Trust Your Intuition, Don’t Hesitate To Get A Second Opinion

Welcome to the 737th Metamorphosis Monday! Recently I had a situation come up that truly brought home how important it is to trust your instincts and that little voice inside that tells you when something doesn’t seem quite right. I wanted to share an experience I had recently, in case you find it helpful in a similar situation in the future.

I’ve been going to the same dental practice for approximately 20+ years. I missed a year during the time most of us were staying home, but about a year ago I decided it was time to resume my twice-a-year checkups/cleanings.

Over the past 20 years, traffic in Atlanta has only gotten worse and my previous dentist’s office is a 20-25 minute drive away through some pretty intense traffic. A dental practice that’s been in my area for many years and has good reviews online, has recently built a beautiful, large, state-of-the-art office around a mile from my home. The building is truly the prettiest dental office I have ever seen. It doesn’t even look like a dental office, it looks more like a beautiful home. The interior is just as nice with amenities that are almost spa-like. In fact, patient reviews online often describe it that way.

Since they are so close by, in February 2021 I decided to give them a try. On the day of my appointment, I was given a tour of the building. They are obviously very proud of their new place, as one would expect. The visit started out as you would expect and the dental hygienist was great. After she was finished, the dentist came in and did a fairly quick examination.

During that visit, there were some “things” that came up that I now see were definitely red flags. One that was fairly minor was their recommendation that you join their “Friends and Family” plan which requires paying for two evaluations and cleanings at once. It comes with some benefits like a 10% discount on checkups and other services that you may need during the year.

Honestly, it felt very gimmicky, and the only reason I could figure they recommend it is because it’s a good way to make sure you stay a patient and come back since you’ve already paid 6 months in advance for your next cleaning. Later, when I compared the cost to what my previous dentist currently charges, it was higher–even with their F & F plan. Again, a gimmick–designed to make you think you’re getting a deal when you really aren’t. This year, the F & F plan went up almost $100, so now they are a lot higher than what my previous dentist charges!

There was another red flag that popped up during that visit–a really BIG red flag! After his quick examination, the doctor recommended I have all four of my wisdom teeth pulled even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They do not give me any issues at all. They don’t cramp my other teeth or cause any problems with spacing. In my 66 years of life, I’ve never had a single dentist tell me I should have my wisdom teeth extracted. He had no good reason for recommending it, other than to say it just makes maintenance easier since they are so far back in the mouth. I remember leaving the office that day with a general feeling of distrust. I should have paid more attention to that feeling!

Not this past Friday, but the Friday before, I had a crown come loose, eventually coming off. Thankfully, it was a tooth that had previously had a root canal so I wasn’t in any pain.  On Monday, I called my new dentist’s office to see if they could see me, guessing I would need a new crown. They gave me an appointment for 2 days later.

That following Wednesday, the dental assistant took an x-ray and pictures, then the dentist came in. He looked at the photo and the x-ray and told me that I didn’t have that much tooth left so I would need to have the tooth extracted. After that, I would need either an implant or a bridge. I had no idea what either of those was since I’ve never had a tooth removed. In rapid-fire talking, he gave me a rundown of what each procedure entailed. In the end, it was clear that he felt the implant was the better option.

One thing that I thought was kinda odd was how twice during that visit, once near the beginning of the visit and again near the end, he mentioned that if I were in pain I’d be wanting something done right then, right that moment. I don’t think he liked the dismay I was voicing about what he was saying that I needed to have done.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a procedure like that done, but it sounds pretty nightmarish. It involves scheduling an appointment with an oral surgeon, being put to sleep, having the tooth extracted, and a metal post inserted into the bone of your jaw. Also, often bone graphs have to be done to the area of the implant since sometimes there’s not enough bone. And as if all of that isn’t lovely enough, you then get to walk around with a hole (with a post) in your mouth for the next 4 to 5 months while all of that heals–unless you want to wear a retainer with a filler tooth, which apparently is not a pleasant experience. After that, you get your crown. The whole process sounded like a nightmare.

I was told I would get an e-mail from his staff in the next day or so letting me know all of the details in written form. During the visit, I asked how much the whole process for the implant typically costs. After a bit of hemming and hawing, he said it typically runs around $4-$5,000.

I left feeling a bit shell-shocked and drove home to think it all over. Over the next few days, I watched my Inbox for the e-mail. There was no e-mail that day, (Wednesday) there was no e-mail on Thursday and there was no e-mail on Friday. The e-mail finally arrived Saturday morning and I immediately noticed a significant change. The estimated cost was now $6-7,000. Man, inflation is killer these days!

