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Scary kids' dentists on 20/20 last night.

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ThatsMyBarack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:35 PM
Original message
Scary kids' dentists on 20/20 last night.
This was a painfully disturbing story for the following reasons:

1. Four-year-olds were crying, scared to death, but the dentists weren't paying attention to that as they continued to drill the little ones' teeth.

2. A six-year-old kid with an almost full set of silver crowns which unnecessarily replaced perfectly healthy teeth.

3. Little kids up to age seven being wrapped in velcro-strapped "papooses". Looks like torture and punishment for being scared!

4. Kids being told they had cavities when they really didn't. SOunds like lying and torturing for profit!

I'm sorry if something like this has already been posted (I tried searching for it, but came up dry). I had something similar happen to be when I was seven in 1978. I had to make a return trip to the dentist because they said I had a cavity. Turned out he just wanted to put a silver crown on one of my back molars. Having my first major dental procedure at the age of SEVEN, I was scared out of my mind--and the dentist punished me for it by pounding me on the head! Great way to scare kids into brushing regularly and staying away from sweets, huh?

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. I stopped watching 20/20 years ago
John Stossel finally drove me away.

Bill Moyers is on at that same time. Much better show :)
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ThatsMyBarack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I don't like JS, either....
But I couldn't turn away from a disturbing story that I could relate to.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I honestly worry more about kids who don't have access to dental care
In the county where I teach, there is only one dentist who takes pediatric medicaid patients. So far too many kids go without dental care in my neck of the woods.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. I went without dental care because of a sadistic dentist, so the story is relevant.
I had dental coverage too, I just couldn't go to the dentist until I found one that specialized in sedation dentistry.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. That is awful
I am sorry you had to go through that.
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Thanks, but man, I found the gentlest dentist ever now
So all is good and I can smile again :)
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. The 20/20 story will anger you. It's about unnecessary procedures to boost medicaid claims.
Multiple pediatric root canals in healthy teeth for example. I didn't watch the show but the story is available on the ABC site.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=7016055&page=1
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
25. I stopped watching ABC's news shows a few years back
When they did a report on agency nurses...they went and found a hole in the wall agency that was sending out incompetent nurses to work in hospitals. They pretty much tried to make it a blanket statement about all agencies and agency nurses, totally dissing what they called "rent a nurses".
At the time I was a nurse working in hospitals thru agencies and it really pissed me off that they would mislead the public that way thru their so-called "news" and "investigation".

Made me think twice about what one saw on their prime time programs and how they report stuff as being factual.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
29. I have the same 'Stossel phobia'. Guess I'm not alone.
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Stellabella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yep, me too. I have a hard time with dentists.
Mine would check for cavities by sticking a probe into the tooth and wiggling it and watching to how much I winced.

He also cut down the tissue between my lower two front teeth and the inside of my mouth. Result: two crooked lower front teeth, and lots of misery at age 10.

Also, whenever I sniffed during a procedure, his assistant would say 'Are you CRYING?' in a snotty, accusatory tone. Hope he and she are burning in hell.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wouldn't replacing a little kid's perfectly healthy teeth with silver crowns
qualify as child abuse for both parent and dentist? That's the craziest thing I've ever heard.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Bear with me for a second...
...because I'm one of those mothers who allowed her child to get 2 silver crowns.

I feel really stupid and please forgive my ignorance, but when the dentist told us
that our child had cavities, I just wanted to get them filled.

The dentist didn't tell us what she was doing. She just did it. She's the expert.
Our child did get 2 silver crowns. Our other child got 2 silver crowns as well.

I trusted the expert. I guess that was wrong.

I mentioned in an earlier post that we went back to this same dentist and we were told
that our child had a "problem tooth" and that the cavity would need to be filled.

I switched dentists because I felt that something was not right. The new dentist said
that their teeth were fine.

I'm wondering now... You make me wonder about the crowns! I wonder about this dentist...a
sweet, unassuming recent dental grad. I did not have a good feeling about her...AT ALL, so
we switched.

I feel stupid and duped for not asking more questions earlier.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. It sounds like your kids might have had valid reasons for crowns,
but I can't imagine a dentist giving a little kid a mouthful of crowns if the kid has perfectly healthy teeth. I wish I had seen the show.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. I'm questioning everything now...
...because this dentist said that my youngest needed a filling.

When we took my youngest to a new dentist, he said that he teeth were just great.

Now...I'm wondering about the crowns!

What dental situation would necessitate a crown, instead of a filling? That's the question
that I need to do some research on.

Geez. Is anyone honest these days? We have to worry about the pediatric dentists being
scoundrels?
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. Something strange happened to me...
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 04:43 PM by CoffeeCat
I took my kids to a dentist in town who seemed very nice, but they treated me like a defective
because I wanted to be in the room with my kids when they got their cleanings, etc.

