Tag Archives: dental scams

dentist-at-work

Top 3 Dental Scams And How To Avoid Them [2021]

Aubrey Hanson

Introduction

Dentists commit dental scams by treating nonexistent cavities, giving low-quality dental care, and charging for procedures they never performed.

Because the average person knows little about dental care or what to expect in terms of cost, it is easy for dentists to commit dental scams.

Every day countless Americans are scammed out of their hard-earned money by dentists who value cash over integrity. This is wrong!

In this blog, we will discuss the many types of dental fraud and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

What is a Dental Scam?

When a dentist supplements their income with unnecessary or phantom procedures, they are committing a dental scam.

Brighter Image Lab: The Scam-Free Smile Solution

One way to protect yourself from being scammed by a dentist is to completely cut them out of your smile transformation. At Brighter Image Lab, we don’t need dentists!

Our Lab Direct process allows us to create and customize your picture-perfect smile without the help of a dentist. In fact, you won’t even have to leave your house!

PressOn Veneers start and end at home. With our unique online process, you can receive your beautiful new smile without a single appointment. No dentist, no risk!

When you try on your set of PressOn Veneers, you won’t just see the no-dentist difference, you’ll feel it! The lightweight veneers are designed for unmatched comfortability.

dental scam

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Whether you’re out on the beach or sitting at a five star restaurant, your custom veneers will have you looking like a million bucks – without spending a fortune. 

Read on to learn about the dangers of dental scams!

The Dangers of Dental Scams

The harsh reality of modern dentistry is that many dentists scam their patients for profit.

When you sit down in a dental chair and lean back, mouth exposed, you are putting yourself at the mercy of a stranger.

The only difference between the person standing over you and someone on the street is the level of dental education. While this education qualifies your dental professional to care for teeth, it doesn’t make them trustworthy.

Many dentists cheat the system. They perform worthless procedures, over charge for services, and practice low-quality dentistry to line their pockets. This is wrong!

dental scam

Every day people visit the dentist expecting honest service, but instead find themselves victims of dental scams. They are sold fake dental plans, or convinced they need painful and sometimes dangerous surgery that is not covered by dental insurance. They are marginalized, manipulated, lied to, and scammed. This is wrong!

Continue reading to learn the different types of dental scams and how to protect yourself!

Types of Dental Scams

Dentists everywhere are committing various types of dental scams and defrauding the American public. They’re joining the ranks of annoying scammers that call our cell phones and send us emails. The only difference is, they’re effecting your health.

There are many ways your dentist can scam you out of your hard-earned money. A few of these include:

Phantom Procedures

This dental scam is committed when dentists bill patients for procedures they never performed. 

Charges can be as low as the cost of an extra numbing agent to a full blown medical procedure. Either way, it’s wrong.

Whether it’s $1 or $1,000, if you’re paying for something you haven’t received, you’re being scammed.

So, be vigilant! Review every bill before paying to make sure you’re receiving all procedures and treatments listed.

Low-Quality Dentistry

If a patient has a procedure done that is flawed, where do they go to fix it?

Likely back to the original dentist. This doubles the dentist’s profit.

Because of this, dentists will do poor work to further profit from the patient in the future.

If they cause problems, they will eventually profit from fixing them. Simple, right?

Since there’s no quick monetary benefit to doing excellent work, they do shoddy work instead. 

Don’t fall for this. If your dental professional can’t get it right the first time, maybe they’re not trying to.

Unnecessary Procedures

Dentistry is often subjective. You could go to ten dentists and receive ten different treatment plans.

This subjectivity turns to fraud, however, when dentists perform treatments that are obviously unnecessary. 

Some dentists will prescribe treatments that are blatantly unnecessary – just to make a higher profit!

An example of this type of dental scam is replacing metal amalgam fillings.

Some dentists in the past have claimed that these fillings can cause mercury poisoning and should always be replaced with expensive,  modern, composite fillings.

The problem is — scientists have not found any proof that these fillings are dangerous.

Replacements are completely unnecessary unless there are other factors.

So, do your research! If your dentists claims you need something done, get a second or third opinion to make sure.

