay for out of your own pocket you can not blame the dentist for wanting to get approval first so that he can get paid for his services, this is not charity.

    4. Patients get angry because cleanings have to be broken up into several appointments but you have to understand that insurance companies dictate the procedure and if it is not followed the dentist will not get paid for his services. Likewise, if you are getting deep scaling which requires anesthesia, the dentist can not numb the whole mouth, only one side at a time, meaning two visits. Sorry but the blame lies with the insurance companies.

    5. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  Be an educated patient.   

    1. Thank you, Nycrdh.  You give some good advice.  A few years ago, I didn’t have a great dentist.  I was going to a group dentistry office.  They were definitely more concerned with the bottom line.

      Now I have a great dentist.  His hours are very accomodating.  His staff is friendly and knowledgeable.  His office is clean and welcoming.  My dental care has improved greatly.  I am not pressured to get cosmetic work done.

      I am aware of my insurance costs, they were given to me when I received my benefits package at work.  I can look up my coverage at any time, so I can make informed decisions.

      If you are unhappy with your current dentist, look for another.  There are good dentists out there.  Ask friends and family for recommendations.  It is your mouth, they are your teeth and gums.  Take care of them between dental visits to make your appointments less stressful and less expensive.

    2. (((()))) except for #4. Unless you’re going to a dentist whose practice is owned by an insurance company, there’s no reason to say that treatment is dictated by insurance. We’re obligated to do what’s best for the patient, the patient is then in a position to argue their case to their insurance plan.

  37. My issue with this article is the truth. Bottom line, dentistry is one of the “sell it big” industries out there! I am well over 40, and at a recent exam had a dentist actually recommend I get braces because my bottom teeth are a little misaligned. Hear the dollars!! Also, why was it when I was a child and went every 6 months, I saw the dentist, got x-rays and my teeth cleaned all in one sitting. Today, I am lucky to get to meet the dentist, then they do x-rays, and try to sell me a bunch of services (like braces) and then want to make another appt. to clean my teeth. Hmmmm must be much harder today to clean teeth, ahhh no, it is that they want to make more money!! That is why most people do not trust the neighborly dentist.

    1. Realistically, if you are over 40, it can take many legitimate trips to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned correctly.  Periodontal disease is prevalent in 80 to 90% of the population and it will affect more than just your mouth- now periodontal disease is connected to diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and they have even found a connection to cancer. 

    2. At 40, you are not “too old for braces.”  I don’t see adults, but I have seen patients in their 70’s who got them.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. Offering it as a suggestion is right thing to do. We never know if someone has secretly been hoping to have their teeth aligned or they’re happy with them unless we ask. Not everyone has the verbal skills to say it in a way that doesn’t sound money grubbing.

    3. Sounds like you went to an [insert generic word like Aspen or Corner] Dental (e.g. the chain dental places). I went there once because I wasn’t sure where to go. It took me 3 visits for everything including cavities and they were more concerned about selling me a toothbrush and mouthwash than cleaning my teeth.

    4. That only happens when you go to the wrong dentist. My clinic takes care of me, when they have room, even when I’m sure it costs them more than I pay (I’m on sliding scale, like most of their clients).

    5. That’s a whole other article. The truth is that periodontal disease is THE MOST UNDERDIAGNOSED dental disease in the country. While half the population (up to 90%) has some form of gum disease, only 4% of the dental codes for a dental hygiene visit are for the treatment of gum disease. That’s the bare naked truth.

  38. Dentists should be concerned first with treating dental problems NOT what your insurance will cover.

    1. but in order to treat your dental problems they need to know what your insurance covers in order for them to do as much as they can.

    2. but in order to treat your dental problems they need to know what your insurance covers in order for them to do as much as they can.

    3. don’t be ridiculus. why would i not be concern with payment for services rendered?

    4. I was thinking the same thing. The responsibility of the dentist is to tell you what your needs are to restore your mouth to health or maintain a healthy mouth. Not to worry about your insurance, that’s somewhere down the line but not the dentists responsibility at all.

