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Dental Chain Update.. I'm still having extreme anxiety.

A

apenning

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Jun 7, 2013
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After my first post, I decided to get a second opinion. However, after a day or two, the original dental office (the chain office) called me, and she told me that not only would I require a deep cleaning on both sides of my mouth, but I also require NINE ROOT CANALS!! When she told me this, I told her that was crazy and then she said, "Well, let's see.. there's 2 probable root canals and then you maybe will need 7 more." She also told me that my dental insurance has a $1000 limit, so after the first or second visit, my dental insurance will be maxed out. I went into the bathroom at work and almost couldn't make it out because I was having a panic attack. Everyone who I talked to said that it sounded ridiculous, but I still can't help but feel absolutely overwhelmed and terrified. I'm almost crying typing this now.

A co-worker gave me a number for her daughter's dentist so I called them and made an appointment for next Wednesday, but I honestly don't know how I'm going to make it through the week. It's all I can think about! And I'm so absolutely confused because I have NO PAIN except for an occasional light ache in one or two areas where I know there is a problem. I can eat hard foods normally, and I'm only 24 years old!! I'm also freaking out because, when I made the appointment, the receptionist understood my anxiety but said that they can't prescribe anything for the initial visit, and I just know I'm going to make an absolute fool of myself in that office because I'm going to be freaking out. :(

Has anyone ever heard of NINE ROOT CANALS?! :confused: It's only been like.. 5-6 years since I've been to a dentist and I took pretty good care of my teeth (and ever since they scared the $#%@ out of me, I have since bought a Sonicare toothbrush, a water pick and I use listerine twice a day). Everyone always compliments me on my teeth and they just don't feel sick except for a few problem areas... I'm just so absolutely overwhelmed and terrified and I had to vent!


EDIT: And if it really is BS and they're trying to scam me, how can that possibly be legal?! I'm tossing it back and forth in my mind over whether the diagnosis is legitimate or a total sham, but I just don't see why or how they would risk telling me that my teeth are basically about to fall out of my mouth. :\


EDIT2: I wanted to add that I almost couldn't even make it into work this morning because I just feel so terrified and trapped by my own teeth. I feel like I'm going crazy and I feel like my life is spinning out of control. I hate myself right now because I'm freaking out over something as simple as a dentist appointment, one that everyone tells me will show that I don't actually need that much work done on my teeth, but I can't help it. I'm expecting the worst. I can't even think about it without being reduced to a crying baby. :(
 
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C

comfortdentist

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I assume that you are in the USA because such tatics are typical of chain offices. Let me say several things about this.
In over 25 years of practice I have never done 9 root canals on a patient. SO I think it is unlikely.
We as dentists have to make a lot of judgement calls so anytime you see a patient with numerous problems you will get a range of treatment needs and options.
I encourage you to seek out another opinion and assuming you have found a nice dentist ask the new dentist about your treatment plan. I hope you received a written treatment plan. If you didn't please go back and get a written detailed trweatment plan. If the other dentist(s) vastly disagree with the clinic plan then PLEASE PLEASE file a complaint with the state board of dentistry. ONLY you the patientmay file a complaint.

Please let us know the whole story
 
A

apenning

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Jun 7, 2013
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Thank you so much for telling me this.. Yes, I'm in the USA, FL actually. Hearing that 9 root canals is excessive from a dentist makes me feel a lot better. :\ I've been such a mess since I found out.

The receptionist at the dental chain (http://www.qualitydentalsmiles.com/) was supposed to fax me my treatment plan on Tuesday but it never made it, and their office was closed today for a "corporate meeting". I will call them tomorrow to get the plan faxed to me and then tell them that I'm getting a second opinion.

Again, thank you so much, you're a saint.. I will update as soon as I get more information.
 
brit

brit

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As I typed my responses to you last week, I was thinking in the back of my mind that as British person I was maybe being overcynical re USA chain dentistry, I now know I was 100% right and that they are SCAMMERS!.