As you can see, there are many ways your dental professional can scam you. 

So, when you go to the dentist, it is best to come prepared.

Read on to learn how to spot dental scams before you can be taken advantage of!

How to Spot Dental Scams

There are some universal warning signs. Not every dental professional that does these things is running a dental scam, but keeping these red flags in mind can be helpful. Here are a few to watch out for:

Advertisements

Dentists often advertise cheap rates to get patients in the door, only to manipulate them into more expensive procedures. Good dentists have usually been in the area long enough to build up a client base through word of mouth. So, they don’t need to advertise flashy rates to get new patients.

If a dentist office is spending a lot on advertising, it can also mean they’re struggling to get clients in the door. This speaks to the quality of dentistry because an established dental professional with a loyal clientele wouldn’t have to advertise so widely. Don’t have the wool pulled over your eyes. Beware of false advertising!

dental scams

Overly-Eager Dentists

If your dentist seems over-eager when suggesting a dental procedure, watch out!

When a dental professional says a procedure must be done immediately or is unclear about the process and cost, this may be a dental scam. Transparency is key! So, if you feel like your dentist isn’t giving you the full story, run!

Free Offers

The old saying goes, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. This is true for free dental work.

Offices may offer a free cleaning or teeth whitening but then diagnose other expensive procedures to make their money back. This was the case with the Aspen Dental scam in 2012. So, beware of free offers!

Chain Dental Companies

Dental practices run by corporate organizations are rarely regulated in most states. This lack of regulation leaves room for unethical practice and scams to occur.

Dental chains focus on profit margins over dentistry itself. 

Chain dentists are driven by corporate greed and morally impaired by aggressive revenue targets. They often use their status to prey on unsuspecting patients by performing unnecessary procedures for profit and putting patients at risk. 

dental fraud

Sales-Tactics

Corporate dental chains often use harmful and manipulative sales tactics like “bait and switch.” Patients choose their services because of a low advertised cost but are presented with more expensive services and falsely told they need braces, deep cleaning or even a root canal. This is unethical. This is wrong. This is a dental scam.

How to Prevent Becoming a Victim of Dental Scams

There are many steps you can take to help reduce the risk of falling victim to a dental scam. 

Here are a few helpful rules to follow to protect yourself:

Review All Your Bills

It is always important to review the bills you pay, but reviewing your dental bills has become increasingly important.

With dentists carrying out dental scams every day, going over all bills and reviewing charges regularly has never been more crucial. 

Looking over your dental bills will help protect you from becoming a victim of dental fraud. So, check over any dental bills whether you or your insurance company pays them.

A second look can catch a phantom procedure and save you from being taken advantage of.

scams at dentist

Trust Your Instincts

It’s completely reasonable to be suspicious of your local dental professional. If you feel uncomfortable, there’s probably a good reason. So, don’t be afraid to go with your gut. You can always get a second opinion and return if you feel comfortable.

Get A Second Opinion

For major procedures that seem out of the blue, check with another dentist first. Having two appointments can be expensive but an unnecessary procedure would cost much more.

Don’t trust your dentist to make the right decision. Get a second opinion or even a third and be sure before you act!

Do Your Research

Researching dental procedures can save you the pain and cost of unnecessary dental procedures. If you take a day to research the procedure, you may find other options that are more suitable for you. You may even save yourself from becoming a victim of unnecessary treatment.

A dentist will likely not tell patients about their competition, so you may be able to find better options for you through personal research. For example, Brighter Image Lab PressOn Veneers are available Lab Direct at a discount.

Choose Brighter Image Lab

Here at Brighter Image Lab, we offer a great option for those looking to upgrade their smile. Our unique Lab Direct process allows us to serve clients through an innovative online process by which clients are able to achieve a new smile easily, without unnecessary procedures or an inflated bill, in fact, without even seeing a dentist.

The creation of our PressOn Veneers does not require a dentist, and the impression needed to create the clip-on veneer is simple enough to complete at home.

At Brighter Image Lab, we have only one goal, and it’s not to line our pockets with stolen money. Our goal is to make sure that people who desire a better smile can get one. No procedures, no pain, and no stings attached!

removable veneers

Take your smile into your own hands! Avoid becoming a victim of dental fraud by cutting out the ones responsible – dentists!

