Scamming people is not just for mechanics any longer. There are unscrupulous dental practitioners, as well. There have been many news stories in the press over the past several years about over-billing, unnecessary dental procedures, and criminal charges being brought against dentists. There are ways to avoid being caught up in scams or becoming the victim of a dishonest dentist.
First, search the internet for reviews on the dentist you have chosen. It is a great place for patients to express themselves, and if unhappy, most people can not wait to share their experiences. Also, ask the office for the doctor’s dental school information and get the license number. Every dentist has to be licensed in the state in which he or she practices. Further, ask for the dentist’s insurance information.
The next step is to check with the licensing board. Also, check with the insurer to be sure your dentist has paid his policy to the current date. Check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any complaints against the dentist. There is always a patient unhappy with a dentist at one time or another, but a long list of complaints is an indication there is a problem with the dentist.
Whether or not you have taken the above steps and you find you are with a dentist who made diagnoses which you feel are too extensive or seem unreasonable, you have every right to get a second opinion. First, ask to see the x-ray of the tooth or teeth in question. Ask, also, to be shown the tooth with a dental mirror. Most dentist now have cameras so you can be shown a close-up view of your cavity. If he or she hesitates, find another dentist.
Refuse to move forward with any major dental work until you have gone for a second opinion. You should always be concerned if you visit a dentist finds many problems on the first visit. Unless you have gone a long time without seeing a dentist, you would more than likely not have a mouth full of work.
Always avoid any treatments that are not covered by your insurance policy. Many dental insurance policies cover legitimate and customary treatment. If the dentist advises a procedure not listed on the allowed procedures, do not agree to pay out of pocket until you have contacted your insurance company. The American Dental Association and the State Dental Board have information on accepted mediation.
If your dentist is refusing to comply with the pricing set by insurance, find another dentist. Dentists are required to accept the terms of your insurance. There is a set price schedule. If the dentist is not satisfied with the rate he or she will be paid by the insurer, he or she must deal with the company themselves or send you on your way.