Please do not worry, go to the second dentist and do not commit to anything until you are sure what is being proposed is reasonable. A third opinion would also not be out of order if it makes you feel safer that what you are having done is necessary.
If you did need 9 root canals, the excuse of a dentist should have told you that at your appointment...seriously they are behaving far far worse than Used Car Salesmen.
Run run run and never go back. Also report them to your local board (although they are apparently pretty ineffective at regulating dentists).
 
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brit

brit

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EDIT: And if it really is BS and they're trying to scam me, how can that possibly be legal?! I'm tossing it back and forth in my mind over whether the diagnosis is legitimate or a total sham, but I just don't see why or how they would risk telling me that my teeth are basically about to fall out of my mouth. :\

Because the dental industry is very poorly regulated in the USA in comparison to say the UK where the GDC can strike a dentist off for anything which brings the profession into disrepute including absentmindedly walking out of a shop without paying for sth. In USA you can make false Medicaid claims in millions of dollars and not even lose your licence, let alone go to jail.

The dental chains are owned by Corporate Equity Funds out to make as much money as possible. There are massive Medicaid scams going on which are only now being taken seriously by the Authorities. For instance braces were being prescribed in Texas for baby teeth and the funds were going through...lots of abusive scams in Pediatric care too (if you want to know more look here: www.dentistthemenace.com)

You need to find an ethical dentist working for themself so they care about the quality of care they deliver. Once you find such a dentist, you stick with them and never look back.
 
A

apenning

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I just got off the phone again and spoke to a different receptionist who told me that they usually don't fax treatment plans and now she's saying that I DEFINITELY need 4 root canals and 5 "possibles". When i asked if that was it she said, "No..." Then she said I had a lot more stuff that needs to be done like fillings and stuff. I DON'T GET IT. I CAN'T WAIT TO GO TO A DIFFERENT DENTIST HOPEFULLY THEY WILL EASE MY MIND AND TELL ME IT'S NOT THAT BAD.. :(:(:(
 
brit

brit

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I just got off the phone again and spoke to a different receptionist who told me that they usually don't fax treatment plans and now she's saying that I DEFINITELY need 4 root canals and 5 "possibles". When i asked if that was it she said, "No..." Then she said I had a lot more stuff that needs to be done like fillings and stuff. I DON'T GET IT. I CAN'T WAIT TO GO TO A DIFFERENT DENTIST HOPEFULLY THEY WILL EASE MY MIND AND TELL ME IT'S NOT THAT BAD.. :(:(:(

Chill this is scandalous....in an absence of pain the first thing any conservative dentist would try on any tooth is a filling not a root canal.....they are harrassing and scamming you...stay away and just see what dentist 2 recommends - don't even tell them till they have finished their exam and given their findings what dentist one said...or rather dentist one's unqualified nurse and receptionist said..you are being treated outrageously....doesn't the fact they were 'closed for a corporate meeting' say it all...talk about giving the game away.
Do not waste any more energy on them - your teeth are probably pretty near fine since you have been brushing them regularly.

Also root canals do not always work perfectly and can lead to more drastic treatment so to suggest you need 9 of them when you clearly do not is quite frankly criminal as a collection of poorly done root canals is the fastest way to ruin your teeth I can think of.
http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/root-canal/

In the highly unlikely event that you did need a couple of root canals, if they are molar teeth you would be best getting them done by an endodontist not a crappy chain dentist with no microscope.
 
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vicki

vicki

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I just got off the phone again and spoke to a different receptionist who told me that they usually don't fax treatment plans and now she's saying that I DEFINITELY need 4 root canals and 5 "possibles". When i asked if that was it she said, "No..." Then she said I had a lot more stuff that needs to be done like fillings and stuff.
If they're not prepared to provide you with a treatment plan, then I would definitely look elsewhere. The whole point of a treatment plan is so that you, the patient, have a copy of what treatment is suggested and how/when it will be carried out as well as a break down of all the costs involved. If you don't have a treatment plan, then how do you know exactly what it is that you're consenting to? Also, if you don't have a treatment plan which clearly states the costs, then there's nothing to stop them sending you an invoice for any amount they like rather than honouring the original costs quoted in the treatment plan.