Who is Responsible for Dental Scams?

Two of the many factors that contribute to the issue of dental scams are the growing cost of dental school and lack of professional oversight.

The growing cost of dental school contributes to the crisis of dental scams because it puts pressure on new dentists to make money fast. 

With new dentists being spit out of Universities with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt, the dental industry has become a cesspool of con men looking to pay off their bills. Essentially, patients are unknowingly footing the bill for their dentists’ education. How does this happen? Through a lack of professional oversight.

In the United States, dentistry has far less oversight than any other branch of medicine. So, your dentist is not being regularly checked to ensure quality control and ethical practice. This is dangerous.

The lack of oversight from the state licensing board can be especially harmful if your dentist practices alone.

With the licensing board dropping the ball and no other dentist around to object, a solo dental professional essentially has free reign. This makes it extremely easy for them to take advantage of people.

The crisis of dental scams is one of the biggest problems in the dental industry today. It costs vulnerable Americans thousands of dollars and causes unnecessary pain and discomfort.

Don’t become a victim! Be smart, follow the rules, and stay vigilant! 

dentist scams

Conclusion

Far too often, dentists scam vulnerable people.

They inflate bills, charge for imaginary procedures, and even provide treatment by improperly trained or unlicensed staff. This disgusting display of negligence proves a blatant lack of ethics, which prevents the practice of responsible dentistry.

Luckily, there are companies available that improve smiles without the help of a dentist.

Brighter Image Lab makes removable veneers for people who want to improve their smile. There are no extra charges and no unnecessary procedures, just the finest dental veneers for a price you can afford. At Brighter Image Lab, we know that life can be hard, so we make smiling easy.

Transform your smile — the easy way! Avoid dental scams and click below to order your custom pair of PressOn Veneers now!

PressOn Veneers
Press On Veneers

Our classic, beautifully designed, 100% Digitally Processed, Removable Veneers.

$

795

IncrediBIL Veneers
Incredibil veneers

The newest addition to our family of veneers features unique light reflecting properties.

$

1,495

0% Interest – 100% Approval*

Have you been a victim of creative diagnosis?

Creative Diagnosis: 10 Steps to Protect Yourself from Becoming A Victim

Kristy Henderson

Introduction

Have you received excessive treatment, unnecessary fillings, or numerous X-Rays? If so, you are probably a victim of creative diagnosis.

Creative diagnosis is the act of performing unnecessary treatment for financial gain. It is the most common form of dental fraud. The American Dental Association recognizes this scam as a trend ravaging the dental community.

Dentists everywhere are inventing diagnosis for profit. They are targeting children and vulnerable adults by misdiagnosing cavities and other dental issues. They are using their power to perform unnecessary procedures and steal from innocent patients. This is wrong!

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from creative diagnosis.

creative diagnosis

10 Steps to Protect Yourself from Being a Victim of Creative Diagnosis

1.) Beware of Excessive Treatment

We’ve all been told since childhood that we should see a dentist twice a year for basic cleanings.

Today, an increasing number of dentists acknowledge that adults with good oral hygiene only need to see a dentist once every 12 to 16 months.

Don’t let your dentist overtreat you. Unnecessary appointments are a waste of time and money. Also, beware of unnecessary crowns, root canals, sealants and fluoride treatments.

If you have a generally healthy mouth and a dentist suddenly says you need thousands of dollars’ worth of treatment, you’re probably getting scammed.

2.) See for Yourself

Nonexistent cavities are one of the biggest scams in the dental industry. Dentists everywhere are using creative diagnosis to irresponsibly fill perfectly healthy teeth.

So, if you have a typically clean bill of health when visiting the dentist but are diagnosed with a suspicious number of cavities, be proactive.

Ask your dentist to show you the cavity. See for yourself!

3.) Be Cautious of Misinformation

Dentists across the country are spreading lies about dental health to line their pockets. For example, dental offices will tell you that your amalgam fillings need to be replaced. They may say it is because the mercury in the material poses a risk to your health. There is no scientific evidence to back this claim. In fact, amalgam is strong, low-cost and is useful in most patients.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation, be aware of the facts.

