Somewhere circa 1995, Mark and I go to a dentist who tells us that we each have something like a dozen cavities. He recommends a daily fluoride regimen. Because we are starving students he offers to put us on a generous payment plan. We are horrified, but since neither of us has been to a dentist for a few years, we believe it all.
Fortunately, we move to a new city before acting on Dentist 1's plan. With fear and trembling we go to Dentist 2, who says that neither of us had any cavities at all.
And we never have since.
Until last year, when my long-time dentist tells me I had a cavity. In my front tooth--an unlikely location for my first cavity in twenty-odd years. Remembering Dentist 1, I decide to get a second opinion.
Six months later, I go to a new dentist. Who tells me I had no cavities. But I hate everything about that office, so I decide to try another office for my next six-month check.
Today I went to a new dentist. I liked the front-office staff, the hygienist, and the dentist. But he told me I have two cavities--neither one of them in the place identified by Dentist 3.
In short: There is no consensus. No two dentists have seen the same cavities.
So should I let Dentist 5 fill those "cavities"? Is the entire dental professional a sham?