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Old 02-23-2008, 11:15 PM   #1
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Is this a normal experience with a dentist? I'm so confused!!! Pls help...

I haven't been to a dentist since I was 7 or 8 (I'm 21 now) until just recently. Bad, I know, but I didn't have insurance for a long time and I never had any problems with my teeth - no pain, no visible cavities, nothing....

Well, I just had a check up with a new woman dentist and it turns out I have 4 minor cavities that need to be fixed. When I went back the second time, her husband was the one who worked on 2 of my teeth (side by side molars, I think).

The whole time I felt extremely uncomfortable. I imagine that going to the dentist is not supposed to be pleasant or anything... It's just that I felt like the dentist made no effort to tell me what was going on. I had no idea what he was doing in my mouth. He didn't even tell me that he was going to fix 2 teeth. He put a metal/silver filling in one molar. In the other he covered only tiny specks (at the corners of the tooth) with the silvery filling. If I had known he was going to use the silver filling I would have asked for the white one instead...especially on the tooth where only specks of the filling were used. Later I found out that the woman dentist who initially looked at my teeth recommended I get the white fillings on them --- sorry I don't know the technical terms. --- The dentist who worked on my teeth though, thought that he should put in the metal filling because it lasts longer and better insures that the cavity won't spread. That's what he told my mom when we came out to the reception area.

Now, I feel like I have this giant silver tooth and I don't think it was necessary to have it done like this. I know the white one doesn't last as long, but I was told that my cavities were only small. I feel so uniformed.

Please someone tell me if my experience sounds normal. Do dentists usually consult the patient, telling them what they're going to do and asking for their input? Don't I have a right to know what's being put into my mouth? I honestly felt totally helpless and had no idea what was going on.

I have another appointment a month from now to fix a premolar and I'm even more scared to go now that I was for my last appointment. I really want to find a new dentist to go to. Do you think I'm overreacting?

 
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: Is this a normal experience with a dentist? I'm so confused!!! Pls help...

You are not over reacting - your reaction is quite normal to what seems to be a mis-understanding - somewhat due to your inexperience a bit - and somewhat due to poor communication between the dentists. I am wondering also if by bringing your mother the dentist did not just assume you were a "child" and subsequently did not feel the need to inform you in detail of what he was going to do as to not frighten you more than you were. You certainly have the right to request the type of filling you want and be informed of the pros and cons of each type as well as being responsible for the payment of such - insurance seldom covers the full cost of white fillings since the accepted standard is metal.

This still can be rectified by informing the dentist the next time you go of your preference for the white fillings and having them redone but bear in mind you may incur add'l fees. Going forward its important as you may now realize to ask the dentist specifics before any work is done and advise the dentist you will not pay for any unauthorized work going forward. Its your teeth and your mouth and you have the right to be fully informed of what is being done, the pros and cons of different treatments and the associated costs - so don't be afraid in the future to speak up. If you find however a dentist does not listen to you and does what he wants instead then find another dentist.

 
Old 02-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: Is this a normal experience with a dentist? I'm so confused!!! Pls help...

I don't think you are over reacting. If I were you I would consult with another dentist and get their opinion and a better explanation of what they plan to do.

 
Old 02-24-2008, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: Is this a normal experience with a dentist? I'm so confused!!! Pls help...

You should tell the dentist exactly what you've said here. You were under the impression the filling would be a white, plastic type filling and you got a silver one and you're not satisfied.

 
Old 02-25-2008, 11:18 AM   #5
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Re: Is this a normal experience with a dentist? I'm so confused!!! Pls help...

Thanks for the replies everyone.

 
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