It turned out that this dentist saw 3 cavities in my 5 year old and 2 in my 6 year old. Both had them filled.

We went back 6 months later, and again--I was made to feel strange for wanting to accompany my small children.

The dentist told us that our youngest had another problem tooth and that her cavity would need to be filled.

On the way out of the dentist, I just felt that something was off. Call it a gut feeling.

We switched dentists. Turns out, there was NOTHING wrong with my youngest's teeth--that the initial dentist
insisted was a "problem."

Now, I'm seriously wondering about all of the previous cavities that they had filled.

This was a very young, recently graduated female dentist who had her own practice. I'm thinking that a lot
of these dentists have some serious student loans and other overhead--so possibly they invent problems
where none exist. Sickening.

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smoogatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. We have a nasty, scam-artist of a pediatric dentist here in town.
He's the only one in the area. We took our kid to see him (not quite four years old at the time) and the guy wnated to do thousands of dollars of work on the kid's teeth (one cavity, mind you). Something smelled fishy, so my wife, whose folks are both MDs in L.A., flew the kid out to see her childhood dentist in SoCal. One simple filling, gratis (as in no charge). the whole thing took about ten minutes, the kid was fine, everybody was super nice, stickers and a balloon and out we go. I had a scammer dentist here try to tell me I needed thousands of dollars of work, too, that things were dire and all my teeth were going to fall out. Went to get a second opinion, had a simple cleaning and everything was (and continues to be) fine. You've got to shop around for a good dentist; they're not all competent, and they are sure as hell not all honest.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. We had a *dentist from hell* when we were kids
My grandmother used them (of course, by the time we were old enough she had dentures and didn't get subjected to the pain). I *still* have real flashbacks of fear when I go to the dentist.

My last dentist was very understanding. Evidently he had other patients with the same trauma. My first visit to him I had to take anxiety meds. By the last visit I would fall asleep in his chair, because he was THAT good at his work.

We really searched for a good pediatric dentist for our son. She was great. NO trauma at all. I didn't want him to go through the horror I had been subjected to.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. I went to a really bad dentist a few years ago
The guy who had been my dentist since I was a kid went on a church mission for a year, so I went to this guy in the same office complex I was working at, when I made the appointment they asked for all sorts of insurance information in advance - saying it would save time the day of the appointment.

When I got the claim notice from the insurance company it turned out they had billed for the maximum for everything I was covered for (all I got was a check-up, x-ray and a broken filling replaced) but apprently I was there for three days.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
11. Number four reminds me of what happened to my brother...
We moved North and my mother found a nearby dentist for him, since he had more dental problems than me. I still went to the dentist I'd seen all my life, twice a year or so. Seems everytime my brother went in, he had yet more fillings. But then I was leaving for summer camp and my mother made an appointment with the new dentist for me, since she wanted to get me in before I left. I had very few fillings as a kid, but this new guy told my mother that I had nine cavities!!! :wow:

My mother was suspicious, so she took me to see our original dentist. He said that I had one cavity. He told my mother that the other dentist was drilling and filling "worn spots" in my brother's teeth, said they might turn into cavities or they might not... :eyes:

So we made the trip to the original dentist from then on, until he retired. And my mother made a point of telling other people about our experience with this unscrupulous dentist. As an adult, my brother's stuck with a mouth full of silver. I was the lucky one... :-(

The sad thing is that this guy is still practicing, shares a a building with my hair guy, but fortunately I've never seen him... :grr:
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. Funny.... my user name is based on childhood visits to the dentist
He'd drill without Novocaine and I would wince because it f%@#ing hurt! :hurts:

Then his Barbie look-a-like assistant would chastise me, stating that all the other children that came into their office never winced and that I was bad girl, blaa blaa blaa :wtf: :crazy:

Why... I must be the devil! :wow:

She can't take having her teeth drilled!!!!

She EVIL!!!!

bugga bugga bugga


:eyes:

Unbelievable.

:evilfrown:

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Best_man23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
14. I had a dentist from hell when I was a kid
Only question he didn't ask was "Is it safe?".
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
16. My childhood Dentist
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 05:27 PM by Turbineguy
was trained by the Inquisition. I'm sure of it.

She probably wore one of those Torquemada hoodies under her white coat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oppHeMlaLVM
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VenusRising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
17. I worked in a Denitist's office when I was 19.
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 05:32 PM by VenusRising
The dentist was horrible to the kids! There would be little 6 or 8 year olds scared to death. I went in to talk to one little boy because he was really upset. I understood, because I get that way, too, sometimes. The dentist came by and saw me talking to him and yelled at me to get out of the room and leave the "cry baby" alone. He then walked up to the kid and jabbed him in the chest with his finger telling him that he needed to "suck it up". I was absolutely horrified. The kid ended up leaving without getting any work done because he was so upset, but I was so relieved. That dentist had no business working on ANYONE! Later I discovered that he was taking oxycotin that he kept in a safe in the office, and also letting "friends" come and sit in a darkened room to use the nitrous.