4.) Avoid Excessive X-Rays

Dentists will claim law prevents them from treating patients without first conducting an X-Ray. This is a lie.

The ADA states average dental patients only need one set of dental X-Rays every two years. It is important to monitor your dentist in this area because of the risk associated with radiation.

Dental X-Rays have been the fastest growing source of human exposure to low dose ionizing radiation over the past three decades. This type of exposure results in thyroid cancer and brain tumors. It is the most common source of diagnostic radiation exposure to the public.

5.) Get a Second Opinion

X-rays are legally your property, and your dentist is required to turn them over to you to bring to other dentists. So, if you receive a suspicious diagnosis, get a second opinion!

Deep teeth cleaning, for example, is a commonly cited red flag in cases of creative diagnosis.

This procedure is typically reserved for patients who experience frequent gum infections or have periodontal issues. If you do not experience either of these symptoms, odds are you’re being taken advantage of.

Don’t let your dentist pressure you into an expensive deep cleaning, which can cost upwards of $800, and is typically not covered by dental insurance.

Take your X-Rays to another dental office and get a second opinion.

6.) Don’t be Fooled by Attractive Specials

Legitimate dentists will tell you to be wary of practices that use low-cost specials as a cheap ploy to get patients in the door. Don’t be fooled!

Giving into these cheap sales tactics puts you at risk of becoming a victim of creative diagnosis.

7.) Don’t Give into Pressure

Beware of dentists who pressure you to act quickly, or ones who refuse to supply evidence the procedure you are receiving is medically necessary.

If you don’t have any oral pain or can’t see evidence of a problem, don’t be pressured to have it fixed right away. Your dental professional could be using creative diagnosis to con you out of money and cost you undo pain or discomfort.

Ask questions, see for yourself, and stand your ground. If you feel like you’re not getting all of the information, you’re probably right.

8.) Find an Alternative

Matthew L. Logan, D.D.S. says, “if you wouldn’t recommend it to your mother, then don’t recommend it to your patients.” Unfortunately, not many dentists live by this moto.

The crisis of creative diagnosis puts adults and children at risk every day, despite the concern of ethical dental professionals like Logan who call for change. In Logan’s own words: “Someone needs to stand up and stop this blatant violation of trust.” Here at Brighter Image, that is exactly what we’re doing. We are standing up to dentists who think they own the everyday smile. We’re standing up for you.

Brighter Image Lab offers dental tools to the public, allowing customers to reclaim their smile without a dentist.

9.) Do Your Own Teeth Whitening/Polishing

NEWS FLASH: You don’t need a dental degree to whiten or polish your teeth, you just need the tools!

Our unique and easy-to-use products offer an alternative to people who want to improve their smile without the hassle of untrustworthy dentists.

Micro Surface Polishing is a key component of preventative oral care. With the Bilistic Polisher you can do this without a dentist, from the comfort of your home.

Our Bilistic Pure Bleach Gel and Bilistic Polisher offer a cheap and easy-to-use alternative to those looking to brighten their smile. The unblended, uncompromised formula delivers consistently impressive results without a dentist.

Spare yourself the risk of becoming a victim of creative diagnosis. Order our Bilistic Pure Bleach Gel and Bilistic Polisher today and brighten your smile at home!

10.) Take Your Smile into Your Own Hands

For decades people have believed that dentists are essential to maintaining a beautiful smile. This is false. You don’t need cosmetic dentistry, just the dental tools.

Brighter Image Lab brings dental tools out of the dentist office and puts them in the hands of everyday people. Whether it’s polishing, whitening, or simply cleaning your teeth, Brighter Image Labs has a solution for you.

Visit brighterimagelab.com today and take your smile into your own hands!

Conclusion

If you have received excessive treatment, unnecessary fillings, or numerous X-Rays, you might be a victim of creative diagnosis.

Creative diagnosis is the act of performing unnecessary treatment for financial gain and is the most common way for dentists to commit dental fraud.

Performing unnecessary procedures for profit is theft, plain and simple.

