I have little experience of dentists

66 posts in this topic

Posted

I remember as a child my mother sending me to a state dentist. He took one look in my mouth and announced I needed 6 or 7 fillings. He was rather irate when I told him my mother wanted me to get fillings from our regular dentist. My regular dentist said I had no need of fillings. This left me convinced that dentists want to fill my teeth to make money, not because its medically necessary.

Over the years I'd sometimes get tooth pain but it would go after a few weeks. About 5 years ago a tooth pain lasted months so I reluctantly visited a dentist in Munich for the first time in 25+ years. He proposed removing the one metal filling I had in a back molar and redoing in nice ceramic, filling the tooth beside it which was the problem, and patching the next tooth along. I accepted.

He also said he would like to patch a cavity on the other side of the mouth, but wasn't going to push the issue as I seemed to have a deep mistrust of dentists. Perceptive lad.

Fast forward 5 years, I'm in Nepal, and the same area has been bothering me for 3 months. In particular if I bite hard on something hard like seeds I get a shooting pain that lasts minutes. I passed a dentist, and went in for a chat with the dental hygienist. She sprayed cold air on my teeth, one of the ones with the filling hurt, and she announced I needed a root canal, which takes 1 week and costs about €60. I thought root canals were the final stage of tooth decay before you yanked out the sorry molar?

She also found the same cavity the German dentist has refrained from filling 5 years ago, and tried to explain that a filling now saves nine or something. I of course was having none of it, if its remained stable and not bothered me in 5 years, leave well alone.

When she saw I was highly dubious she proposed I get the teeth x rayed and can then discuss with the dentist. So they're going to take me tomorrow to the x ray center. Obviously I want the minimum treatment necessary, but do want something as I find I'm only chewing on one side of the mouth. It really does hurt if I bite on something sharp.

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Posted

I share your mistrust of dentist, as I usually go for a check-up every six months and I got through quite a lot of dentists because of semiregular moving.

I started with one dentist who patched my two left molars with ONE filling when I was about 18 years old. Then came a dentist from southern Europe who arrived with odour de garlic from every single pore and his breath for the afternoon appointment. I was defenceless with those cotton balls tucked in left and right in my jaw. I hardly dared to breathe and almost suffocated with fear to inhale his garlic breath.

The good thing with my teeth is though, they harldy need repairing. So, there is not so much money to make with me :D

Hope your plight goes away MAM. Tooth ache really sucks.

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Posted

I spent a lot of time in the chair of an orthodontist as a child, I was endlessly having fillings and teeth removed. My mother thinks the orthodontist was trigger happy when it came to fillings, but I did have a serious tooth decay problem at the time, most likely caused by sugary antibiotics that I had to take for other recurring medical issues. As a result I have a mouthful of fairly hideous amalgam fillings.

I think the answer is to just look around and find a dentist that you have a good rapport with, (mine is really patient and friendly, the fact that she looks like Claudia Schiffer is besides the point ;) .)

If you don't get your gnashers looked at at least every 4-5 months, you will end up needing more serious, expensive work as previously minor problems become major ones..

*edit* If you smoke; quit, I have noticed a huge difference in the health of my gums and teeth since I stopped 6 months ago.

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Posted

A toothache going away does not necessarily mean that the problem has gone away. And a cavity doesn't get better with age, either, so I agree with your dentist that having it taken care of early would be a good idea.

There are bad dentists out there, sure. But most just do their job, which is to fix teeth.

A root canal sucks. But afterwards your tooth will not hurt and it will be fine for many years to come. Untreated, the root can become (further) infected. This is seriously, seriously, seriously painful and untreated can be life threatening, like any serious infection. And it might lead to a great deal more complex and expensive surgury.

Your teeth seem to be pretty robust and well-cared for. But don't let that lull you into a sense of false security. Take heart!

Btw, how old were you when your mother sent you to that state dentist? Baby teeth or adult teeth? If it was still your baby teeth, it could simply be that your regular dentist didn't want to bother with fixing something that would soon come out anyway, while the state dentist wanted to play it safe. Doesn't mean your teeth were actually healthy at that time. Just to create an alternative explanation to your theory.

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Posted

4-5 months?!? Holy crap I haven't been to a dentist since 2005. Are they going to want to pull them all? :(

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Posted

Most likely, just ask for gas. ;)

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Posted

I thought root canals were the final stage of tooth decay before you yanked out the sorry molar?

Not sure what you mean here. A root canal is performed when the tooth is still salvageable. My understanding is that it is done because the stuff inside the tooth is infected (pulp?). Just had one done and it took a hell of a lot longer than a week.