Since I'm in the middle of root canal treatment myself (on four teeth), I can tell you that it's not something that you want to do unless it's actually necessary, especially given your age. Usually it's only done when other less invasive options such as fillings have been tried first.

You mentioned that you don't really have any pain apart from a slight ache in one or two areas where you know there is a problem... I may be wrong, but I think if you needed nine root canals, you would probably be aware that something was wrong with the teeth in question (I had severe pain in the four teeth which I'm in the middle of root canal treatment on at the moment and there was also very visible loss of tooth structure).

Also, to add to what Brit has said, if you do need root canal treatment, you want to make sure that it's carried out by someone who is very experienced and has the right equipment. I had my first root canal done about two and half years ago by an NHS dentist (the NHS is the public health system in the UK) and it was done in a single appointment which was about 50 minutes long. To cut a long story short, it turns out that it's not a very good job (which is no surprise given how rushed the appointment was), they didn't remove all the pulp and so I'm now having to get it re-done (by a proper endodontist this time ;)).

You've done the right thing in seeking a second opinion :). Good luck... let us know how it goes :clover::clover::clover:.
 
A

apenning

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Well, when I told her that I would need them to fax my treatment plan, she said she couldn't right now because she was busy with other stuff but she would in like 30 minutes. If I don't get it by the end of the day, then they are definitely covering their tracks. She also wanted the new office to jump through some hoops to get the X-Rays, so I called the new office and the receptionist there was very nice. She said usually, chains like that will make you pay to get your x-rays sent to another office and told me that they would take new x-rays free of charge. She also comforted me by saying "they're changing their tune aren't they, by switching your diagnosis around? Don't worry about it, don't call them anymore, we'll get your X-rays done here so don't worry." Which eased my mind a bit.

I wish it was easier to believe how outrageous these guys are scamming me, but I guess it's one of those situations where you can't believe people would be that evil.. I'm definitely having an easier time now with everyone's encouragement and by the fact that they still haven't faxed my treatment plan.. Also, the care they're suggesting seems like it would be for someone twice my age who hasn't been to a dentist their whole life. :( I almost laughed when talking to the chain receptionist today.. Time will tell! Thank you so much everyone.. I'll update when I go to the new dentist next Wednesday. :)

EDIT: and I think they did want to go over a treatment plan with me but I freaked out and had to leave. The receptionist told me that I usually have to sign it first and go over it with a dentist. I'm assuming when i sign I have to pay for it all. I'm glad I didn't do all of that. But now I'm DEFINITELY suspicious. It is the 2nd time requesting my treatment plan, and it's been 4 hours since requesting it.. I still don't have it.
 
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C

comfortdentist

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If you don't get this grossly abusive treatment from them in writing prior to asking to have your X-rays sent elsewhere then if you complain to the state dental board where is the proof?
The Fl dental board does take this as a major offense the problem really is the board can only act on evidence.
 
A

apenning

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If I find out on Wednesday that the majority of their suggested treatment was wrong, I will absolutely physically go there and demand that I get the treatment plan. I've asked twice now and they keep telling me they will fax it to me and it never ends up getting here. At this point, I'm finally calming down enough to realize that this was probably a scam and I probably don't need the majority of my mouth worked on. I'd really like to find out the truth from this new office before I call the chain again, because I know they're just going to freak me out all over again.
 
M

McHobbit

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May 23, 2013
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I'm starting to wonder if they are stalling because they destroyed the treatment plan and are hoping that sooner or later you will just back off. This might be a completely over the top reaction on my part (what can I say, I watched too much 20/20 a few years back. Lots of dental chain stuff), but that's the first thing that comes to mind. Looks like they are scared of getting in trouble.

As hard as it sounds, just wait what the other office says and then go from there. 9 root canals and NONE of those teeth are causing any pain whatsoever? That seems extremely fishy. I would definitely not call the chain again.
 
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