Dentists are inventing diagnosis, targeting children and vulnerable adults for financial gain. This is disgusting and a slap in the face to hard working Americans just looking to smile again.

Don’t become a victim of dental fraud. Follow our 10 step system and protect yourself from the greed of modern dentistry and creative diagnosis.

Don't be a victim of dental fraud!

Dental Fraud: Are You and Your Teeth Being Robbed?

Kristy Henderson

Introduction

Dentists across the country are committing fraud by performing unnecessary dental procedures to line their pockets. Whether or not you realize it, there is a chance you have been a victim of dental fraud at some point in your life. You may have been misinformed, fallen victim to tactful sales pitches, or even undergone an unnecessary dental procedure without your knowledge.

In this post, we will help to educate you on the many forms of dental fraud, who is responsible, and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim in the future.

 But, most importantly, we will discuss why Brighter Image Lab may be the best option for improving your smile!

What is Dental Fraud?

Dental fraud is the act of intentional deception by a dentist or misrepresentation of treatment for the purpose of personal financial gain.

When a dentist performs and charges for unnecessary procedures, they are committing dental fraud. And it’s not just irresponsible, it’s criminal.

When you step into your local dental office, walk up to the receptionist and proceed to sign in, the last thing you think is “Will I get robbed here?”

Like any other physician, you probably assume all dentists have your best interest at heart. Sadly, this is not the case.

Dentists engage in unethical treatment to rob patients of their hard-earned money every day by committing various acts of dental fraud.

dental fraud

Types of dental scams include: providing worthless or unnecessary treatment, over-charging for teeth cleaning, inflating estimates for dental work, operating dental clinics without the proper safety and hygiene precautions, and operating without sufficient or properly trained staff.

When you are overcharged for services or shell out thousands of dollars for unnecessary procedures, you are being robbed. Point. Blank. Period.

Who is Responsible for Dental Fraud?

An increasing number of dental professionals are choosing to take jobs with corporate dental chains instead of going into business for themselves. This is of major concern.

The North American Dental Group (NADG) is one of the fastest expanding corporate dental groups in the world. It is made up of over 200 offices and facilitates upwards of one million dental office visits per year in the U.S.

NADG rampantly absorbs dental chains across the country and transforms them from reputable dental institutions into revenue-generating machines, ultimately bastardizing a system meant to provide ethical dental care to patients across the country.

A one-year investigation into NADG found evidence of intense pressure on affiliated offices to meet daily rigorous revenue targets. These inflated targets led to numerous allegations of dental fraud, even from NADG employees.

dental fraud

Ashley Hughes | North American Dental Group (Former Employee)

The standard of care was not there. . .

“I have watched them drilling perfectly healthy teeth multiple times a day every day. . .There wasn’t one day that I worked there that I could say that that was a good day. . .Every day there was an issue with either something being billed that wasn’t done or it wasn’t billed properly or the standard of care was not there.” 

Groups like NADG are causing rates of practice ownership to plummet, making it increasingly more difficult to find a dentist who is not sales driven.

From 2001 to 2006, the U.S. alone saw a 14% decrease in practice ownership, and that decrease only seems to steepen as time goes on.

Together, NADG and its affiliated offices are actively participating in dental scams. They are putting a paycheck above a patient and exploiting innocent people for personal financial gain. 

Patients around the world and across the United States are unknowingly entrusting their mouths and wallets to these sinister dentist, and as a result, they are falling victim to dental fraud.

Don’t become the next unsuspecting victim of the NADG! Read on for more on dental fraud and how to protect yourself.

Are Dental Chains Encouraging Dentists to Commit Dental Fraud?

Dental practices run by corporate organizations are rarely regulated in most states, leaving the door open for unethical practice, fraud, and dental scams.

Driven by corporate greed and morally impaired by aggressive revenue targets, corporate dentists everywhere are committing dental fraud. They’re preying on the innocent by performing unnecessary procedures for profit and putting patient health at risk. 

Corporate backed dental chains impose intense pressure on dentists to meet rigorous sales goals. This dynamic compromises the integrity of the practitioner/patient relationship and blurs the line between responsible patient care and blatant dental fraud.

