Avoid Being Ripped Off at The Dentist

Avoid Being Ripped Off at The Dentist 1

Many unethical dentists try to talk you into treatments just to make more money. Here’s how to avoid getting ripped off.

Image by Danny Choo via Flickr
Image by Danny Choo via Flickr

Too many dentists try to use “creative diagnosis” to undertake unnecessary work in an attempt to make extra money.

Here are ways to avoid getting ripped off.

  • You Probably Don’t Have to Have All Your Fillings Replaced


Often someone visiting a new dentist could be told that they need a ton work done. This usually involves ripping out all their current fillings and replacing them with brand new ones.

But you should be weary of a dentist prescribing this much work unless you are visiting because you are in pain. While fillings do decay and crack over time, you don’t need all of them replaced at the same time.

  • Be Wary of Great Specials Luring You In


Dental practices that offer heavily discounted deals, like free whitening sessions, do so to get you in the door so they can then prescribe those big treatment plans for work you may not need.

Typically, it’s cheaper to get a whitening or cleaning from a practice who doesn’t usually offer special deals – so you’re far more likely to pay for what you need and no more.

  • Prescription Toothpastes and Fluoride Treatments Aren’t That Necessary


An unethical dentist may rely on all kinds of products and treatments as part of their upsell to patients. The most common are prescription toothpastes and fluoride treatments. These kinds of products can be helpful for someone who gets lots of cavities, but for the majority, they’re not necessary.

  • Sealants and Night Guards Aren’t Always Necessary


These are another two products that are regularly used as money makers. While some people may certainly need a night guard to stop them from grinding their teeth or to avoid jaw pain, not everyone needs one.

Sealants are a similar scenario. They’re a product that can be useful in some instances, such as for kids who don’t brush very well, but they don’t need to be prescribed for everyone.

  • Veneers Are Purely Cosmetic – Most of the Time


A lot of dentists try to push veneers – those artificial tooth surfaces – on their patients since they’re rather lucrative. But what is important to remember is that in most cases this is a cosmetic choice. And it’s one that can cost thousands. If your teeth look terrible and you want to improve your appearance, that’s okay but don’t get talked into them if they’re not necessary.

What’s more, if the shape of your tooth is alright, it’s cheaper to have a whitening treatment done.

  • Dental Insurance Could Get Expensive


Medical insurance is certainly a necessity and dental insurance isn’t a bad idea. However, a dentist’s reimbursement fees from insurers are very low so they will try to find work to do on you. This usually involves a scaling or deep cleaning that may not be necessary.

The best way to avoid this is to visit dentists who aren’t involved in insurance networks. They’re less likely to try and upsell procedures.

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion – or X-Rays


It is completely within your rights to refuse a treatment and seek another opinion. An honest Gold Coast dentist will never put pressure on you.

What’s more, your X-rays legally belong to you and a dentist must turn them over to you to take to other dentists.

Keep all of this in mind whenever you feel uncomfortable with a dentist or like you’re being talked into treatments you don’t actually need.

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1 Comment

  1. Like anything else, I think there are good and bad. I have been to dentists who had wanted to replace all my fillings before and switched quickly. I would alo beware of dentists who ‘save’ teeth at all costs because truthfully, it is going to cost you a bundle. I had that happen and ended up with a root canal that abscessed and instead of losing one tooth, lost three because the infection spread so rapidly plus lost weeks of work.
    Great article and one people should pay attention to.

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