Ok, I’m being slightly dramatic, but there is some truth to what I just said. This blog was inspired by my recent attempts to find a new dentist after moving to a new area.
Let me preface my story with the fact that I was born with 4 teeth that did not have permanent ones under them. I had to have 4 bridges so that I would not have spaces in my mouth. I got three of them in Mexico (that is another story) before it was dangerous and the fourth one in Houston. Every dentist always asks about them but for the most part the consensus is that all 4 are good bridges.Back to my story. For the past few years when we lived in Katy, Dave and I went to a dentist near our old house. The staff was friendly and I can honestly say that they were good about just giving me a cleaning when I went in for a cleaning.
Fast forward to moving to Cypress. I decided to try and find a dentist closer and started asking my friends for recommendations. A couple of my friends told me about a lady dentist who made your dental experience very relaxing. In fact, they said you got a paraffin wax hand treatment while you were having your teeth cleaned. Nice! I couldn’t wait to try her out. I ended up making an appointment to see her because I had a tooth ache and needed my 6th month cleaning.The day of the appointment I only allowed myself 2 1/2 hours (plenty of time) because I had to pick up Finley from mother’s day out. I was impressed by how “chic” the office was, but as soon as I walked in, I just started hearing the “cha ching” sound in my head. Everything was expensive (no paper work, everything was done on the IPAD). They sat you in an office first to just chat and get to know you. Next, they said they wanted to take x-rays and pictures before my cleaning. Ok…I’m fine with that…The problem was that the hygentist took a million x-rays and then we went back to the chair where she took a million more digital pictures. Seriously, it took about an hour for all of this to happen. Then the cleaning occurred and by the time the dentist came in to check my teeth, she said she couldn’t. Me, “what?” I came in for a tooth ache…Her, “well, it’s going to take me a while and since you have to leave (I was almost at the 2 hour mark) you will have to come back….What?!?!
I rescheduled for a few days later so she could try and see why I had a tooth ache. She couldn’t find one, but that was ok with her because she then spent the next part of the visit telling me how awful my teeth were, I needed to replace all 4 of my bridges (hello, we are talking about $20,000 easily) needed a few crowns, teeth whitening, braces, etc. I felt like I was at a used car dealership being pressured into all of these dental “up-sales”. I said that I would think about it and let them know.Of course I was never going back and I guess they got the message after they kept calling and calling and I finally told them no thanks….Oh, and I never got my hands waxed…
For my next cleaning, I decided to go to the dentist down the street because Dave went and had a good experience. I go in ONLY wanting a cleaning. They took a bunch of x-rays (I’m a new patient) and then told me that I just had to have a $600.00 gum treatment. Also, I needed a crown and they could do it right then! I’m thinking, “will I even get a cleaning today”? After the business manager came to sit next to me while I’m in the chair, he started going over my options and payment plans. I’m thinking, “I just wanted a cleaning and now they want me to leave $2000 poorer!!! I ended up being talked into the crown because it appeared that I needed one (from the million pictures). I said I would wait on the gum treatment. The business manager kindly told me that if money was a problem, they would gladly put me on a 12 month no interest payment plan…..What…just because I want to research this said $600.00 gum treatment?I have heard that some of the “chain” dental clinics are notorious for trying to upcharge people and convince them they have a million cavities, but I am sad to say that yes, even the “nice, suburban sole proprietorships” are doing the same thing. It makes me so angry. I don’t want to go to the dentist to be up-sold. I just want a cleaning!My question for you, have you ever felt you have been up-sold at the dentist?