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Looking for a dentist who has a bigger picture--a bit of a rant

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  • Looking for a dentist who has a bigger picture--a bit of a rant

    Last year I left my dentist of more than twenty years. I started going to a dentist who practices "biologic dentistry."

    I did this because my long-time dentist surprised me during one appointment with the cavalier statement, "Well, teeth fall apart just like everything else." At the time, he was in the process of fitting a crown on a tooth that had cracked for various reasons. One of the reasons: a large filling that *he* had put in the tooth.

    His statement just floored me. Clearly he was not, as I had thought for years, devoted to making sure that teeth *don't* fall apart.

    Having received the Primal Gospel with joy, I knew I had to do something more than just accept conventional health care attitudes. So I did research and found an area dentist whose philosophy of dental care sounded really good.

    I started going to this new dentist despite the fact that the dentist was not on my dental insurance "approved" list. (This has made reimbursement a more tedious, more costly issue). I started going even though the office is not at all convenient to get to.

    Ironically, one of the first things my new dentist did was to put a crown on another tooth (which I broke one day when I tripped, fell on a sidewalk, and hit my head--thank God no damage other than the tooth). That went well, and it wasn't too painful to pay for.

    Since that time, I have become more and more wary of my new dentist because, as nice as she is, her practice seems really focused on getting me to commit ASAP to all sorts of expensive procedures.

    For instance, I have a number of amalgam fillings, and several of the teeth with those fillings are cracked. If I had all of those teeth "fixed," that is, essentially ground down to stumps and fitted with crowns, it could possibly cost me $10,000.

    I need to have something done with my teeth. However, even with the "dental credit card" that allowed me to get my broken tooth fixed, I couldn't possibly pay back $10,000.

    I also have sleep apnea (diagnosed six years ago and treated with a CPAP machine). I have talked to my new dentist about getting a dental appliance to use instead of a CPAP machine. I have been told that I have to pay upfront and get reimbursed directly from my health insurance provider. This contradicts what my health care provider has told me: my primary care doctor has to refer me to a sleep doctor who has to refer me to the dentist after getting approval for a dental appliance.

    This is making me crazy. I feel as if I should be looking for yet another dentist. Someone who practices really sound dentistry AND communicates well with patients on things that matter AND earns a well-deserved living because he or she is doing really good work..

    I'll admit that I can be a fussy patient at times. Or maybe often. Or maybe always. But I really want to know that my dentist knows what he/she is doing and knows how to communicate that to patients.

    Am I living in a fantasy world on this, or does such a dentist exist? Could I find one in my area (Rochester, NY)?


  • #2
    I think such a dentist is exceedingly rare. I believe you might be more likely to find an honest dentist by finding one on your insurance plan or else going to a dentist that serves the poor. I believe you want a dentist who has no dollar signs in his/her eyes when he looks at you.

    My own personal experience was I went about 10 years between college and my first job with insurance without seeing a dentist and when I got some dental insurance, I started seeing a really good, honest dentist. (Prior to that, I had seen dentists that hurt me pretty bad and I was really scared to go back.) He examined me and told me I had no cavities. No cavities! Me? I ate sugar, never flossed. He told me that you only need to floss now and then, the whole every day thing is overkill. He restored my faith in dentistry. Then their office cut me off their client list.

    Then I went another 15 years without a dentist. Recently I was about to switch dental plans so I decided to go see a dentist. I went to the best dentist in town. All my friends recommended him. He wins the weekly newspaper "best of" contest every year. He had all this fancy equipment and all the receptionists make it feel like a spa for cosmetic surgery (lots of boobies in there, no wonder all my friends--all male--recommended this place).

    I went in with a broken tooth. He said those old amalgam fillings eventually break your teeth because of the difference in how they swell and shrink with heat and cold compared to your tooth. He told me I had lots of cavities and all my fillings would need to be turned into crowns. He drained every last dollar of my insurance and added something like an additional $6000 or so.

    The crowns do not fit my mouth like my original teeth. My teeth are now crooked when before they were straight. The crowns don't let me close my mouth together normally. They squeak and make horrible noises when they touch or when I chew. I basically chew my food only half way because I cannot stand the sound. I can't close my mouth completely for fear of that horrible nails on the chalkboard sound. It's really loud and horrible. I am sorry I ever went.

    From now on, it's emergency dental work or else I will go to the dentists that the poor go to. Dentists with no incentive to use their fancy equipment and drain your bank account because they assume you have no resources.

    Good luck to you.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


    • #3
      I have an up-to-date dentist who actually communicates with me, as in takes the time to answer and explain anything and everything, including cost/benefit and other options. Her place is like a spa, and it is all-female. She gets equal numbers of guys and gals as patients. And she is patient and HONEST. They do exist. I have a couple of crowns in my puss, and they have never cost more than 1000 each, all included, and they were absolutely necessary. They fit like a dream.

      My horror stories are from visits to dentists while I was growing up in the government-subsidized projects, who accepted the government poor-people's medical card, only to needlessly (medical malpractice) drill like a friggin' oil fracking rig just to pad their profits (I found out only as an adult out on my own, chose my own dentist, and he showed me), and they were mean and surly and insulting - to a kid.

      I can only say - talented, humane, honest dentists are out there. Good luck with your search!! If I can find a stellar peds dentist for my kids, one of whom is extremely difficult as she is a special-needs child, and a very good adult dentist in the same city closest to where I live out here in the sticks, I am sure they can be found where you live, even if you have had crappy experiences so far, which I am truly sorry for you for.