That coupled with my own bad dental experiences have kept me away for too long. I just can't bring myself to go, though I know I really need to. :(
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
19. Dr. O'Brien... the sweetest dentist ever
I think I'll post a good dentist story.

I had a wonderful dentist in Norman Oklahoma named Dr. O'Brien. ( This was back in the 50's and 60's)
He was so kind. He would play soft classical music on the record player and turn the lights down before he came in.
He also used hypnosis and of course the regular pain killers. I don't remember ever getting a shot, but then again I didn't have much work done as a child.
He always let my mom be with me too.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
23. I had my first visit at age 5 -
the dentist wouldn't let my mother in the room. I panicked because he was big, scary, and mean from the get-go, so refused to open my mouth. He grabbed my jaw and squeezed to make me open . . . when I did he stuck his fingers in my mouth. I bit him. He popped me upside the head and left, telling me if I moved he'd hurt me worse. I was terrified. After maybe 15 minutes, an assistant came in and told me to leave. The dentist told my mother my teeth were fine.

When I was 8, another dentist removed my bicuspids and the adult buds because my jaw is small. Again, my mother wasn't allowed to be there. I don't recall exactly how it went, because I have apparently blocked it out. I know I had nightmares about it for years - at 51 I still occasionally dream about that visit . . .

At 10 I got braces. Wore them for 6 years (including the retainer and such). Every single visit was painful and bloody and when they removed the bands they loosened my top front teeth and three of the lower front teeth - I came close to losing them as a result.

At 16 I needed my wisdom teeth removed - all four were impacted, none had erupted. The dentist gave me nitrous (the first time I had ever had it) and cranked it up so high that I started hallucinating - when the assistant passed the scalpel across in my line of sight, it looked like a machete. They spent 15 minutes peeling me off the wall I was trying to climb to get away and gave me oxygen to bring me down. Rather than remake the appointment, the dentist gave me 18 - 18 - separate injections of anesthetic, then removed the teeth. He had to break them up with a hammer and chisel to get them out. Even with the shots, it was incredibly painful and I was so sick afterward my parents had to take me to the emergency room. I still have depressions in my jawbone from where he carved out the teeth.

Sorry to any dentists here on DU - but as far as I'm concerned the profession attracts people who enjoy causing pain. I could face off Josef Mengele more easily than I can go to a dentist. I have never met one I trust any farther than I can spit.
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Stellabella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Oh my God, that sounds like my experience with wisdom teeth.
All four removed at the same time. The surgery itself went okay, although I woke up in the middle of it, hearing all that grinding and mashing going on, which wasn't nice.

But then I got the STOMACH flu, and spent the next five days throwing up through a mouth that could barely open. One more day and I would have been hospitalized - hell, I probably should have been anyway, since I lost 20 pounds that week.
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enlightenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. ouch.
My sympathies!

Have you ever noticed that dentists like to act like martyrs when they discover that you're anxious/phobic/distrustful? They actually try to make you feel guilty for not trusting them. Freaking amazing behavior.
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Stellabella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #31
36. Yes, it does seem like the profession attracts sadists.
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 10:04 AM by Stellabella
I have a good dentist now, although it's been awhile. I really have to force myself to go.

On, and when my mom called (I was 18) that oral surgeon, he said 'gee, lots of my patients have had the stomach flu'.

No duh! Think something in that office wasn't being properly sterilized?
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
24. One of the dentists on Andrews Barracks in Berlin was a REAL laff riot
He was a German citizen employed by the Army, and he was a really good dentist, but he had the most warped sense of humor. I shit you not, when you went in to see him the first thing he asked you was, "is it safe?" Then he'd do very good, very painless work on you.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
26. The dentist I went to as a child did not believe in using novacaine
And since he charged extra for each shot, he always tried to talk Mom into not having used on us. I am very sensitive to the drilling and far too many times he hit the nerves while drilling for cavities. When he removed my wisdom teeth, he used the minimum amount of novacaine, broke the teeth getting them out and then had to root around to find all the pieces.

When I left home for college I found a WONDERFUL, kind and gentle dentist. If I even shifted while he was working, he wanted to give more pain killer. He was my dentist from 1972 until he retired a few years ago. He helped me keep some baby premolars for over twenty years and took great care of my teeth. He also helped my husband get over a fear of dentists. Dr. Stevens, I still miss you!

The dentist we've tried since then was a Repub a-hole. Had Fox on in the waiting room and some hate monger radio crap on in the treatment room. He took several hundred dollars worth of X-rays and found nothing that needed done so he tried to talk us into cosmetic dental work neither of us need.