After leaving their office the previous Wednesday and mulling everything over for a few hours, I decided before I put myself through the nightmare, inconvenience, and cost of an implant, I would get a second opinion. Even though a second opinion might just add to the cost, I decided it would give me peace of mind if I had two dentists tell me that the tooth could not be saved and an implant was needed. I called my previous dentist and they scheduled me for an evaluation 2 days later on Friday. They were the ones who had done the crown 11 years earlier, so they knew exactly which tooth was now the issue.

On the day of the appointment, I awoke to the sound of pouring rain. Already dreading the drive and the prospect of getting more bad news, the rain was definitely not helping. As I stood in my closet, still half asleep, I momentarily thought about canceling the appointment and going back to bed. In situations like that, I always try to think of something positive to give myself a boost and to push away the negative thoughts–like something nice I will do later in the day. That morning I told myself it was just another evaluation and I could relax and think about everything over the weekend. I wasn’t getting dressed for oral surgery, just for an evaluation.

Surprisingly, traffic was much lighter than I’d ever seen on I-75. I guess a lot of people must work from home on Fridays, or maybe just take the day off. En route, I decided that I would not mention the previous evaluation. I would just go in and explain the crown had come off and see what the dentist recommended. My previous dentist has semi-retired and only works a couple of days a week, so he wasn’t in the office that day. When I made the appointment, I had been assured the dentist I would be seeing was very experienced, having been a dentist for over 20 years.

The appointment could not have been more different than the one just a few days before. The dental assistant took two x-rays, after which the dentist came in, introduced himself, and examined the tooth. He said that there was some decay that had gotten up underneath the crown and that’s why it had probably come off. He added that I would need a new crown, but since there wasn’t a lot of tooth left, I would also need a post in the tooth. I verified that wasn’t the same as an implant and he confirmed that it was not. At one point, almost under his breath, he commented that he was sure he could save the tooth. It was almost like an afterthought.

He got to work and was working for quite a long time, way longer than it would take to just remove any decay. When he finally paused, I asked if he was going to be able to do a crown. He looked at me oddly and said, “Yes, I’ve been preparing the tooth for your crown.” I wanted to rejoice but he would have probably thought I was nuts, so I just did a little happy dance in my head.


After a bit longer, he explained that he had placed a post into the tooth and it would take about 40 minutes to set up. I amused myself with my phone, checking emails, and looking at Instagram. Around 40 minutes later, the doctor came back in and said he was very pleased with how everything looked. They make all their crowns in office, so he had the crown and completed the process of installing it.

He told me my gum would be sore for a few days, but that everything had gone well. I asked if he thought the crown would last for a while. Sounding surprised and a little insulted, he replied, “I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think it would last.” Ha! He had no idea what I’d been through earlier in the week or that question would have made more sense. lol

When I left their office and stepped outside, the rain was gone. The sun was shining and I could see blue sky appearing behind the dark clouds as they moved away. For a moment, I felt like I was in a movie and the weather was mimicking my mood. As I drove home, my tongue ran across the beautiful new crown where a gaping hole had been just an hour before. I thought about how I had wanted to cancel the appointment that morning, fearing I was just driving myself to more doom–more bad news. Thank goodness I did not cancel the appointment! Makes me think of my favorite Mark Twain quote…


Why did I share this with you? I want you to always, always be your own advocate. If you are ever in a situation where things don’t feel quite right, trust your instinct. Your intuition, your gut–it’s trying to tell you something. It’s there to protect you!

When it comes to anything medical, it never hurts to get a second opinion. If the second dentist had told me that I needed an implant, I would have at least gone through that nightmarish 4-month implant process knowing that it was absolutely needed and the only way. When in doubt, ALWAYS get a second opinion. It may cost a few more dollars, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re doing the right thing.

I’ll close this post now because I need to make a call and cancel an upcoming dental checkup. I already have one scheduled for August with a trusted dentist whose office is a bit farther away, but definitely worth the drive.

Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday! Pssst: Did you know Between Naps On The Porch is on Instagram? You’ll find me on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch. Like to know when a new blog post is up and available to read? Subscribe for email updates, it’s free and your email will never be shared. Subscribe for free post updates via email here: Subscribe.

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  1. As one who has endured three dental implants…they are indeed a lot of work. I had mine done years ago (and two operations on them since)….and once the implants were in place….it was months of healing. With no teeth…and mine were on the front right. So I had to wear basically something like a partial…as I was working at the time. Nowadays they advertise they can do “it all” in one day…but having three done….(fully awake I might add)….that was not possible. Implants aren’t always the final solution either…as I have suffered bone loss…endangering one implant. No worries they tell me…they will put in a bridge and crown. I have a bridge on the other side of my mouth….never had an issue…ever. My implants…not including extra surgeries…were $6,000 and that was 13-14 years ago! I was hoping the implants would be a final solution…but that hasn’t been the case. So happy you listened to your little voice….and not required one!