Patient outrage concerning dental scams has created some legal backlash. In 2012, for example, 11 patients sued Aspen Dental, claiming that its model turns dentists into salespeople.

With one new office opening each week, Aspen Dental is becoming more like a fast-food franchise than a facility for quality dental care. The chain continues to train its dentists like used car salesmen despite the complaints and concerns of patients. The average new patient dental care plan is $4,450.

dental fraud

Unfortunately, Aspen Dental is only one of many dental chains conning innocent people out of their hard earned money. 

In 2010, a dental chain known as Small Smiles was ordered to pay $24 million to the U.S. government. An investigation revealed that its dental professionals were performing unnecessary extractions, fillings, and root canals on children covered by Medicaid.

An additional lawsuit alleges that many toddlers treated at a Small Smiles office underwent 14 unnecessary procedures – often under restraint and without the comfort of anesthesia.

Dental professionals such as these should remove the white masks and put on ski masks instead, because they are robbing their patients.

Don’t be fooled! Read below to find out how to protect yourself.

4 Steps to Protect Yourself from Becoming a Victim of Dental Fraud

Beware of Harmful Sales Tactics!

Dentists often advertise cheap rates to get patients in the door, only to manipulate them into more expensive procedures.

Corporate dental chains use harmful and manipulative sales tactics like “bait and switch.”

Patients choose their services because of a low advertised cost but are presented with more expensive services and falsely told they need braces, deep cleaning or even a root canal. This is unethical. This is wrong. This is dental fraud.

When in Doubt, Get a Second Opinion!

The most common warning sign of a bad dentist and dental fraud is “creative diagnosis.”

Dentists perform unneeded X-Rays and drill or extract perfectly healthy teeth every day. So, if eight cavities pop up out of nowhere in your typically healthy mouth, run.

Get a second opinion and save yourself the pain and cost of unnecessary procedures.

Know the Facts!

Dentists will tell you that your amalgam fillings need to be replaced because the mercury in the material poses a risk to your health. There is no scientific evidence to back this claim.

The Federal Drug Administration lists numerous benefits to back the use of amalgam fillings. The strong and long-lasting material is low-cost and useful in patients that have a high risk of tooth decay.

Over the last 150 years, millions of patients have had their teeth filled with amalgam. Dentists know this. They realize that those millions of patients are vulnerable to manipulation and misinformation, and they use this vulnerability to line their pockets.

Don’t be fooled by their lies. Know the facts.

Be Aware of Your Options!

Knowing all of the options is essential when making any good decision.

By not informing patients of Brighter Image Lab’s PressOn Veneers, dentists aren’t only committing dental fraud, they are being blatantly negligent by not offering the lowest cost option.

Here at Brighter Image Lab, we offer a great option for those looking to upgrade their smile.

Our unique Lab Direct process allows us to serve clients through an innovative online process by which clients are able to achieve a new smile easily, without unnecessary procedures or an inflated bill, in fact, without even seeing a dentist.

The creation of our PressOn Veneers does not require a dentist, and the impression needed to create the clip-on veneer is simple enough to complete at home.

Don’t give in to the greed of the modern day dentist, keep reading and find a better solution for you!

Brighter Image: A Better Option for You

Here at Brighter Image Lab, we believe the possibility of a beautiful smile should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford to pay thousands.

Our custom fit PressOn Veneers are ultra-thin, completely removable, and designed to snap perfectly over existing teeth, giving clients the confidence and satisfaction of a perfect smile without the gimmicks of modern dentistry. 

These smile enhancers are crafted to perfection by a 15-member crew and designed to be strong and durable, allowing you to eat or drink while wearing them. 

With us, there is no hidden agenda. Just  a simple solution to a serious problem.

If you call our office today with a desire to improve your smile, we will find a way to help you. Whether it is through our finance program, or free of charge through our New Life Smile program, we are here to help.  

Remember how it feels to smile until your face hurts, without making your wallet hurt by ordering your set of custom PressOn Veneers today!

Conclusion:

Dental offices across the country are committing dental fraud at an alarming rate. They are inflating patient bills, manipulating, and misleading clients in a way that is both unsafe and unethical.