      1. It’s easy to say why should dentist worry what the insurance covers and just worry about your mouth, but you would be surprise how many people deny treatment simply because their insurance doesn’t cover it. The first thing patients ask is,” does my insurance covers for it. How much? If it isn’t covered then I don’t want to do it. Etc. It’s the patients that care about what their insurance covers. If we didn’t inform you how much your copay is ahead of time, what we get is a bunch of pissed off patient not wanting to pay anything because they weren’t informed ahead of time. I don’t hear anyone asking how much their copay is when they go to their medical doctor.

  39. Dentists should be concerned first with treating dental problems NOT what your insurance will cover.

  40. What your dentist wants is money, yes gum and peridontial disease is a part of the aging process and yes some people do have softer enamel and are more prone to cavities but I see way less preventative dentistry because how can dentists make a living if you show up twice a  year for cleanings.

    1. peridontal disease is just the result of improper cleaning or unefficiant cleaning, that is why you floss and angle your tooth brush at a 45 degree angle to prevent gingivistis (perdiontal disease). The number one way to just do well at your check ups is just proper tooth hygiene- brush and floss your teeth atleast twice a day, chew gum after every meal to produce more salivia and balance the pH level in your mouth so that the acid will not cause erosion in your mouth which causes cavitites, and avoid drinks that are high in acidity- or atleast drink with a straw.

    2. peridontal disease is just the result of improper cleaning or unefficiant cleaning, that is why you floss and angle your tooth brush at a 45 degree angle to prevent gingivistis (perdiontal disease). The number one way to just do well at your check ups is just proper tooth hygiene- brush and floss your teeth atleast twice a day, chew gum after every meal to produce more salivia and balance the pH level in your mouth so that the acid will not cause erosion in your mouth which causes cavitites, and avoid drinks that are high in acidity- or atleast drink with a straw.

    3.  You really do not understand the economics of dental practice.  I make more money on recalls than on actual filling, crowns etc. per unit of time spent.  Don’t believe me?  Ask any practice consultant about the value of a strong recall program. 

    4. Periodontal disease is NOT a natural part of aging. I have seen 19 year olds with very inflamed/easily bleeding gums who are well on their way to serious trouble in a short amount of time, and I have seen 80 year olds wih all of their teeth and health, pink gums. The only factor is home care (with the exception of very rare cases caused by WBC defects – and in these cases the periodontal disease is seen in youth). With regards to “soft enamel,” heredity plays no role here – only acids produced by oral bacteria feeding on dietary sugars. Please do not add fuel to the fire of bad information that we dental professionals have spent our lives trying to put out.

    5. Gum disease and peridontal disease is not a normal part of aging…..diet and attention to after meal brusings and not drinking sodas and eating sweets will keep the cavities away…Im  50 and have never had a filling!   I go to the dentist once every few years and they can not find any plaque or tartar to scale off of my teeth!  So there!

  41. Well, duh.  This is the most useless article I’ve read in a while.  Glad I don’t subscribe.

  42. Well, duh.  This is the most useless article I’ve read in a while.  Glad I don’t subscribe.

  43. yeah, where’s the description for these? i’d like to know what’s wrong with chewing gum.

      1. My sister’s dog died from eating gum with xylitol.  It causes kidney faiure in dogs.  SOOOOO, please be careful!!!

        1. Dogs and human chemistry are vastly different.  Dogs can die from eating raisens, macadamia nuts, coffee and grapes.  So I’m not worried.

    1.  actually, ANY gum, even with a small amount of sugar, is good for your teeth as it makes the saliva flow which will buffer caries causing acids.  Worst snacks for teeth: raisins, fruit roll-ups (simple sugars that stick in the crevices), chips.  Better snacks: cheese, chocolate (fat content), gummi bears (these are very complex sugars that the bacteria can’t break down–gummi bears will be in landfills for years.) =)

      1. Part of your post is true. Xylitol is more beneficial even if you’re not using it in chewing gum. It really alters the plaque composition. Making it less likely to harbor cavity causing germs.

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