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Sat Apr 20, 2019, 12:52 PM

The Truth About Dentistry

From https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/05/the-trouble-with-dentistry/586039/
The Truth About Dentistry

It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.

FERRIS JABR
MAY 2019 ISSUE
HEALTH

In the early 2000s Terry Mitchell’s dentist retired. For a while, Mitchell, an electrician in his 50s, stopped seeking dental care altogether. But when one of his wisdom teeth began to ache, he started looking for someone new. An acquaintance recommended John Roger Lund, whose practice was a convenient 10-minute walk from Mitchell’s home, in San Jose, California. Lund’s practice was situated in a one-story building with clay roof tiles that housed several dental offices. The interior was a little dated, but not dingy. The waiting room was small and the decor minimal: some plants and photos, no fish. Lund was a good-looking middle-aged guy with arched eyebrows, round glasses, and graying hair that framed a youthful face. He was charming, chatty, and upbeat. At the time, Mitchell and Lund both owned Chevrolet Chevelles, and they bonded over their mutual love of classic cars.

Lund extracted the wisdom tooth with no complications, and Mitchell began seeing him regularly. He never had any pain or new complaints, but Lund encouraged many additional treatments nonetheless. A typical person might get one or two root canals in a lifetime. In the space of seven years, Lund gave Mitchell nine root canals and just as many crowns. Mitchell’s insurance covered only a small portion of each procedure, so he paid a total of about $50,000 out of pocket. The number and cost of the treatments did not trouble him. He had no idea that it was unusual to undergo so many root canals—he thought they were just as common as fillings. The payments were spread out over a relatively long period of time. And he trusted Lund completely. He figured that if he needed the treatments, then he might as well get them before things grew worse.

[...]

The uneasy relationship between dentist and patient is further complicated by an unfortunate reality: Common dental procedures are not always as safe, effective, or durable as we are meant to believe. As a profession, dentistry has not yet applied the same level of self-scrutiny as medicine, or embraced as sweeping an emphasis on scientific evidence. “We are isolated from the larger health-care system. So when evidence-based policies are being made, dentistry is often left out of the equation,” says Jane Gillette, a dentist in Bozeman, Montana, who works closely with the American Dental Association’s Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, which was established in 2007. “We’re kind of behind the times, but increasingly we are trying to move the needle forward.”

Consider the maxim that everyone should visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings. We hear it so often, and from such a young age, that we’ve internalized it as truth. But this supposed commandment of oral health has no scientific grounding. Scholars have traced its origins to a few potential sources, including a toothpaste advertisement from the 1930s and an illustrated pamphlet from 1849 that follows the travails of a man with a severe toothache. Today, an increasing number of dentists acknowledge that adults with good oral hygiene need to see a dentist only once every 12 to 16 months.

[...]



More at link.

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Truth About Dentistry (Original post)
sl8 Apr 20 OP
pangaia Apr 20 #1
Igel Apr 20 #5
Doodley Apr 20 #2
marble falls Apr 21 #8
UpInArms Apr 20 #3
donkeypoofed Apr 20 #4
Mosby Apr 20 #6
marble falls Apr 21 #9
LakeArenal Apr 20 #7
Bob Loblaw Apr 21 #10

Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 01:09 PM

1. I'm lucky. I have a very good, honest dentist.

Has taken over from his father who was my dentist for many years before.
His father would not hire his son until he had 7 years experience elsewhere!

Downside, he is on the expensive side.

MY question is, WHY do so many insurance programs, including MEDICARE and my Medicare Advantage plan, not cover dental work?

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Response to pangaia (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 02:33 PM

5. Expense.

That, and often if there's a life-threatening dental issue it's also a medical issue.

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 01:11 PM

2. Never trust a dentist.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 21, 2019, 11:49 AM

8. A lot of Congressmen and Senators are Dentists.

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 01:28 PM

3. I think my trust in dentists was damaged long ago

and, I guess, that was a good thing

because ... I had a minor problem with a tooth and when the dentist wanted to remove 3 of my teeth and put a bridge in ... I said ....

ummmm.... no and got the hell out of that chair

my current dentist, when I told him that story, said he was glad that had been my reaction because I "have great teeth"

so sorry for those who have not run away from the shysters of the dental profession

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 01:51 PM

4. I've stopped 2 brown lines on bottom of teeth from turning into cavities in a minute

With hydrogen peroxide. Easy peasy. Dentistry can be a racket, for sure.

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 02:53 PM

6. K and R

Dentistry is a racket, the one guy who was scammed said he is paying 6 grand for implants, which you can get in Mexico for like 500 dollars.

There is a town called Los Algodones that does nothing other than provide dental clinics for americans.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/06/09/318212444/a-reason-to-smile-mexican-town-is-a-destination-for-dental-tourism

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Response to Mosby (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 21, 2019, 11:52 AM

9. My 90year dad who's nobody's fool has been doing that for the last 50 years and only has had a ...

tooth pulled once or twice. The rest of it was fillings and such. He's got a great pair of choppers.

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2019, 05:24 PM

7. As a child... (in the olden days)...

My family was part of a class action against a dentist found guilty of filling fake cavities.
My mouth was almost solid silver. While folks still had good dental coverage, I have transitioned to mostly white fillings.

More recently, over a year ago my periodontist said I need a tooth that was in no way bothering me removed because the root had split and it was going to get infected. He suggested a $5000 implant or a big gaping hole.

I left. I have waited for more than a year for that tooth to begin bothering me. It hasn’t. 🤷🏼‍♀️

With so many pressing issues in America,
the state of dental hygiene here is overlooked; but a huge problem.

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Response to sl8 (Original post)

Sun Apr 21, 2019, 04:53 PM

10. This

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