So, a few years back...long before Sandy, when I was still dealing with poor Jamie (my VW Jetta?), I had an abscessed tooth. You may remember my problems trying to see a dentist and the subsequent root canal, which I chronicled here and here. The dentist who ended up finishing my root canal, and fitting the crown, was kind of shady. Well, it wasn't so much the dentist who was shady, but the dental group on a whole. I'm sure many of you have been through it. They take some X-rays, then confer to see what insurance will cover, then come back to you with a laundry list of things you absolutely MUST have done or your teeth will fall out, you'll become a pariah, and you'll never be happy again. Well, I really needed the root canal, and the crown, and I needed a cleaning, so I agreed to those things for some exorbitant price and never went back. In fact, I never finished the cleaning because they wanted to do it in four separate visits at $175 each and I don't have that kind of money. Well, roughly four months later, the crown, which they made in their offices and was supposed to be some wonderful porcelain something or other, broke. I called them and told them, but their answer was "sure, we'll fix it. For $1000" or however much a new crown was going to cost. Yes, I could have fought about it, gotten the insurance company involved, blown a gasket until they relented--I didn't. Frankly, I was exhausted from dealing with Jamie and her slow and steady demise, and I just didn't have any fight left in me.
The broken crown didn't really bother me so I forgot about it...until this week.
It's a little hurty. Okay, a lot hurty, but only really when I eat something that, you know, requires biting or chewing. Yeah, I'm kind of screwed.
So, I spent a good deal of time researching new dentists, because the one that is on my insurance card (not the one mentioned above, but just as bad apparently) is no longer open for business. I Yelped and found that this whole upselling of stuff is rampant among dental groups these days. I'm not talking teeth whitening or braces. I'm talking about trying to sell you on the more expensive filling materials by claiming they don't use amalgam anymore, or claiming you really need the deep cleaning because your gums have gone to pot, or scaring people (with no risk factors, mind you) into getting an oral cancer screening. What happened to filling the damn cavity, cleaning the damn teeth, and leaving it at that?
I think I found one. It's highly rated on Yelp, takes my insurance, and is not in Ventura County. I have a back-up dentist chosen just in case. Stay tuned.