This patient and her family had left the practice to go to a dentist who “took their insurance” in order to save money. When this young patient left, she was decay free and dentally healthy. In fact, she had only had one very small, single-surface filling in her life. Six months later she went to the “new” dentist. The “new” dentist found multiple areas of “deep” decay and treatment planned them for large fillings. The patient returned to their office and had 2 large composite (tooth-colored) fillings on the upper right. She immediately began to have pain. She returned multiple times to have them adjusted. The adjustments did not resolve the discomfort, so the dentist decided to remove the composite fillings and replace them with silver (amalgam) fillings. The pain still did not resolve. More than a year later, the patient was still having discomfort. Her dentist told her that she was “acting like a girl and to toughen up.” The parents and the patient had had it and called our office for help. Frustrated and still in pain, she returned to our office to have me evaluate the area.
The photo and x-ray on the left are how the patient presented to our office for her evaluation. The silver fillings were only a few months old and were chipping out and the contact was very tight, so much so that the patient couldn’t get floss between them. Plus, the teeth were sensitive to cold and biting. She also reported sensitivity to the gums on the left side because she hadn’t been able to chew on the right side for more than a year. In addition, the teeth were mobile because she was hitting heavily on them. It should be noted that this patient has excellent dental hygiene. The photo and x-ray on your right represent the final fillings I did for this patient. She now reports that “her teeth have never felt better.”
There is a difference!
First of all, a dentist should only do what actually needs to be done. Second, the work should be done well with the intention of it lasting and not failing. A dentist should never being doing unnecessary or poor treatment based on the production they need to make for signing on with a PPO. Third, it is not normal for pain and discomfort to continue after having a filling. Finally, telling any patient: “you’re acting like a girl and toughen up” is deeply inappropriate and as uncaring as you can get. I listen to my patients, recommend only what the patient needs, and take all the time I need to do the work well. That is a big difference!
“A couple of years ago, I was overwhelmed with the rising cost of college tuition and all other things. I decided to take my family to a dentist who was a participating provider in my insurance plan. We went to another local dentist. Biggest mistake of my life! While most of us just got cleanings, my daughter was told she needed two fillings. She had nothing but problems once they were drilled and filled. The dentist told her that she was acting like a girl and to “toughen up”. She went back to Dr. Giordano and after a few visits, her teeth are fine again. She suffered for two years. We all went back to Dr. Giordano!! He is a great dentist.”