A Cavity Search

, , , | Healthy | February 27, 2018

(I’ve been visiting the same dentist for about five years, and never had any issues. I’m also over thirty and have never had a cavity, so I consider myself fortunate. I go in for my six-month cleaning and let him know that as a result of a new job, I’ll be moving to a town about an hour away.)

Me: “So, this is the last time I’ll see you!”

Dentist: “Oh, we’ll miss you!”

Me: “I’ll miss you guys, too.”

Dentist: “You know, you could keep coming here. It’s not like we’re that far away, and you’ll be in town to visit your parents, since they live nearby.”

Me: “Um… Well, no, I think I’d like to find a dentist closer to where I’ll be living. You know, just in case I have an emergency.”

(The dentist tries for a few more minutes to convince me to keep visiting him, before giving up. He’s finally done with the exam.)

Dentist: “Oh, bad news. You have eleven cavities.”

Me: *completely shocked* “ELEVEN? Did you say eleven cavities? As in ten plus one?”

Dentist: *sorrowfully* “Yes. Eleven. You’ll need to get those filled right away. Let’s go up front and have my receptionist schedule the first appointment; I think we should do at least two, one side of your mouth and then the other…”

Me: *interrupting* “Wait a minute. I’ve never even had one cavity in thirty-one years! I brush and floss three times a day. You’ve always said how great my teeth look. Six months ago you said everything was fine, and now I have eleven cavities?”

Dentist: “I know. It’s very bad. Come on. Let’s get your next appointment scheduled and [Receptionist] can tell you out-of-pocket costs.”

Me: “You know, I think I’m going to hold off and get a second opinion on this. No offense, but it just seems really extreme. One or two, maybe, but eleven?”

(The dentist was adamant that I needed to get it taken care of right away, but I didn’t budge, and left without making a follow-up. I moved to my new town and found a great dentist who was surprised when I told him my last dentist found eleven cavities. He didn’t find any! Ten years later, I’ve still never had one. The worst part was that a friend of mine worked for that shady dentist; I had to call and tell him what happened and he was so embarrassed. He quit a few months later.)

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