Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drilling for Dollars

Pediatric dentistry is the biggest scam of all in the US! I am determined to do everything I can to expose and bring attention to this passively accepted and rapidly rising malpractice!

I got a first taste of this phenomenon when my 5 year old was suddenly diagnosed (from one visit to the next) with 5 tooth decays. Not one or two ...FIVE!

We had been with this  practice for less than a year.  We were told it was urgent and he had to return within two weeks to get them filled.

I remember the assistant lips unemotionally spelling the sentence, I could not think clearly. I knew I needed to regroup and ask some important and intelligent questions, instead flustered and overwhelmed all I could think of was  HOW? HOW is this possible?

My kids do not eat candies, do not drink any kind of juice, brush regularly ... HOW?

 It must be genetic and if so  it must be from my husband's side of the family has proudly paraded perfect dentition for generations.

In a temporary and induced state of confusion, I remember managing to grasp enough breath to ask if we really needed to do these fillings so urgently. The dental assistant  replied that it would be dangerous to wait as the decay can grow deeper and they would then need to do root canal, a procedure that would be much more traumatic than a filling for the child.


I left feeling hopeless and defeated. It is only after I have returned to the car that my brain cells started firing the appropriate connections again. It occurred to me that baby teeth do not have roots ...what was she talking about?

We decided to leave the practice, collect all records and X-rays and send them to my dentist in Italy for review.  My dentist verdict confirmed perhaps there was the beginning of a decay in one place but could really see no evidence for the rest of the impending decays. In fact, I was informed that in Italy they usually would never treat at that early stage anyway, as progression rates vary and baby teeth fall out eventually!

I went back to our Brookline pediatric dentistry, and shared the information I had received from my dentist. Following a three day communication hiatus, an administrative assistant finally gets in touch to inform us that the doctors reviewed my son's records once more and stood by their decision. They also concluded Italians most likely could not read the Xray properly because they needed more sensitive equipment.

The ultimate insult and the straw that broke the camels back!

I moved to a second practice in Brookline as per recommendation of my regular dentist.
After careful review, they concluded he did not really need FIVE fillings but only THREE! and once again we had to get it done within two weeks.

"FIVE urgent fillings needed for five teeth, another dentist came looking and then there were THREE"

I did not return within two weeks.

However two weeks later a letter from the practice informed us that  both of my children will be denied further  visits with the dentistry for failure to comply with treatment. Clearly it was evident from the beginning that they would make very little money out of us so why invest any more time?

I am happy to report that a year and half later my son is doing well and it has not had any fillings!
I read with great interest this article about the rise of tooth decay in toddlers and young children.

I have colleagues and friends with toddlers who have been under anestasia several times for several fillings before even reaching the age of 3.

While it is true that in daycare the widespread excessive and absolutely unnecessary use of fruit juices, particularly to infants and toddlers, may be contributing to some accelerated tooth decay, it is not the sole and primary reason.

 And while I am sure that some children require prompt attention and intervention from a young age, sadly this has become a money making business at the expenses of young healthy children. There are no regulations in place to monitor this malpractice and it is getting very serious in certain places in the country.

Share your experience too! I interested in hearing from you!


Logical said...

Excellent article. Thanks so much for sharing. I have written some negative Yelp reviews on a couple of different dentists that have done unnecessary work on my child. It is very hard to find an honest dentist these days.

PALFO said...

Thanks! Too many people decide to subject their kids to these unnecessary drilling because they are not given a choice. Good for you! and good luck.