    • I’m am so sorry you’ve had to endure even one of those, much less three! I have a friend who has had to have three, and one failed and had to be done again. I think hearing his stories is what has made me so reluctant and afraid to have one done. I don’t know how you went through all those awake, I don’t think I could do it. Sounds like dental medicine still has a lot of room for improvement. I’ve heard that it’s a mistake to get it all done in one day, so not sure I would trust that process.

  2. franki Parde says

    Ugh…there’s that “age” thing…I’ve had 3 implants…the whole shebang…awake…I have been told by numerous dentist…”you have the longest roots we’ve ever seen…” Nice. It was a nightmare the last one…over 3 hours…staff had to stay overtime…I kid you not. Tooth/root extraction broke in pieces, etc etc…months to heal around post… Sharon, count your gut & blessings. I need a drink… franki

  3. Susan, I’m so glad you heeded your own internal warning.

    I will never forget a report I saw many years ago (I think the 90s, maybe even the 80s.) It was one of those news magazine programs like 20/20. They did a hidden camera thing with a bunch of dentist’s offices. They had their shills checked out by a competent dentist, then sent them to these various offices to see what they’d be told. MOST of them told them they needed extensive work done that would cost thousands of dollars. The highest was $28,000! That was decades ago!! I thought then and there, maybe that’s why the suicide rate amongst dentists is so high – so many are crooks!! It was shocking.

    If you find a solid dentist who is competent AND honest, I do believe they are worth the drive! And I had no idea that some dental offices now make crowns in office — AND in a day! That’s amazing. Glad it all worked out so well for you.

    • I forgot to say, I remember when you first spoke about that beautiful new dental office. Guess they really need their patients to pay for it.

  4. Lin Celoni says

    Be Your Own Advocate – Need to cross stitch that one!! Glad you are smiling again.

  5. Stay with the dentist you originally went to for 20+ years. Although he is semiretired the ‘younger’ dentist will be vetted by the older dentist. I went through the same situation, having been with my dentist for 30+ years. When he retired the younger ones came in to take over the business and I am receiving the Same quality of care.

  6. Wow. Your story could be my story. My dentist that I have gone to for 40 years was retiring so he joined with another dentist so that patients could seamlessly transition. My first appointment with the new dentist did not go as planned. The dentist informed me that I needed a “deep” cleaning which involves digging below the gum line and is done in two steps even though I have religiously had my teeth cleaned every six months. I had never heard of this procedure or been told I needed it previously so I was leery. To make a long story short, they basically tried to up sale constantly. They told my 28 year old son that they would need to remove all his prior fillings and replace them because they would eventually go bad. Needless to say, I switched to another dentist and am now happy with him.

  7. Awesome story, Susan! Back in 1982, I sustained a low back injury while caring for a patient in a critical care unit. When I went to the orthopedic surgeon for follow-up from the ER visit, he said he would need to do spinal surgery. I told him, “No, we are going to do a CAT scan first, to see inside my body. I’m not going to make your Mercedes payment this month.” Needless to say, the CAT scan was negative. After a two month rehab, I was give a job promotion to become Nursing Education Director of that hospital.

    The moral of the story is not to let someone rush you into a decision. Take your time, stand up for yourself.

    • My kinda woman ! I said that to an oncologist once. Another time my NP wanted to know if I was going to have back surgery or pain management. I said Neither. I am going to buy ice cream and pour coffee over it. I still haven’t gotten surgery.

  8. Rhonda Storey says

    Wow Susan! I totally see how you were skeptical of that dentist. Dental work prices are through the roof nowadays! I have an excellent dentist that I trust with the work she does, so I’m lucky there. She did three implants last year in the top of my mouth, two on the left and one on the right. I did have a little bone loss on one but she fixed that. It is a lengthy process, but it’s worth it for me because I hated the ($2500) partial I had made before I decided to do the implants. I hardly ever wore it because I couldn’t eat with it in. My three implants were $12,000!! And that doesn’t even include the three crowns I still have to get done. That will be another $4800! I was supposed to have those done in February, but I got Covid again and have been sick for over a month with it. I can’t wait to get finished with all of this. So glad you found a dentist that you can trust!

  9. I guess someone has to pay for that beautiful new dental office and that dentist was attempting to make it you.
    I’m so glad you listened to your inner voice and went back to your trusted dentist. I just hate pressure tactics, especially in a medical situation! Makes me wonder if the reviews you read on the new practice were even legitimate.
    I’m curious if your long time dentist had anything to say about your wisdom teeth. That the other dentist would suggest pulling them is outrageous!