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Posted

Not sure what you mean here. A root canal is performed when the tooth is still salvageable.

Du hast recht.

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Posted

Okay, I guess I got it in a round-about way, but a root canal does not equal "final stage of tooth decay".

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Posted

I'm pretty sure it was baby teeth the state dentist wanted to fill. I did have a few fillings in my baby teeth, but reached 40 with just one filling, which I thought was impressive.

I recently commented to an Irish friend that his teeth were hideous. He explained that every tooth was filled, and a teacher in school had noticed that a few kids had a disproportionate number of fillings, and they all had the same dentist. Said dentist went to jail successfully prosecuted for oral abuse. Kudos to the teacher.

I'm not going to establish rapport with any dentists here in Asia, and I can't even remember the name of the dentist who did my mouth 5 years ago. Incidentally I also had my teeth cleaned, normally a relatively painless procedure. However because there was an archeologists supply of stuff on my teeth he suggested a local anesthetic. He ended up topping it up about 10 times and complained he'd never ever encountered such sensitive teeth. It's not like I complained either, just clenched my fists and looked agonised.

I don't need my teeth fixed, its a nuisance rather than a disaster. But it would be nicer to not be afraid of chewing on both sides of the mouth.

Edit, and completely unrelated, my computer set to CET is showing 17:39, my last post appears to have been posted at 22:21, and my watch set to Nepal time says 21:26. Am I getting post times in local time with daylight saving or what???

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Posted

Had the xray, and the dentist announced the problem was that the filling the Munich dentist had replaced was cracked so he proposed replacing it, cleaning my teeth in general, and putting a crown on one of my front incisors that I cracked a corner off a few years ago. No mention of the cavity on the other side of the mouth.

So I said do the lot, clean, crown, and replace filling for a horrific total of €100. All done without anesthetic. I haven't tested the repaired filling yet, and my incisor is half the size it was. Nasty smell like burning hair while he was grinding it down. I'll get the crown tomorrow.

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Posted

Look after your teeth and your feet. If the guy is doing technically good work you are laughing all the way to the bank. Bad teeth do not get better, just worse. By all means if it ain't broke don't fix it but if it is, then do and do it sooner not later. Money well spent if the dentist is good. I have also had crap if not criminal work done on my teeth in Germany so I understand your distrust.

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Posted

If u need a root canal, then get it done asap. Its terrible to delay it and the pain will get worse. Not to mention that the infection could result in other complications.

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Posted

100 euros for all that work sounds reasonable to me.

I had a root canal before and from what I remember, it only took a short while and wasnt a big deal. I have been to dentists on and off a few times and different ones. Overall, I usually get the same opinions from dentists around world including the 2 I have seen in Germany (public insurance), NHS in UK and private from Rest of world. Crowns, re-building my teeth (twice) from accidents and all has been great.

I generally found the dentist I saw here who I was referred to by my dentist was very good and explained everything. Also probably cost him loads to do my root canal, since he had to use a ton of anaesthic due to nerve location and I was relatively resistant to it. So as someone said, depends alot on your dentist.

It is also especially easy here to get a second opinion, well cos there is no extra cost involved.

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Posted

A root canal sucks. But afterwards your tooth will not hurt and it will be fine for many years to come. Untreated, the root can become (further) infected. This is seriously, seriously, seriously painful and untreated can be life threatening, like any serious infection. And it might lead to a great deal more complex and expensive surgury.

I had first-hand experience of serious, serious, serious pain. I was the last patient standing between my dentist and a three-week vacation in Greece, so he hurried and messed up a filling in a molar. I was in constant pain but no other dentist could help. I didn't leave the house without a packet of painkillers and I sat in lectures, drenched in sweat from the pain. I counted the minutes until I could take the next paracetamol. I don't want to know what all those tablets did to my stomach lining! Eventually, a dentist had the brilliant idea to check if all my teeth were still alive. It turned out that the molar in question had died a slow and painful death. And there is no worse pain than a nerve dying.

So, MAM, have your teeth checked regularly. If one dentist doesn't suit you, then go to another one. And another one. I hope the crown on your front tooth stays in place and you soon get to enjoy chewing on both sides again!! Bon appétit! :)

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Posted

Well the tooth has been filled €15, the whole rack of teeth cleaned €25, and the crown cemented in place €60.

I can chew with a dull achy pain on the right now instead of the sharp shooting pain I used to have. I hope the dull pain comes from the tooth being bruised or injured and needing time to recover. The first bash at a crown was delivered 2 days ago.

