It was the second time I took my 4-year-old to this pediatric dentist that is right across the street from me. The first time I took her they were very nice, showed her the tools, explained things to her, and she did wonderfully. I saw the dentist and he told me that she has two teeth fused together, which will cause some issues when the adult teeth come in.
Better save for braces.
Nine months later (yes, she was a little behind in her biannual appointment) it was a completely different story. She immediately went in for x-rays. After that, she was led to the chair where they quickly brushed her teeth and did a quick glance. While she was squirming in the dentist chair, another person (who did not introduce themselves as the dentist) quickly showed me the x-rays they just took and proceeded to tell me that she has 8 cavities.
Mind you, we are vigilant at brushing her teeth. And then they asked me about her eating habits and all the candy she eats. Funny, but you don’t know my daughter and she doesn’t have a sweet-tooth and can barely finish any type of dessert that we give her.
After the 3-minute cleaning and barely looking in her mouth and no explanation about her so-called cavities, they sent me to talk to the person in charge of payments.
They had already printed out a statement from my insurance company in regards to what they will cover.
She talked to me about having my daughter under anesthesia because of her age and that insurance doesn’t pay for it. But, really pushing that and getting me to book the appointment as soon as possible.
I felt like I was backed into a corner. I felt horrible that my daughter had these cavities and I wasn’t doing a good enough job cleaning them so I ended up scheduling an appointment and they got me to pay a deposit.
Why on earth would they lie to me? This is a child we are talking about.
I immediately started to feel slimy
I called my husband and told him the story. Again, talking myself into it and saying there is no way they would take advantage of us like this. The more I talked to him about it and then talked to my co-workers, I started to feel really slimy about it. It just didn’t seem right.
I decided to get a second opinion and called my dentist whom I have seen since I was 7 years old and trust completely. I ended up making an appointment for her right after my cleaning appointment.
Now the Moment of Truth
I told my dentist what the pediatric dentist said and he got my daughter to sit in the chair for an exam. It took him less than 10 minutes to tell me he does not see any cavities. What…no cavities? My dentist felt horrible for what we had to go through and said he was disgusted by the fact that they were trying to take advantage of us.
The other dentist continued to call me and tell me that I was wrong and that I took my daughter to a dentist that is not fit to deal with children’s teeth…even though I told them that I saw him as a child.
I am still shocked by what had happened. But this is what I have learned.
- Listen to your gut. When red flags go up, listen to your instincts.
- Always get a second opinion. It’s OK to not jump on board right away.
As parents, we want to trust the people that are there to help our children, but sometimes we have to take a step back and listen to our own selves. It’s not easy to do, but when you feel that little urge LISTEN!
It’s hard to change anything, especially when it comes to doctors or dentists. But trust me, it is easier to change than to regret consequences that you can no longer fix.