  10. I’m so happy for you! That was a wonderful outcome! I know the dread of dental appointments well; I have to ask for the earliest possible appointment to minimize my anxiety. LOL

    The prepayment deal you discovered seems to be a trend, both medically and in dental offices; it’s called concierge care, and it seems to be related to the lack of available care in rapidly growing areas. If you don’t choose those plans (we didn’t as we have insurances), all sorts of extra charges pop up on the bills. Recently four of us went in for routine cleaning and were asked to have full xray panoramic scans with this huge machine that rotates around your head. It’s very expensive (insurance only covers it once every 5 years), and, frankly, I don’t want my head exposed to radiation any more than absolutely needed. Declining that service frustrated the technician, and she even told me that it was a law! A law! Of course it isn’t, but I can see that many people would have just given in and said OK. A few days later, we received an explanation of benefits from the insurance company, and despite knowing that regular cleanings are covered in full, we were told that each of the four of us would owe the dentist $39 for “hygiene instruction” which is not covered. That was quite a surprise! I haven’t had hygiene instruction since grade school when the pretty hygienist went to each classroom with giant teeth and a giant toothbrush! I know that they need to generate income to pay for all of these fancy offices and machines, but there really has to be a better way.

    • I hope you called her out on that ‘law’ baloney, VAMama. That’s outrageous. And for the hygiene instruction!

    • I had an eye doctor’s tech tell me a full exam was the law even though I went for an infection for an additional $98. So I call the insurance commissioner’s off and reported her. Then I demanded a refund.
      Remember last year this person may have been flipping burgers.
      One local optical franchise was fined more than any store in this state because they reused the trial contacts. They are not the only ones.

  11. So happy your got your crown and that you listened to your intuition! I think some dentists today suggest ( push ) things that you may not need due to high college loans and big buy ins to practices. I like my dentist and love the hygienist, but I have said no to some things he suggests and take the “wait and see” plan. So far, so good.

  12. Over the past 6 months I have had an implant done at the Dental College of our local University. It was definitely NOT an ordeal. I needed a back molar removed that had a root canal done years ago. One of the roots had fractured. I was advised by my dentist (Professor at the Dental College) that when the root fractured, there is no recourse but to have the tooth extracted. I was told that plenty of people have the tooth extracted and don’t go further in treatments. However, I was pretty sure that I wanted an implant and was told that females usually don’t have enough bone structure to have successful implants. I would need a bone graft to strengthen my jaw bone. I was referred to an Oral Surgeon, again at that same Dental College. He extracted the molar and placed the bone graft material (tiny sand-like) in place. The whole procedure was done using Novacaine and was not uncomfortable. Then about 4 to 6 weeks later, after healing and my body growing through and around the bone graft, I needed to return to the Oral Surgeon to determine if all was well. I was advised that I could stop at this point. Over that 4 to 6 weeks, I had determined that because of the structure of my mouth that it was almost impossible to chew on that side and that I definitely wanted an implant. Another appointment was set up to have the “stem” metal piece, inserted into the jaw bone, that holds the crown). Again some Novacaine. This all went very well. Again a few weeks for all of this to heal and for my body to grow bone around the stem. I was referred back to my dentist. At my Dental College there is a specialist who deals with implants and similar issues. She determined that because of my “close bite” that I would need a custom “crown” made to be placed on top of my metal stem piece. About 2 weeks later that was ready. No Novacaine needed. Basically the dentist unscrewed the “cap” of the stem and screwed the crown into place. There was a little tweaking on one side of the crown, which was pushing the tooth in front of it. Voila! A perfectly fitting implant, very little discomfort, and very happy with the process. The cost is hefty but I had two dental insurances which paid for most of the procedures. I am now looking forward to my second implant to replace a broken tooth.

  13. As a Dental Hygienist, yes, I would RUN! from this practice !! There are money hungry dentists out there and you have to search to find a reputable one. I loved my dentist and respected his treatment of patients and stayed in the same practice 10 years before my son was born and retired. You were certainly presented with an Outrageous treatment plan for sure!

  14. I had sort of the reverse situation just last week. I’d been going to a dentist, whom I really liked, for years. But, she was outside my dental plan and as time went on and especially lately with inflation, it was getting really expensive. She charged above the going rate and while my plan covered some of the cost, the bulk was mine to pay. My last crown was well over $1,000 out of pocket after what insurance paid. Last, since a recent office relocation, her office is much farther away for me. So, I decided to look for a new dentist in my plan. I found one who had great reviews and is much closer. I had a crown that needed replacing quickly – I’d had it over 30 years and it had developed a hole. My very first visit with the new dentist he started the process to get a new crown and a week or so later it came in (they still don’t make them in-house) and he put it on. My out of pocket was less than $400! And, when I went for a checkup and cleaning to the new dentist, it was paid in full by insurance – not a cent out of pocket. I hate to think of all the extra money I paid for work by the other dentist for the last several years. Plus, she kept telling me I needed all my crowns replaced. Last week the dentist said I needed only two replaced and the rest were fine. I should have gotten a second opinion years ago instead of sticking with the old dentist out of habit.

