Over the last year, my dad has been seeing a few women..
..at the dentist’s office! He’s had extensive work done including extractions, bridgework, root canals and crowns. The lower row of his front teeth all needed crowns, while the extractions came from the back, top and bottom. This dentist (not going to spread her name… she doesn’t deserve any possible notoriety) practices under the label (bc yes, it is just a label) of “Cosmetic Dentist” – it’s in the name of her practice, though not through much further investigating, the ADA recognizes her only as “General Practice.”
I was called in to supervise a few of his sessions on the work they were doing on him, after he complained about pain caused by a Valplast partial. I went bloodhounding. When I saw the partial they had molded for him (and also expected him to put in his mouth, wear and chew w/), I was literally horrified. I actually don’t even know if all of this work was necessary… *sigh, with an exclamation!
With due respect to the product, I was more horrified (and possibly, maybe, yes a bit outraged) that the dentist would let him walk out with something that had visibly super sharp edges which ended up cutting his gums as he simply followed their instructions on use. Not mentioning the way the dentist jerked and jolted his jaw while in the chair trying to adjust, readjust, fit, re-fit this contraption. : (
When I went in with him, I had to ask her how she could let a senior citizen walk out of her office with a product like that, and if she was proud of the work. Maybe she was under the impression that since others do not hold her accountable, she shouldn’t have to care? She didn’t know I was coming.
My dad is a pretty hardcore, pain-toleratin’ kind of guy, but that was over the top even for him. Not only are we now dealing between the dentist and the insurance company, but he is still unable to bite or chew properly, and has to have the work re-done by someone who knows what they are doing.
Simple point(s) being:
1) Beware of a dentist working as a “cosmetic dentist” – it sounds good, looks pretty, but it is not an official field of dentistry recognized by the ADA! (furthermore, take into consideration the fact that if the dentist is good, they will not need to include “Cosmetic” in their title) –perhaps the cosmetic part comes in by her office offering Botox. Guess you may as well add in a facial filler treatment to a cavity fill? Wiki-it :
2) Valplast Flexible Partials – I consulted my dentist of over 10 yrs about it, and they do work for some people. My dad did not have ample support for these to be attached and to use as a means of actual teeth (to bite, chew), and thus they ended up shifting and chaffing and ultimately cutting his gums. If multiple posterior (back) teeth are missing, implants must be put into place as supports for this flexible bridge to be effective! They can also require quite an extensive adjustment time to get them fitting comfortably.
3) Know your HIPAA - if you want to leave a provider, or simply want to request your records in order to get a 2nd opinion, they have no right to question you on why you want your file and/or if you are leaving them (this also happened w/ this particular dentist when I suggested they get a 2nd opinion).
Since he is retired, time wasn’t a huge factor but he spent a lot of it, as well as the pain he endured getting these things adjusted, and we ended up simply giving them back. I clearly saw his need for implants even as they were attempting to fit this crown –and I’ve spent 0 years in dental school. Yes, implants are expensive. Though the pain, money, time and effort put into this bridge as well as the crowns could have been saved by simply doing an implant.
Again, I ask: WHO o who takes care of older people if they have no one standing up for them?? Karma is one thing, but when it comes to the person on the shorter end of that stick, someone’s got to be there for them, especially if it’s one of my parents, and especially if it concerns their health and well-being. I love my parents and will do what I can to stand up for them and help them in any way, I only wish everyone had someone looking out for them in order to avoid situations such as this.
I urge anyone to do research before they go to any healthcare provider to find out more about them. Also look into any medications, products, services that are potentially suggested! — “Google it” at least to see what you find –it now takes about .2 of a millisecond to do it. Currently and unfortunately there isn’t really a reputable service for this state full of retirees and older crowd to find an established and trusted healthcare provider — again, Mr. President… healthcare…? Somehow we’ve managed to get along how we have been, but at this point in time it seems unacceptable that we cannot do better than simply “getting along.” We can find more information on where to go/eat/sleep/learn/play/_____ , yet the entire healthcare provider-sphere remains a giant mass of unknown “stuff.”
It’s clear that we could all use a little help.