The majority of people’s fear of the dentist stems from the belief that their dentist is taking advantage of them. We’ve already talked a good bit about why dental experiences, like fillings, needles, and bright lights might make a person anxious. Today, we’re going to talk about the idea of fraudulent dentistry, and get to the bottom of how common fraudulent dentistry is in America.
The idea of fraud in dentistry is widespread in the media. It’s not uncommon to see click bait articles on the internet about people who’ve gone into the dentist’s office for a cavity filling, only to leave with unnecessary extractions. There are a plethora of articles about dentists performing “unnecessary” wisdom teeth surgeries, X-rays, and cavity fillings just for an extra buck.
Just like in any other realm, it seems that the media always focuses on the negative sides of the industry. Instead of highlighting the copious stories of dentists who volunteer at schools, making sure underprivileged kids receive adequate dental care, the media focuses on the bad eggs.
We’re not trying to say that all dentists are saints. Merely that like any industry, there are always the good and the bad. There is a small percentage of dentists that are in it for the extra buck, then there are those of us who do what we love, because we’re passionate about it and want to help others.
Why Fraud is Thought to be Common In Dentistry
Unlike most medical sciences, dentistry is somewhat subjective. Determining whether or not to fill a small cavity is left to the discretion of the dentist. This means that you might go your whole life without ever “having a cavity,” then go to a more conservative dentist, who wants to fill 3 cavities. It’s not that this dentist is wrong, he just wants to cover his bases for your future. By filling those small cavities, he ensures they won’t get bigger, and there won’t be a root canal in your future.
Some dentists might also suggest preventative or cosmetic treatments, like sealing your teeth, whitening your teeth, veneers, or other cosmetic suggestions. This doesn’t mean that he’s trying to grub money. It merely means that your dentist is passionate about making your smile beautiful, and he wants it to reach its fullest potential. However, if you come across a pushy dentist that makes you uncomfortable, we suggest dropping his care immediately. Because a lot of dental issues aren’t visible and can go undetected without any symptoms, it can make trusting a dentist hard.
All in all, the average dentist is going to be honest. We spend years in medical school to become licensed dental practitioners. We spend even more time trying to build our practice. Just as a lot goes into owning your own restaurant, owning your own dental practice takes hard work and elbow grease. Most of us don’t want to compromise all of the work we’ve put in for a little extra money. It’s important that our patients trust in our care. Dentists want your smiles to speak for them. When a practice has patients with beautiful smiles, it’s easier to bring in new patients through honest recommendations.
Your smile is an image of the work that we put into our career. A common reason that dentists lose patients and get bad reviews is that they constantly try to upsell their patients unnecessary treatments. In the long run, this dishonesty isn’t worth it.
While it isn’t rational for fraudulent dentists to compromise the integrity of their practice, it still happens from time to time. However, you should feel less anxious knowing that the majority of dentists care about your dental health. Don’t let a few horror stories lead you down a path of poor dental health.
When it comes to finding a trustworthy dentist, do some research, but ultimately go with your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions or shop for a new dentist. In the end, make sure that you are making it to the dentist, so you can lead a healthier, stress-free life.