  15. Roxanne Bernard says

    That was a great warning and so well written! The state of medicine these days is abysmal. Patients need to be diligent consumers and practically a medical professional to get decent care. Thank goodness you trusted your gut. Next Friday I am having an old botched bunion surgery redone. I can’t believe I have to go through all that pain and limping around for weeks in a boot again. The new doctor looks about 12 with hair below his shoulders, but he knows his stuff!!

  16. I really hope you leave your story on the review sites to warn others! 🙂

  17. So glad you listened to yourself

  18. Michele M. says

    I had my first dental work ever except for braces not too long ago – and got my first root canal and crown. He had to put in a post, too. So just going through this recently I felt all your emotions with you, Susan. I am rejoicing you did that.

    Get your cleanings there till that F and F is over and just go back to that trusted dental practice. Holy smokes. What a relief.

  19. Reminds me of the time I went to a new dentist who announced that I had a lot of cavities (not true), also he was going to remove ALL of my fillings and replace them with white fillings. I never returned. This happened over 20 years ago. I still have my original fillings. Swishing peroxide mixed with an equal amount of water keeps plaque and tarter away.

  20. SharonFromMichigan says

    Was it your intuition or was it an angel watching out for you? My husband and I use a reduced fee dental plan we purchase from because we don’t have any dental coverage with our regular health insurance. Over the years I have tried switching dentists because of various reasons but now we stick to the son of the dentist we were seeing (the original dentist had passed). He does the in-house crown milling too & even though those appointments are usually longer, it is nice to know that when you leave you are completely done. I’m so happy everything worked out for you in your best interest! 🙂

  21. Good for you to trust your instinct! And I haven’t heard of saving a crown in the manner your dentist did, that’s great! I have had experience with crowns, a crown which couldn’t be saved (but the endo only partially charging for what she did), extractions w/o anesthesia (just NO!) for implants with bridge filler, and implant with anesthesia and bone graft. It’s all horrifying, esp the first go ’round. I even journaled all the steps/cost so I could recap it for anyone else’s benefit (or my own, as the case has been). I’ve also advocated for a family member, getting three (!) opinions on how to handle a dental situation, and ultimately choosing a trusted prosthetist. My first implants involved my dentist, an endodontist, and an an oral surgeon. For this last one, I went from my dentist who confirmed the abscess, and straight to the prosthetist, who handles it all. I am happy with my choices, but dental work is NO PICNIC.

  22. Wow Susan good thing you did trust yourself! I’m so glad it worked out, though it made me laugh that your crown-fixer might have felt slightly insulted – I think it was smart that you didn’t say anything about your previous adventures. Thanks so much for hosting, and hope you have a lovely non-nightmare, sunny week!

  23. My husband had 2 implants about 10 years ago….and at that time, people were suggesting to go to Mexico to ‘save’ money…..he considered it for about 5 minutes….can you imagine if you needed follow up appts? I can’t imagine a dentist here taking on your problems after you went to Mexico to ‘save’ money!!!
    Glad it all turned out well for you and that your inner voice was loud and clear. Happy smiles!

  24. I’m so glad you were able to fix and keep your tooth with minimal discomfort and that you listened to your inner voice guiding your decision.
    Thank you for sharing this nightmare story; one sadly I, too, can relate.
    I did something today that I never do…I read all the other reader’s comments…which confirmed that the majority of us have had similar experiences/procedures. I agree with the reader who suggested you leave a review.

  25. So what was the cost with the 2nd dentist? Glad you went there.

    • It was the normal price of a crown, or close to it. It came out to $1,458. I found out after I had paid, they give a 10% discount if you pay by check or cash. Wish I’d known that before I gave them my Amex card because it would have saved me around $145. At least I got the miles.

  26. WOW! I couldn’t believe when I read your post, since I’m going through a “dentist office integrity” issue! Same as you, I hadn’t gone in awhile since the pandemic. Then, my back molar fractured; very painful. Since my long time dentist retired, I went to the dentist who bought his practice plus 3 other locations. As you stated, this was an impressive, super modern, state-of-the-art office. I was impressed looking at my x-rays on a large TV screen mounted on the wall. He and his employees were all super nice. Then came the diagnosis, the tooth was fractured and I would need a root canal and a crown, but first antibiotics. OK until his office manager came in to tell me the finances – $3000, payable up front, for the 2 procedures. I told her I had AARP dental insurance through Delta, and since it was fairly new, they would cover the root canal 50% but not the crown. She discussed how it would be billed to the insurance by them and any refund returned to me since I pay up front. Then she told me the root canal doctor is so excellent and gave me her business card with their practice. I set up an appointment the next week. The front desk took my insurance card and said your insurance may not cover since it is only a few months old, and I told her it would, I had checked the handbook and online, they would cover the root canal portion. Procedure went fine. Then I received something from Delta that I am getting back $350 approximately. WHAT?! I called the dentist office, and they tell me “oh, the endodontist (root canal doctor) does not take your insurance!” I was furious, they gave me her card with the name and address of their practice, same exact as the dentist’s business card, and the insurance lady or office manager took my insurance and never mentioned this to me! I called Delta and they said the dentist is on their network and is only permitted to charge $679 for the root canal. Not $1725. However, the endodontist is on their network, but not at that address (what kind of nonsense is that??) They suggested I file an appeal, which I did. I am waiting for the outcome. How do you think these people pay for the state-of-the-art offices? Apparently everybody has an angle these days to make money at our expense. My other dentist never would have done this. I cancelled my cleaning and will never go there again.

