Monday, November 16, 2009

Is deep scaling a scam?

I just had a deep scaling done. This lead to 2 extra visits for the cleaning (total 3 now), and I have a fourth before they will do a regular cleaning and fix a small cavity. Was I scammed? My insurance doesn't want to cover all of it, so I instead have for fork over a ton of money.

I talked with a dentist friend of the family (who I don't go to because he's from out of town) and he indicated that it's a scam. Is it? At nearly $800 from my pocket I'm a bit peeved and wonder if now I can do something to maybe get it back.

Is deep scaling a scam?
It's not a scam if you had pockets and the start of gum disease. It is a scam if you didn't have this - and did they numb you ?

Generally you can have half the mouth done at the same time but again it's hard to be numb all over -

A deep cleaning is effective if you aren't the best tooth brusher

and the early stages of gum disease is coming on with some pockets around the bone - but if you visit your dentist every 6-12 months for a cleaning and brush twice a day and floss I'd say perhaps you were scammed.
Reply:Hi! Speaking as someone in the dental field for over 25 years, that seems like a bit toooo much. This is the kind of thing that makes it tough on those of use that really care about out patients and keeping their monies in their wallet.

I only do perio scaling if the pockets are over 5-6 and teeth are compromised. If the gums bleed profusely and teeth are slightly loose I numb the whole quadrant and to a deep cleanig and irragate with heavy duty rinses. I charge only 100. and I am near NYC%26gt;one of the highest for everything. Most ins. will not cover this and I try to understand/ work out a plan. 4 visits unless they can handle it all in three. Then I have them come 3 times a year for a regular cleaning until the pockets have reduced and the bleeding is completely gone. This saves them the horrible expense of a periodontist and losing teeth and bridgework. That is a huge amount of savings. I also take the time to teach them HOW to brush, floss and give them a special mouthrinse to use everyday. There are even oral medicatioins that can be given to help. My job is to help and make you happy. So I thinkg 800 should have been halved and a long term treatment plan worked out so your mouth gets healthy and stays that way for the rest of your life. I would also do one more thing and don't laugh. I personally have found that taking probiotics everyday for six months reduces the amount of bacteria and garbage in your mouth. Most dentists would laugh, but your mouth is the first step of digestion and any one with stomach or bowel problems usually has periodontal issues as well. It is all connected. Buy the refridgerated ones in the health store. Take 2 a day for 30 days and then one a day after that. Bet you find me in 6 months and tell me your mouth is totally healed and you never have gum issues again. Try it, you have nothing to lose (except gum disease and colon cancer) and everything to gain. M
Reply:He is not ripping you off, he is treating you with the best way they can. Would you want your heart surgeon doing a half-*** job? Same with the dentist. It may be that the calculus is so thick on your teeth that they couldnt do the deep scaling withouth first doing a debridement to remove all that crap. The debridement and scaling take time.. usually a few visits. Sometimes dentists can go overboard when placing anitbiotics in not-so-deep pockets, but I don't know your case or the severity of your gum disease, so it's hard to say wheather or not the treatment is overkill. And most people's insurances don't cover nearly enough, so you are not alone.

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