“Can I trust my dentist?” How Would You Answer?

Just this morning, I got this email via my practice website:

My 20 year old daughter had a filling come out (tooth 12).  She needed root canal.  They referred her out even though all the dentist do that procedure in the office.  The crown (d2740 porcelain ceramic substrate) was covered by the DHMO.  They added a $500 lab fee and mandatory upgrade.  When fitting the crown he did a gingivectomy and apically positioned flap surgery on the tooth.  No cuts on the gum.  Can I trust him??


Here’s what I wrote back:

Hi Mary,

Thanks for visiting my website and taking time to email.

Honestly, it’s difficult / impossible for me to second-guess your daughter’s treatment, based on your description, or without seeing your daughter (and her records) in person.

Gingivectomy describes a procedure in which there is removal of gum tissue.  So, that typically requires some sort of incision.  But, it can also be accomplished with a laser or “electrosurgery.”  An apically repositioned flap is a more involved procedure that typically requires incisions and sutures (stitches).

Again, I cannot be sure without having all the facts before me.  My descriptions of those procedures are intended as general information.

As for the “upgrades” and lab fees, I would suggest speaking with an insurance company representative.

I do believe it’s important to find a dentist you feel has your best interests and health in mind.  Trust is important.  In my opinion, it is unfortunate when HMO-type “insurance” plans become the primary factor in both choosing a dentist and how the dentist treats the patient.  I see this a lot in south Florida.  This is why I can never participate in these plans.  I created another website about this very subject.  You may find it interesting:  www.DentalInsuranceSecrets.com

If you’d like a consultation in my office, give us a call! 🙂

Best wishes!


How would you answer this email?  Comment below!  I’m wearing my asbestos suit!

UPDATE: I heard back from her:

Thank you so much for your reply.  I have seen your website and have unfortunately experienced many of these secrets you talk about.  I found your website very informative.  No laser was used and there are no incisions or stitches or discomfort.

The insurance company will review this and the x rays.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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4 Responses to “Can I trust my dentist?” How Would You Answer?

  1. Kevin Donlin says:

    That is the most tactful way if responding to that email without throwing the dentist under the bus. “500 lab fee” wow they must use gold dust also for their lab work at that fee. This type of insurance just seems to encourage fraud and abuse of the insurance. We have to as dentist try to run as fast a possible from this type insurance. The problem is the number of new grads that are available to work at these clinics in high demand areas. Thanks for the interesting topics.

  2. Edward Logan says:

    It is always a bit tricky to answer these questions about another dentist’s work. I face these questions all of the time in the dental chair, by email, or in a public setting when I make the mistake of mentioning that I am a dentist. Thanks for providing an example of how to tactfully answer this question while still giving the patient a good amount of information.

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