  27. Maureen E. says

    Getting an implant definitely takes time, but not everyone’s experience is bad. I had to get one b/c a tooth that had a crown on it broke in half under the crown, so there was no way for a dentist to save the tooth. Although I didn’t enjoy the process itself, I have been very happy with the final result, and I have a friend who had one for 25 years with no issues whatsoever. I have another friend with 3 that have given her no trouble. There’s no question that it is expensive, though; mine cost about $5,000., and I had to sell my grand piano to pay for it.

    However, about your experience with the “new” dentist: I had something similar happen to me at a dentist I had been seeing for a few years. In that case, a tooth under a crown also broke in half, but instead of going over options with me and giving me a chance to go home and talk them over with my husband, she insisted she had to pull the tooth right away, and since I was already numb, she pressured me to let her prepare that side of my mouth for a bridge–which involved drilling down two perfectly good teeth on either side of the one she pulled. I had to sign a paper right then committing to pay for the full procedure, which was $4500. I was a nervous wreck, but I couldn’t reach my husband by phone and didn’t know what to do other than trust her. I had to take out one of those “care cards” to pay for the bridge, and it took a year to pay it off. I changed dentists immediately after I got the bridge to a dentist who was highly recommended by close friends and is very conservative, and he told me he would have charged half as much for the bridge. So your encouragement to your followers to get a second opinion is very valid. Don’t let any medical person pressure you to do something “right now” that costs a lot and involves a lot of work.

  28. Thank you so much Susan for sharing this experience. Your initial visit to the dentist with the fancy office sounds like my experience going to one of those instant oil changing places. They give you ‘concerned’ looks and start piling on the recommendations and ‘specials’ their running. I prefer going to Walmart where I know they don’t seem so desperate to dig into your wallet. It is scary to think some medical & dental practices may be going this route. It sounds like the wanted their dental patients to pay for their fancy new office. Thank goodness your first dentist is honorable!

  29. My kinda woman Barbara ! I said that to an oncologist once. Another time my NP wanted to know if I was going to have back surgery or pain management. I said Neither. I am going to buy ice cream and pour coffee over it. I still haven’t gotten surgery.

  30. Mary Anne Carlin says

    What an ordeal! I am so glad you are strong enough and smart enough to not just believe everything you’re told – especially when that little voice inside tells you something is not right. Yay you!

  31. Rebecca Dineen says

    Bravo Susan for listening to your inner voice & for openly sharing your experience with others. My dental horror story goes in another direction but
    saved my life because I listened to my inner voice. I was young &
    when I arrived the dentist was alone but
    it was a routine check so I accepted the situation thinking perhaps employees had been excused for the day. He began in a normal fashion then wrapped his hands around my throat, I instantly fought & screamed “what are you doing” & I wiggled out of the chair. He gave the explanation of checking my thyroid. I assume covering his tracks & hoping I’d relent. I did not.
    In truth he was practicing to kill his wife which he did within a few days.
    Women are blessed with superior instincts & we should trust ourselves.

    • Wow, that is terrifying, Rebecca! I’m glad you got out of there! That’s horrible about what happened to his wife. I agree, I think most of us have that inner voice that speaks loud and clear and we need to trust it at all times.

    • I went to a new dentist closer to home one time. He didn’t try to choke me; rather the other direction. As I was looking at my x-rays on the wall, he walked up VERY close behind me….like 2 inches! I was stunned. After making my excuses, I left and never went back.

      • I am grateful Susan has created this space of “safe sharing” on multiple
        topics….some elegant, some task oriented, or relaxing, & some of dire consequence. We cannot know when a comment might be exactly what is needed to save a misfortune or even a life.
        LeAnne, you were so wise to listen to
        your “inner voice”.
        May your days before you bring
        happiness & joy. Thank you for allowing me to share.

  32. It isnt only dentists. I have a DR. that prescribes pills and procedures one after another. I told my husband NO MORE.. I will not keep putting myself through this. He keeps telling me they are the best, well they dont work for me.


