Beware! Dentists Are Ripping You Off!
On Dentaltown.com, there is a thread about this news story on Yahoo.com. You can read it by clicking here. The article is not as bad as I expected. It encourages patients to ask questions, which of course is all well and good. It also explains that dentists charge a wide range of fees. Different dentists charge different fees. Big surprise! Imagine that! I have to wonder if they have also pondered why different attorneys, accountants, architects, and financial advisers don’t all charge the same fees? So, the article encourages readers to ask their dentists to justify their higher fees. Fine by me. I’m one of those “expensive dentists.”
But, you may want to spend some time reading the comments after the article. They are essentially “Doug & Wendy Whiner” (SNL skit – see below) commiserating about their bad experiences at the hands of the ubiquitous evil dentist.
Naturally, on the Dentaltown thread, many dentists recoil at those comments, defend our noble profession, and just simply press on in our quest to alleviate dental disease around the world. Some acknowledge that we can’t save everyone. We can’t care more about our patients than they care for themselves. Accordingly, we should probably not waste much energy or emotion on those people who see us as predators.
One particular dentist, “Dr. S.,” on Dentaltown summed it up most eloquently: “Dentistry is the only part of health care where simply brushing and flossing every day can keep you away from us horrible dentists. If you don’t, we get to screw you. Live with it!” That made me laugh out loud. It may come across as crass, but reading it and thinking it can be cathartic, too. That’s not a bad thing, given the daily stresses we go through.
Just a few minutes ago, I spent an inordinate amount of time restoring just two teeth. The patient was an 87 year old lady who recently finished chemotherapy for cancer. She has circumferential cervical decay on every tooth. So, I’m doing direct restorations trying to just put the fires out and keep her comfortable. No doubt, I did not make any money from her. But, I helped an old lady… and gave her family who all live out of town some peace of mind. So, reading the quote from “Dr. S.” after reading that article is cathartic if not comic relief. Screw those unhappy Yahoos commenting on the Yahoo article! :) By and large, dentists are GOOD PEOPLE who are driven by a noble quest to relieve people of dental disease. Say it out loud, Dental Warriors! Feels good!