Monday, April 18, 2011

The Dentist Saga

Dentist 1
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.

Dentist 2
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.

Dentist 3
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.

Dentist 4
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.

Dentist 5
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?


  1. Looks like it's a sham. No sense it doing anything unless you're hurting.

  2. Oops, Casey's been using my computer again.

  3. i'm laughing over this.

    because you definitely haven't seen my dad- because he says "come in when it hurts...really, really badly"

    hahahaha. he's kind of the, 'if it's not broke don't fix it' dentists. but yes, i've seen lots of scam artist ones too.

  4. I am equally horrified. And feeling vindicated in not going to the dentist for such a long stretch.

  5. Annie, I haven't been for a long time either. I'll have to call your dad or Roger and find out how to find a good one.

    Mark Ashurst-McGee

  6. Once I neglected to have a cavity filled. About a year later I went for a checkup with the SAME dentist, sure that my cavity would have gotten way worse, but he didn't even mention it. I learned (by Googling) that small cavities sometimes go away on their own ("remineralization"). Either that, or my dentist is a scammer. I don't know!