Nothing bothers me more than the bad rap dentists get these days. It truly bothers me when I read how uncaring and greedy dentists are as told by dissatisfied patients. I know that there are many people who love their dentist. They are the ones who have the beautiful smiles and the pleasant breath. In my forty years of dental practice I can say I honestly believe the majority of dentists are good, honest and caring people. Sure they went into dentistry to earn a good living, like everyone else. But remember they had to go through many barriers to entry like the high cost of education, the minimum four years of study and the tremendous amount of work needed to graduate. A person really must be committed to their work to do that…and like most humans they want to “do good.”
I truly believe that most dentists want to help their patients first.
Then why all of the complaints about dentistry these days. I have read some nasty rants on Facebook that really should have been censored. But who am I to restrict someone’s freedom of speech. Yes, dentistry can be uncomfortable but most dentists try to make it as comfortable as possible—no we’re not sadists. There has never been a better time in history to get painless dentistry. Yes, dentistry is expensive…but that’s not the dentist’s fault. Your iPad is expensive too. But between fear and cost…Houston, we have a problem.
Last June Frontline did a story on dentistry that was more about the current state of the economy than the actual state of dentistry…it is worth watching if you haven’t seen it.
People are staying away from the dentist. I heard that even people with dental insurance are leaving 95% of the benefits on the table because they can’t afford or don’t want to pay out-of-pocket.
People believe that they are entitled to dental benefits. That’s a political discussion I would rather not get into. Entitled or not…most people aren’t covered to the extent that covers their dental needs…there will always be out-of-pocket under the current system.
After working with dental insurance companies for many years…generally I can tell you they are not the hero of your dental story. They are in business to make money.
The government? Not yet…and when they do get involved…to the government it’s just a matter of making the numbers work.
So who can you turn to?
Yep—the man behind the mask. He or she is your only friend if you want to keep your teeth. Learn to trust him…stop saying such bad things about him, stop writing in the social media how greedy dentists have become. Be nice, don’t cancel, pay your bills on time and be courteous to the staff. When it comes down to it no one is entitled to anything in this world. Be nice because if you truly need some important dentistry he’s the one who can discount it for you…if he likes you.