I'm still looking for a new dentist.
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
27. My kids have the most wonderful pediatric dentist. I love her.
My youngest child has autism and was very orally sensitive when younger. During one of her first experiences at a different pediatric dentist, the dentist was insisting on putting her in a "papoose" which is really a straight jacket. They didn't even TRY to work with her and this was just for a simple cleaning and exam. I walked out because I knew my daughter would have a total meltdown if she was restrained in their stinking "papoose" and that every dental exam after that would be traumatic.

I heard of my kids' current dentist by word of mouth. She's fabulous. She sees a large number of kids with developmental disabilities. She actually recommended a few visits for my my daughter to just come and sit in the chair to allow her to get comfortable with the setting and with her. My daughter loves her and even sat like an angel when she had to have a very stubborn baby tooth extracted several years ago. That is the ONLY procedure other than cleanings, that she has ever had done.

Other parents told me that she had an anesthesiologist who VOLUNTEERED to assist her with kids with disabilities who needed fillings or other procedures but could not sit through them. She sought out the volunteer anesthesiologist after she found out that these patients' dental insurance would not cover the cost of anesthesia. I wish every kid could see a dentist as caring as ours.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
28. I want to say kudos to my childhood dentist
He did a root canal on me when I was 9 years old.
I am 47 years old and STILL have that root canal.
It was an amazing piece of work.
So, Thank You Dr. King! :hug:
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
32. Jr had a dentist scold during tooth filling, age 5. Tried to fill 3 teeth.
Dentist scolded "if you'd just sit still we'd be done by now" then yelled "SIT STILL!" when I was out of the room. I heard and came back in. Dentist should not have tried to fill 3 teeth in 3 different quadrants on a 5 yr old in 1 sitting.

Should not have scolded my kid when he thought I wasn't listening either. Next dentist was a nice guy.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
33. I had a wonderful dentist as a kid, & he had a wonderful assistant.
Forty-plus odd years later, I still remember their names. Consequently I had no fear of dentists.

Later in life I needed a wisdom tooth pulled & I wound up with the worst dentist I've ever experienced - showed up in grotty sweat pants that showed his (dangly) penis, lost my xrays, overdosed me on pain meds so I felt I was having a heart attack, broke off my wisdom tooth.

I never went back & fought the charges, can't remember what happened with that, it was such an awful experience in every possible way.
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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
34. I had a real piece of work for a dentist once -
for one year. Every tooth she touched developed problems someone else had to fix (once one of the problems got bad enough I could force myself to go dentist hunting again).

I went in with a nasty cavity - she filled that tooth, but was so rough doing it that she created the need for a root canal in the adjacent tooth. She told me she put a crown on top of the root canal (which is what SHOULD have been done), but instead she just put in basically a large filling. Since the tooth was a molar, that didn't last long. Fortunately, my new dentist caught it quickly and after a brief period of watching it, he put a real crown on it so the tooth didn't crack away. (And fortunately, I didn't let her do the root canal...)

She filled another tooth on the other side of the mouth, didn't clean out the decay well enough so it kept decaying under the filling - and that one got close to needing a root canal by the time I discovered it (fortunately, my new dentist was able to save it).

The original filling she put in has also had to be replaced, even though it was only about 5 years old at the time.

On top of the damage she did to the teeth, the two times I went in for a cleaning she was so rough I left with bruises on my cheeks - and very sore teeth because she insisted on using the ultrasound cleaning, which is fast but hurts my teeth.

Fortunately, I have only had the one stinker - and not as a child. My current dentist is extremely gentle. His filling technique with the non-metal fillings leaves a bit to be desired (he doesn't always get the edges precisely flush with the teeth), but otherwise I have no complaints.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 03:01 AM
Response to Original message
35. I got restrained in those things once when I was like 5, it was only for teeth cleaning
I don't think it was particularly traumatic and probably better they used one of those things than sedating me or something like that. I think if the kid is just plain afraid of the dentist it might be safer to restrain them. But if they are doing fillings or some other potentially paintful procedure then that's a different story. The child may be squirming because they genuinely are in pain.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
37. We have an excellent local nonprofit working on dental access for kids.
Material Girl sees a pediatric dentist and she loves that lady. I am a serious dental phobe and I was terribly worried that my kid not share that with me. As a result we made the decision to send her to a pediatric dentist rather than an adult dentist.

We found this particular dentist because she does volunteer work with a local non-profit that my husband provides computer assistance for sometimes. This non-profit is, "...dedicated to working with the community to meet the oral health needs of underserved children and families by focusing on preventive care, treatment and education to a provide a lifetime of excellent oral health."

They are a model that could be replicated just about anywhere there is a population to support it, and I do hope you will all take a look at the website:

http://www.smilehealthy.org /


With action we ALL can make a difference.


Peace.


Laura
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