So, your dentist told you that you have a few cavities? Are you ready to get them filled? Let’s get you scheduled for next week. Good plan, right?
What do you do? I mean, he or she is a doctor and they know what they are talking about, right?
It would be very impolite to question someone with a white lab coat and DDS or DMD after their name, right? It is not nice to ask questions about your alleged cavities, correct?
You do not want to upset your dentist now, do you?
Being Too Timid Can Cost You Money And More…
I have personally experienced three incidents in the last 7 or so years where a dentist told me I had a cavity.
In all three cases other dentists told me that there was no cavity to be found!
How Could That Possibly Be True? After All, A Cavity Is A Cavity, Right?
The bottom line is that diagnoses amongst dentists vary widely. This is something that has been studied and documented and most dentists are fully aware of this fact, as well.
What one dentists calls a cavity another dentist may say is nothing or an area ‘to watch’.
There are a lot of grey areas and some dentists are more ‘aggressive’ than others. Let us not discuss the fact that being more aggressive can lead to greater short term profits.
One dentist even went so far as to try and convince me that filling the alleged cavity (later confirmed to be non-existent by another dentist) right away is ‘preventive’ dentistry. I still have to laugh at that one.
That last example was with a female dentist – lest you think this problem only has to do with male dentists. This behavior is NOT gender specific.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself anytime you get a diagnosis that is going to cost you money and trauma, is to consider getting a second and maybe a third opinion.
You might be surprised at the different diagnoses and treatment plans you are offered.
Another thing you can do, if you have the confidence to do it, is to look the dentist straight in the eye and ask him / her : If I went to three other dentists would they all agree that this was a cavity that must be filled?
Watch the body language and the words you get in response for clues to the truth of the situation.
The best thing to do though, is to go for that second and third opinion, that way you can be sure. If all three agree that you have a problem that needs to be taken care of, then perhaps you do. But what if you find out that 2 of the three do not feel you have the problem? What would you think then?
If you ask your friends, chances are good that one or two of them will have an experience to share with you. It can be a real eye opener when you hear these kinds of stories from your own friends!
If you want to try an interesting experiment, go to three different dentists who have no connection to one another whatsoever. Don’t tell any of them about what the other dentists had to say. This is so their diagnoses are not influenced by what you tell them.
Let them do their own exams and you will most likely discover that what they want to do to your mouth will vary widely!
A Cavity Is A Cavity, Right?
You would think there would be a rigorous standard that all dentists must adhere to before calling something a cavity, right?
Well, the truth is that is not the case. If such a standard exists, it is widely ignored or grossly misinterpreted.
The only way to protect yourself is to go somewhere else and get a second opinion.
In none of the cases mentioned above did I feel any pain. Not that pain has to be present. It’s just that there was an absence of any pain in all three cases above.
The Bigger Problem
Aside from the expense and initial recovery time and pain associated with procedures, there is a greater danger that may await you down the road.
Fillings can break down over time which necessitates a replacement filling.
The problem with that is when a filling is replaced, they actually have to make a bigger hole in your tooth.
The hole can only get so big before the structure of the tooth is in jeopardy. That could lead to a crown and / or root canal.
Scary (and expensive), isn’t it?
Next time you are told about expensive dental work that you allegedly need, think about getting that second and possibly third opinion. It can you save you in more ways than ‘just’ financially.
David Snape is the author of the books: What You Should Know About Gum Disease – The Layman’s Guide To Fighting Gum Diseaes and How To Stop Gum Disease In 4 Easy Steps
You can get a FREE copy of his 20 page e-book – How To Stop Gum Disease In 4 Easy Steps at : http://HowToStopGumDisease.com
You might find some surprising information in both of these books that could potentially be beneficial to yourself and the rest of your family.
David is NOT a doctor or a dentist. He IS a guy who cares deeply about his own health and the health of others and is willing to share a few of the things he has learned on his journey through life so far.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not intend to provide any advice, diagnosis or treatment for any dental health or other health condition. Visit your doctor or dentist for advice, diagnosis and treatment.