      For a group who might be able to help, read the Weston A. Price materials, go to the WAP foundation website, and maybe talk to a local WAP group. Dr. Price was a dentist, after all.
      Last edited by Crabbcakes; 03-29-2013, 07:24 PM.
      I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


      • #4
        i have a fair number of amalgam fillings, all from the same kindly dentist, from my pre-teen years as a soda junkie. i am now 49 and the only filled tooth that ever broke was a filling i got as an adult. in fact that tooth broke a second time and required a root canal.

        a few years back, there was a "shadow" of a cavity on an x-ray, but my dentist is holy-hell expensive and he said it could wait. HA! since going primal and switching toothpaste it's GONE!

        i think dentists are just trained that teeth corrode and fail, and for the most part, for those eating SAD, that is very true.

        i don't have an answer about finding a good dentist, but sb makes a great point. if you have access to a dental school, they may take you in for very little $$$. i have tons of friends who go to tufts dental school clinic here, because it's one of the best dental schools in the us and obvz, not for profit, so cheap.
        As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

        Ernest Hemingway


        • #5
          I don't know why you were bothered by your former dentist's comment because teeth do 'fall apart.' I don't know your age, but I'm 71, and I'll share my experience.

          The first time one of my filled teeth cracked and broke several years ago, my long-time (now retired) dentist told me that the types of fillings used when I was young are no longer used because they found that over time, they dry out the enamel. Hence, all my filled teeth are 'at risk' for fractures as I age. That has proven true, but I've been fortunate that the first course of action (bonding) has been successful so far.

          When my dentist retired, he sold his practice to a young guy who was much like your new dentist. He promoted expensive (and unnecessary) procedures, and kept harping on the fact that I should have all my filled teeth crowned before they break--we're talking $15,000. When one of my teeth 'just happened' to break immediately following a cleaning, I found another dentist.

          The guy I have now agrees that my filled teeth are at risk, but he doesn't bother me about doing crowns now, as he knows how costly that would be. Since I've been going to him [6 years], two of my teeth have broken, and in both cases the bonding has held. I know that crowns may be inevitable, but I'll do them on a 'need' basis. I don't have $15,000 to invest in the 'possibility' that teeth may break.


          • #6
            Dentistry has changed sooooo much in the last thirty years. They've all become a bunch of retailers farming out as much work as possible to the techs, and charging an arm and a leg when they deign to actually touch your mouth. I've heard disgusting stories of dentists convincing parents of twelve year olds to have implants put in (front teeth knocked out during hockey) even though they are not only way more expensive than a bridge, but the child will out grow them. I may not love doctors, but I loath dentists. Bunch of mediocre couldn't get into med school enamel jockeys. [/rant]
            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


            • #7
              The dentist I had when I was a kid was a pretty good guy. I never had any cavities, so no horror stories. He didn't make it into medical school, and looking back, he says that was the best thing that happened to him- less stress, office hours, minimal on-call, etc. I guess I don't know how his dentistry skills were, but he took care of all my siblings and their terrible teeth.


              • #8
                They squeak and make horrible noises when they touch or when I chew.


                • #9
                  There is a great holistic dentist in Australia, but i found this link to the US ones.
                  Providing support and guidance to practitioners of wholistic and alternative dentistry
                  I think this one is in your area?
                  Member profile


                  • #10
                    Unfortunately, I can't help with a dentist. But here are some links that may be helpful.

                    Have you seen this?

                    Vitamin D Hormone

                    And this?

                    Cure Tooth Decay - Stop, treat and reverse dental cavities naturally.
                    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                    • #11
                      May this will help you

                      Find a Dentist in your area


                      • #12
                        I have been going to my dentist for almost 35 years. I think she is an honest, decent person and does not suggest unnecessary work or pad the bill. I replaced my silver amalgam fillings for my own cosmetic reasons. I have only one crown, and that molar was drilled many times, so it seems reasonable.

                        On my own, many years ago, I started turning down most of the suggested X-rays. I'm not even sure why, apart from a vague idea that radiation wasn't good for you. All the previous X-raying never prevented the death of two teeth from abscesses or whatever else was the cause. Now that I'm under the influence of Peat, I will never have an X-ray without a compelling reason.

                        On my last visit to my dentist, I was talking to her about my narrow dental arch and speculating if the cause was a lack of nutrients during gestation, as Weston Price theorized. She had never heard of him! That did surprise me.


                        • #13
                          Visit the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicity web site (IAOMT .org) and see if they have a member near you.

                          I have read that amalgams will shrink, thus allowing bacteria under the filling, or expand, thus cracking a tooth. Haven't had either happen to me.

                          About three years ago I met a doctor who was still practicing at the age of 76. He told me my numerous health problems were due to my amalgam fillings. It was the craziest thing I had ever heard. However, he was right. I saw the dentist he recommended, an IAOMT member, who knew the recommended safety procedures to remove amalgam fillings. (Amalgam fillings contain mercury - up to 50% mercury. Drilling them out releases mercury vapor, which is easily inhaled and can make you very sick.) I felt much better getting the amalgams out. For the last two years I've been taking medicine to chelate the mercury from my body and my health is returning.

                          It's worth taking the time to find a dentist who you're comfortable with; who you trust.