In essence, the dental industry is defrauding the American public. Dentists across the country are scamming innocent, hard working Americans out of thousands of dollars. 

The average working American can’t afford to burn thousands of dollars on unnecessary dental work. And even if they could, why should they? 

When dentists provide expensive, unnecessary treatment to patients who can’t afford it, they are robbing innocent people. 

Brighter Image Lab has only one goal, and it’s not to line our pockets with stolen money. Our goal is to make sure that people who desire a better smile can get one. No procedures, no pain, and no stings attached!

So, don’t fall for the new pop-up-shop style of dentistry and dental fraud. Reclaim your smile by below and placing your order today! 

PressOn Veneers
Press On Veneers

Our classic, beautifully designed, 100% Digitally Processed, Removable Veneers.

$

795

IncrediBIL Veneers
Incredibil veneers

The newest addition to our family of veneers features unique light reflecting properties.

$

1,495

0% Interest – 100% Approval*

Creative Diagnosis Scam Hidden From 11 Patients

Bil Watson

Is the Creative Diagnosis by a Texas Dentist really a ripoff?

creative diagnosis

My household’s level of confidence in dentistry is at an all-time low due to creative diagnosis. About six months ago, my Texas dentist informed me that my “bunny teeth” were likely getting in the way of my professional success, a problem he could correct with a (pricey) cosmetic procedure.

If I let him fix my teeth, he told me, he was sure I would start “dressing better.” A few months later, my husband scheduled a basic cleaning with a new Texas Dentist.

Once they had him in the chair and looked at his teeth, they informed him that the regular cleaning wouldn’t do at all: He would need to reschedule for an $800 deep cleaning. Creative diagnosis? No thanks. I’d rather go to Tijuana to get dental veneers.

We were convinced we must look like suckers—until I came across an op-ed in ADANews, the official publication of the American Dental Association. The article, by longtime pediatric dentist Jeffrey Camm, described a disturbing trend he called creative diagnosis — the peddling of unnecessary treatments.

The Mystery of Creative Diagnostics by Dentists

William van Dyk, a Northern California dentist of 41 years, saw Camm’s op-ed and wrote in: “I especially love the patients that come in for second opinions after the previous dentist found multiple thousands of dollars in necessary treatment where nothing had been found six months earlier. And, when we look, there is nothing to diagnose.”

“In recent years, I have been seeing more and more creative diagnosis,” Camm told me when I called him at his practice in Washington state. A Texas dentist, he said, might think, ‘Well, the dental insurance covers this crown, so I’m not hurting this patient, so why don’t I just do it?’ That’s the absolutely wrong approach.”

Poking around, I found plenty of services catering to Texas dentists hoping to increase their incomes. One lecturer at a privately operated seminar called The Profitable Dentist ($389) aimed to help “dentists to reignite their passion for dentistry while increasing their profit and time away from the office.”

Is the ADA Perpetuating Creative Diagnosing?

Even the ADA’s 2014 annual conference offered tips for maximizing revenue: “Taking time to help our patients want what we know they need, …” notes one session description, “…can drive the economic and reward engine of our practice.” Could this be the source of creative diagnosis? Is this part of what is fueling the upsurge in dental scams?

Do you think you’ve been the victim of “creative diagnosis” from any of these dentists?

Namephoneaddress

Rodolfo “Rudy” G. Ramos Jr., D.D.S., P.C.

(713) 973-9591

9545 Katy Freeway, Ste. 125, Houston, Texas, 77024

Steven Austin, D.D.S.

(806) 358-7646

2815 South Georgia, Amarillo, Texas, 79109

Tamela L. Gough, D.D.S., M.S.

(972) 727-0737

201 N Alma Dr Ste 100, Allen, Texas, 75013

James W. Chancellor, D.D.S.

(210) 653-4410

4952 Windsor Hill, Suite 201, San Antonio, Texas, 78239

D. Bradley Dean, D.D.S.

(972) 964-2900

3900 American Drive, Suite 101, Plano , Texas, 75075

Christie Leedy, D.D.S

(325) 692-3344

5309 Buffalo Gap Rd, Abilene, Texas, 79606

Kirby Bunel Jr., D.D.S.