  33. I have never had a dental implant, but I have had a crown. I had a great dentist then, and I have a great one now. I have noticed that if a dentist has a great new fancy building then they are probably ripping people off. I steer clear of those types. LOL Our old dentist retired and a couple from AZ took his place. They were nuts! I do mean nuts! They finally got ran out of town and this other dentist came and took over for my old dentist and he is great. Thankfully! Glad you didn’t cancel with your old dentists and that they were able to help you Susan. Yes, cancel that other appointment with the fancy dentist and steer clear away from them! Hugs, Brenda

  34. The fancy, over the top office would have been a red flag for me. Just give me a good old reliable, trustworthy dentist with experience, with an average, but clean office space. By the way, I have dental phobia big time, lol.
    So glad you got a second opinion!!!

  35. What fascinating stories…..I sat here this afternoon and read every story. What an opportunity for women to learn from one another. I was hoping that there would be postings of dental experiences (good and bad). Susan, you provided an opportunity for those folks posting their stories to ventilate AND to educate other women. My thanks to all of those folks who posted. I have learned a lot today.

  36. Good job Susan! My husband was a dentist for 42 years before he retired. He was very talented and well loved by his patients. I now see the Dr. that bought his practice and he and the staff are always telling me how good his work was that they see in his patients mouths. It really makes my heart happy to know how well respected he was. So there are good ones out there, I promise! One thing he always used to say was, the reason it’s called a Dental Practice is because they are always practicing, and sometimes there are multiple solutions to a dental problem and you have to choose what is best for you, just like you did! I’m so glad it worked out well for you~

  37. Nancy Brantley says

    So glad you shared your story!! I could write a book about my teeth….DO NOT trust one opinion!! Short story: I was in my late twenties and had a few fillings because dentist said I have high acidic level in body. Not true but I get all teeth root canal and post and crowns. Later crowns Dr said don’t fit properly and if not redone I will lose my roots. It’s been 30 yrs now with no problem and that dentist retired with alot of money out of my pocket because insurance don’t pay. New dentist said I need all implants now because work is old. I said no after 1 bone graft. Now he says I have gum infection and need to pull 2 teeth??? It’s so difficult to find a trusting dentist. I would like to know how do you get dental insurance for procedures because I can’t get insurance to pay?? Only for cleaning and xrays.

  38. So glad you got that second opinion! Sounds like the first Dentist was trying to upsell you a very expensive and unnecessary procedure to pay for that lovely new office. I had an implant about 7 years ago. A long procedure, but not painful. My long-time Dentist suggested it after doing everything he could to save the tooth. It is now my favorite, and most expensive, tooth! And it cost $3500. So $7000 seems a bit much, even with inflation.

  39. Wow Susan, I read through all of the comments which mostly sound awful. I’m glad that you questioned the first advice that you were given. I’ve had a ton of dental work done since I was a child because I just have “bad ” teeth as do my brothers and sisters. I’ve had two implants which were very expensive without any dental insurance but I didn’t suffer with them. I didn’t have anesthesia, just novocaine and the bone graft was done at the same time as the extractions. Once the post was put in after there was enough bone structure my dentist made me kind of a pop on pop off type of covering. A crown was made and placed when the post was well secured to the bone. The implants were done at different times and different states and dentists. While there are horror stories out there (and you were almost one of them) all implant experiences are different. You’re correct that if something doesn’t seem right check it out with another professional.

  40. I’ve read through all the posts and really have much to think about. I am told I need to replace two crowns (both next to each other so better to do both at once). I also have receding gums so my roots are getting exposed and the new crowns will cover and help this problem. When you say your inner self talks to you, that has happened twice at my dentist appointments because I have had to mention things that have been done. Why don’t they look at my chart? I had a cosmetic procedure done on the crowns in question and no mention that they fell out (which I was told was possible)! The dentist came back in and took another look (I was there was regular cleaning) and now tells me I have a chipped crown and, yes, the cosmetic procedure did not work! Anyway, won’t know what is happening until the crowns come off. I was in for another crown and once that procedure started the tooth had to be pulled. Then I had to decide what to do. A bridge or a false tooth. The bridge entailed ruining the two teeth on either side of the pulled tooth. No! I opted for the false tooth. I don’t mind it at all. Sometimes I don’t even wear it. The thought of an implant doesn’t seem something I want to do. Bone loss? More dental work? I have Delta which covers $2k of the almost $3k bill. My inner self is worrying if the crowns are not possible. Also, the receptionist told me that the dentist’s husband is where you are referred if my dentist can’t complete the procedure! I am so glad you ran from the new practice. When you feel uncomfortable you need to act.

  41. Good you listened to your instinct! I have a “fear” of dentist who have new and expensive offices….they have to pay for that showhow!