They took the drills and chainsaws to my poor tooth to make the crown fit, and I was horrified when I saw it. No attempt to match colour. So they got out the tooth samples and I chose a kind of dull ivory I thought was a reasonable match. And told them I was really pissed off that they'd chopped off more of my tooth to make it fit a crown I was going to reject.

The 2nd attempt was delivered yesterday, and cemented in. At first glance it looks ok, but if you study it which I do in excruciating detail, it looks woefully artificial. My natural teeth have dirty vertical streaks, and serrated bottoms, and this one looks artificial. And it feels strange, though better than having a naked tooth cut to half size.

It just goes to show, dental work is a slippery slope. If I hadn't had the reliable 30 year old amalgam replaced with a modern ceramic one, I wouldn't be visiting a dentist here, and getting a crown. The more you do to your teeth the more you need done :(

Right, off to the liposuction clinic now, and then getting a quote for preventative quadruple bypass. "Get it now before you need it is the slogan". In fact if anyone wants to join me they have a special offer: get 2 quadruple bypass and its half price for a brain transplant which I feel I need after all this ill advised dentistry.

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Posted

Just watch out for foot fungus. I'm glad that your hip is holding up!

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Posted

So, MAM, have your teeth checked regularly. If one dentist doesn't suit you, then go to another one.

Like most people I don't enjoy going to the dentist. As a teenager I had terrible teeth with result that most are filled with metal. As soon as I became a student all problems went away (maybe because they were mostly metal...).

So how does one find a dentist here? I went for many years to a dentist my wife had but he was a bit of a "butcher". We then moved a few miles away and a neighbour who works part time in a dental surgery recommended another dentist close by & we are "happy". Little wizzened guy, we hope he'll last a few years yet - I go every 6-9 months for a check up. He seems to be well-equipped & I have to say that removal of Zahnstein at his place is the least painful I've experienced.

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Posted

If you don't like the crown, you can get a better quality matching one back in Munich for a measly €10,000.

Glad your tooth is feeling better and that you didn't wait until your whole face blew up like I did.

Safe travels,

Fruity

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Posted

Dentists are much cleverer than doctors. They've managed to persuade huge amounts of people that their teeth will dissolve if they don't visit them every six months, even when there is absolutely nothing wrong with them.

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Posted

On a issue related to the OP:

I made an appointment with my dentist for a six-month cleaning and a checkup. I arrived and they brought me into the room where they do the fillings, etc. My dentist came in and asked if I'd come for an operation. I said no--a cleaning and a checkup. He examined my teeth for almost one whole minute, announced that I needed 3 ceramic inlays and recommended that I have the cleaning done. I repeated that that had been my intention. He walked out to reception with me where I was informed there was no time for a cleaning; perhaps in one week. I protested that I had an appointment for that day. It was politely made clear to me that whatever the problem was, it was my fault. I didn't feel like making an issue so I agreed to return for the cleaning. Two days later in the mail I received an itemized estimate for the 3 inlays (€1700), which I had not agreed to or even inquired further about. I wanted to have my teeth cleaned and examined thoroughly, which is what I expected to happen. I returned for the cleaning. There was no further examination; The next day I get the Rechnung for the cleaning and included in it is the following item:

Aufstellung eines schriftlichen Kostenplans auf Anforderung. €11,64.

So, my question is: Should I just pay the €11,64 for the written estimate (which I most certainly had NOT requested) and go find a new dentist, or make a stink about it? I certainly owe them for the cleaning, although I'd like to send them an invoice for the hour of my time they wasted by screwing up my appointment.

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Posted

Tried out a new gynaecologist who added "tested stool sample" to my bill as if I wouldn't remember whether I'd given her one or not. I sent the bill back telling her to remove it, and she did so without saying a thing. So it's worth just pointing out their "mistake". Wouldn't go back again, though.

(My MIL is a gynaecologist, and at some point she needed some treatment herself when on holiday. That gynaecologist added a 15-minute spoken consultation to the bill, as if my MIL needed a basic gynaecological concept explained to her. She didn't know how good my MIL is at scathing put-downs :-)

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So, my question is: Should I just pay the €11,64 for the written estimate

Before you find a new dentist (he sounds like an idiot) I'd make a stink about it since you never asked for the estimate. Was it the professionelle Zahnreinigung you had done? How much did they charge you? You'd have to pay for that, but a normal check up where they just poke around in your mouth and remove a bit of plaque and tartar is covered by your health insurance. Depends what they actually did but I would dispute the charge for the estimate.

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