(903) 794-3331

1701 Moores Lane, Texarkana, Texas, 75503

Dr. Mark Peppard, DDS

(512) 835-9557

4005 Spicewood Springs Road, Building C, Ste 500, Austin, Texas, 78759

Dr. Jennifer Bone

(830) 257-3000

710 Hill Country Dr #1, Kerrville, Texas, 78028

Dr. Donna Miller, DDS

(254) 772-3632

7911 Woodway Drive, Waco, Texas, 76712

Dr. Ronald Rhea

(713) 467-3458

791 Town & Country Blvd Suite 222, Houston, Texas, 77024

Dr. Craig Armstrong, DDS

(832) 251-1234

10370 Richmond Avenue, Suite 780, Houston, Texas, 77042

Upselling in dentistry isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s having a moment. One reason: Texas Dental school tuition—and debt—has doubled since the ’90s.

Is High Debt Causing Creative Diagnosis by a Texas Dentist?

According to the American Dental Education Association, students who graduated in 1996 were in the hole $112,000 (in 2013 dollars), on average, while 2013 grads were a whopping $215,000 in debt—28 percent were on the hook for $300,000 or more.

By contrast, the average med school grad owed $170,000. ADEA executive director Richard Valachovic explained that one reason dental schools have jacked up tuitions is the rising costs of technology for student labs.

In any case, a generation ago, newly hatched Texas dentists would join established practices as modestly paid associates, with the promise of eventually becoming partners. But these days, with dentists retiring later, there’s less turnover in private practice tempting new dentists to forgo dental care and engage in creative diagnosis. But creative diagnosis flies in the face of good dental ethics.

Are Dental Chains Asking Dentists to Diagnose Creatively?

Instead, more and more young dentists are taking jobs with chains, many of which set revenue quotas for practitioners. This has created some legal backlash: In 2012, for example, 11 patients sued (PDF) a 450-office chain called Aspen Dental, claiming that its model turns dentists into salespeople.

Some corporate dentists appear to have crossed the line into fraud. In 2010, Small Smiles, a venture-capital-owned chain with offices in 20 states, was ordered to refund $24 million to the government after an investigation found that its dentists had been performing unnecessary extractions, fillings, and root canals on children covered by Medicaid. Could these corporations be the reason behind creative diagnosis?

A new lawsuit alleges that some toddlers it treated underwent as many as 14 procedures—often under restraint and without anesthesia. (The group was banned from Medicaid this year.) Several other pediatric dentistry chains have been sued as a result of similar allegations.

Advice for Creative Diagnostic Attempts by Your Dentist

So how can you spot creative diagnosis when you go for your next cleaning? First, beware of specials: That laser dentistry and whitening package may be a ploy to get you in the door so the practice can upsell you on more-profitable procedures. If you truly do need the procedures, that’s one thing, but if the dentist is dishonest when recommending the procedures, well, that’s unethical behavior in dentistry.

Van Dyk also advises caution if your Texas dentist insists on replacing old fillings or recommends crowns instead of fillings. And look out for excessive X-rays: The ADA says healthy patients need a full set (14 to 22) every two years at the most.

If your Texas dentist recommends a special “cone-beam” X-ray, get a second opinion. Along with a 3-D picture of your mouth, it delivers radiation up to 18X that of a traditional dental X-ray.

Radiation experts worry that some Texas dentists are substituting FDA approved cone-beam scanners for a standard X-ray.

Dealing with Creative Diagnosis in Pediatrics by a Texas Dentist

Finally, when it comes to children’s dentists, make sure to find a board-certified pediatric specialist. Not all dentists that cater to children have special training.

The practitioners I spoke to were quick to add that even dubious-sounding treatments are in some cases medically necessary, and not necessarily creative diagnosis.

In conclusion, if your gut says your dentist is going overboard on treatment, get a second opinion. “Will you have to pay a little more for another consult?” Camm asks. “Sure. But it could end up saving you a whole lot more in the long run.”

Curated from Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? | Mother Jones

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