I am very unhappy with the results.
I went to a dentist highly recommended by friends of mine. I was really early for my appointment, as I had overallotted for driving time. They took me into the back fairly quickly.
The first lady who attended to me was fumbling with the x-ray equipment, because it is apparently a new digital system. Biting down on the digital panel assembly was quite uncomfortable because it is large, ungainly, and weighted heavily on the outside of your mouth so it presses into oral bits.
After that was finally over, the dental hygienist came in to clean my teeth. She did a fine job of cleaning my teeth. Then she poked my gums to measure them at each tooth, on the inside and outside. (This is apparently a newer fad amongst dentists, because the last time I went, there was no mention of the measuring). She also mentioned that the dentist was on vacation and would return Monday.
After she finished cleaning my teeth, she started going over the X-rays. This part is what bothered me. According to her, I have "bone loss due to misalignment" of my lower teeth, which she said could be corrected by Invisalign (the "adult braces" that are clear plastic retainers - a rather expensive option), or at least a nighttime mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding. According to her interpretation of the X-rays, I also have two cavities, and the gum on one tooth has receded enough that she recommended a skin graft be done. Oh yes, did I mention that she also recommended a "deep cleaning"? This procedure has the patient numbed with local anaesthetic so they can clean under the gumline. After I was done, they made me an appointment for two fillings and the graft.
#1: The HYGIENIST is recommending all these things. The hygienist is not licensed to recommend ANYTHING procedural.
#2: The receptionists should not have made me an appointment based on what a hygienist said.
#3: A general dentist should probably not perform a periodontal (gum-related) procedure. If there is any question, there should be a referral to a periodontal or gum specialist, and they will make the call.
#4: The Invisalign and "deep cleaning" are probably up-sells. According to a friend, dentists make most of their profit from braces. I checked the Invisalign website, and they quote "average cost" of Invisalign retainers as being approximately $5000. I checked my insurance, and for corrective procedures like that, only 60% is covered. That means I would be paying $2000 out of pocket to these people (and it might not even be eligible to be reimbursed through my Flexible Spending Account).
#5: The bone-loss thing sounded the most questionable. It has been a few years since my last set of X-rays. I bet my last dentist has them and I could have them transferred. She is assuming that the spaces between my teeth indicate bone loss. What if that is how my teeth are naturally formed? She also commented many times about the "beautiful teeth" I have, and that they were "very strong and healthy". That seems to directly counterindicate the issue of bone loss, doesn't it??
Thank You. I'll get off my soapbox now.