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oh, yeah. I forgot to mention, I went to Gentle Dental today, instead of my old dentists, after what I think is a one year hiatus. So I skipped one cleaning, and I got to the new place, they take x-rays, and they tell me off the bat that I have seven cavities. And they want to give me two fillings ASAP. There's no way this could have happened in one year, but the old place (Dana Dental) did x-rays very rarely, and these "in-between" cavities are things they wouldn't find without such an x-ray (he did peg me as a bad flosser when he first looked at the picture...).

So, is Gentle Dental being "overly aggressive" (as one coworker suggested they were known for doing) with this? Was Dr. Dana lame in taking care of my teeth and suggesting x-rays (as a different coworker suggested might be the case) back then? I used to get cleanings every six months, and a clean bill of health every time for over two years, I seem to recall.

I'm tempted to go back to Dr. Dana and get the cleaning, despite the fact that I've already paid for a cleaning with Gentle Dental (their $57 first time patient deal)... If Dr. Dana says nothing about cavities, I could ask...

That was another weird thing about going to Gentle Dental, it felt like I was betraying the friendly neighborhood dentist that had treated me well through the years (except the time they sold me an electric toothbrush, and then didn't even notice when I stopped using it...) But the hygenist there had been cleaning my teeth for a long time, and Dr. Dana was cool with his seventies "hip" mannerisms, and it just seemed kinda wrong to be at this new place...

Hmm... $160/filling seems kinda steep, too. They want to do some composite fillings at Gentle Dental, which I'm all in favor of. If I need the fillings. Seems like the kind of thing they'd want to push though, after giving a $57 x-ray *and* cleaning package. On the other hand, they wouldn't want to risk alienating a potential new regular customer, I imagine.

*sigh* confused. I hope I'm not being cheated though. Maybe I should try the Kendall Dental place that was recommended to me, write off the $57 I've already handed over to Gentle Dental, cancel those appointments.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2002 11:21 pm (UTC)
A few years ago, my Dentist in California claimed
I had some minor cavities that would need to be dealt
with. When I pointed this out when I switched to Dana Dental,
they disbelieved and claimed I have no such things.
I'm not sure what to think. I'd be curious to hear
what happens if you get a second opinion.
What caused you to go to Gentle Dental
in the first place?

I need to schedule a dentist appointment soon. :( Whee...
Feb. 26th, 2002 05:26 am (UTC)
You might ask Dana Dental to give you some x-rays and check in between the teeth for these minor cavities... I don't know.

I switched to Gentle Dental because I stopped working in Central Square, where Dr. Dana was incredibly convenient to visit, mainly.
Feb. 26th, 2002 01:00 am (UTC)
Composite fillings are more expensive than the usual silver amalgam fillings. My experience is that dental insurance will only cover the full cost of composite fillings if they are filling cavities in the teeth that normally show when you smile, talk, etc. However, they will only cover the cost of amalgam fillings in back teeth, and you must pay the difference if you choose composite fillings for the back teeth.

But...you wouldn't have dental insurance through work. Hmm. Well, like I said, the composite fillings are more expensive, but they are more cosmetically desirable. They often don't last as long, though, if they're on surfaces that get a lot of stress. Some things to think about.

I was a poor flosser in my teen years, and eventually that came back to haunt me...lots of fillings between my teeth. I have no opinion on Gentle Dental; get a second opinion if you want, but don't let the cavities go too long if they're confirmed. It just gets worse to deal with the longer you put it off. Trust me. :-/
Feb. 26th, 2002 05:23 am (UTC)
There's one main reason that I'm more interested in going with the composite than the silver amalgam: conductivity. My teeth became a little more sensitive to hot and cold once I got some amalgam fillings a while back, and I'm really sure that I'd want the composite ones, if I got any at all.

As for the rest, yeah, I know not to put this off, at least. I'm thinking of calling Dana today and asking for an appointment at their soonest convenience. Push off the Gentle Dental appointments 'til at least after that, and that makes it all good.

I get the feeling there are two kinds of dentists in the world - the kind that try to get as much money out of the patients as possible, and the kind that are interested in the patients' health. And, if it weren't for that time that Dana Dental sold me an electric toothbrush, I'd think that they were squarely in the latter camp.

Oh, that and the one anti-recommendation from a coworker (whose opinion on health issues I generally trust).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )