Warning Signs of Unnecessary Dental Procedures on Children
Dentistry is a noble profession; many dentists take pride in providing excellent service and doing it honestly. But as with any other field, the profession occasionally churns out some bad apples—unethical dentists who take advantage of unsuspecting clients.
They recommend unnecessary procedures for their clients, all for profit. They cause two main problems: 1) drain the finances of the clients they deceive, and 2) damage their natural teeth.
Why Does Fraudulent Dentistry Happen?
Dentistry is highly susceptible to fraudulent practice due to some aspects that enable unethical dentists more than other medical professions. Some of them are:
The diagnosis in dentistry can sometimes be a gray area, as seen in ethical dentists who sometimes disagree about the treatment you need. This means the usual ways an insurance company can determine fraud are challenging.
The treatment standards in this profession are much more variable than in any other medical profession. These variations can make it difficult to pinpoint a procedure as being unnecessary, especially without original records.
Before you get to the dentist's clinic, they usually ask for your insurance information, and a staff member will contact the policy provider. They will get information about what your insurance can cover for your dental plan. While this is a diligent approach to being prepared, it also means that when you get there, the dentist has a list of things they can bill you for your visit.
In a hospital, any diagnosis and treatment are subject to much scrutiny from the nurses and other doctors. But in a dentist's office, the only people privy to the treatment are you, the staff, and the dentist themselves. You are not an expert, and the staff works under the dentist, so they have to consider their job.
What Are the Warning Signs of Unnecessary Procedures?
If a dentist says that you need to have a procedure urgently, ask why the urgency. If the dentist is not forthcoming with an apparent reason, they try to pressure you into an unnecessary procedure.
Extensive and Unexpected Procedures
If you have generally had good dental health most of your life and the dentist says you need extensive procedures, it is a red flag. For instance, if they tell you that you need multiple fillings, like 12 of them, after a short evaluation, trust your gut.
Deals That Sound Too Good to Be True
If you see a dentist offering free services to get you in the door, they will likely recommend multiple procedures once you are in the chair. This is a typical pattern with unethical dentists, who often use heavy discounts for procedures like cleanings or checkups.
Not Sharing Diagnostic Results
If you go to a dental office and they recommend extensive procedures, it is wise to ask for your X-rays and seek a second opinion. If the dentist is reluctant to show you the X-rays, they are likely trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Also, a genuine dentist would discuss the options with you while showing you the reason for the procedure using your X-rays or other diagnostic results.
For more on warning signs of unnecessary dental procedures on children, visit Arizona Dental Law Group at our office in Scottsdale, Arizona. Call (602) 833-4200 to book an appointment today.