  42. Thanks so much for hosting this delightful party each and every week!! I hope you are having a great week!!

  43. Jean Sprimont says

    You’ve received lots of advise so this may be worthless. It’s not fair to generalize but I will say to RUN from any DDS/MD/DO who is fulfilling his ego needs with a glamorous building. I am nearing 80 and have had every possible dental procedure as I come from “rotten teeth family genes” (Mother had every tooth in her mouth capped by age 32 despite her dentist dad having her come to his office every a kid; my brother’s baby teeth came in black; my Dad was a MD and my mom a dietitian so with out history we went to the dentist 3/4 x a year. In my soph or jr yr of high school I had 25 cavities at each of the four visits in one 12 mo period). Bottom line: Trust older dentists. You do not have to be put to sleep for an implant. They generally “take” with or without need for cadaver bone graft (needed for 3 of my 5) unless you are a smoker. You do not have to have a crown placed immediately or at all. Rejoice if the need is in the back of your mouth as the front is a totally different matter. There are ALWAYS alternate treatments. I will say that I pay the dentists dearly these days…far more than any doctor(and I have been dealing with a non-healing wound since Jan of 2020. Unless the dentists fall into the doctor restrictions/insurance prisons, encourage your grandsons to become dentists. In our area none work on Wed. (or at least Wed. afternoons). None work on Fridays or at least Fri afternoons. Many take off Monday mornings and on the days they do work you can not get an appointment after 4:00. This will make sick your readers whose dads were dentists. PS “Making a crown in a day” can simply not be compared to skill and artistry required of dentists when they had to make their own crowns or even find technicians/labs artists who were employed to do this tedious work for them. As always…unless you suffer from esteem anxiety issues or have other mental/age related issues that make it advisable to take an advocate with you, unfortunately we must all be prepared to be our own health advocate when dealing with any Dr, Dentist, Hospital. Good luck and continue to listen to that inner voice until it no longer speaks to you. Hugs, Jean

  44. Teresa M. says

    Terrific that you posted about your experience and I hope you will copy and paste on Yelp or some other review site. It’s terrible how some offices will pad their pockets with nonsense charges. A family member who worked as hygenist in Dental office told me that the Doctor running the office would keep adding to the list of work needed until the patient blinked. Faster blinks meant he was quoting too much so he stopped. LOL

  45. Susan,
    Hooray for your intuition and hooray for your Guardian Angel.
    Thank you for posting all these comments. Haven’t we all learned a lot?!
    You certainly have earned a nap on the porch after all that you went through.
    Please keep these posts available for others!
    I’m so happy it all turned out well for you.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  46. Tina W Reynolds says

    It is more important than ever that we listen to ourselves and be our own advocate because of the way medicine is practiced in our world today. Thank heavens that everything turned out ok for you.

  47. Susan Gentry says

    I’m so glad you went back to your first dentist’s practice. I am finding that the new fancy multi-office or corporate dentist practices are pushing people to do much more than is needed. A friend sold his practice to a corporate practice and literally, when they took over, over night, the price of every single service doubled. They required their staff to push services And everyone who went to them was pressured to do unnessary things. It is very sad that you cant trust a dentist anymore! My own dentist, in his 60s, whom we have gone to since he graduated from dental school, says he will not retire until he can find someone who wants a simple practice, will keep costs down, not do unnessasary work, and will retain all of his long time staff. I hope he doesn’t find that for a long long time for our sake!

  48. Nancy Lou Hauge says

    I’m curious about how much cheaper was it?

    • It was $1,458, around the normal price of a crown. I found out after I had paid, they will give you a 10% discount if you pay by check or cash. Wish I’d known that before I gave them my Amex–it would have saved me around $145.

  49. So sorry you went through all this dental stress. But thankful all is well once again! Dental work always is a vulnerable experience, even in the best hands. You dodged a bullet girl! So thankful for that!

  50. Nancy Thompson says

    My daughter went through almost the same experience that you endured. Her long time dentist retired and placed a new dentist in his office. My daughter went for a clean and check , also was given tour of office , club suggestion etc. But the worst part was yet to come. After her exam she recommended a ton of dental work . My daughter has always had good teeth and kept up with yearly check-ups. She declined all treatment ,went out to her car and cried. She called her previous dentist ,explained what happened, he apologized profusely and referred her to another dentist and guess what ? She did not need any dental work !!! Bottom line – go with you “gut feeling” and manage your own case. There are many fraudulent people in the medical field who prey on those that are unaware. I am glad everything worked out for you !

  51. That inner voice is so important to listen to, if nothing other than to take that step back and pause. That new and state of the art building with the first dentist has to be paid by someone, glad it wasn’t you. Sometimes an inconvenience of a longer ride is worth the ride.

  52. Dewey’s mom says

    Good for you for listening to the little voice inside your head! Never will it steer you wrong.
    There’s a reason why the new dentist in town has such a stunning & spa-like office building! Had you stayed, you, along w/his other patients, would’ve been helping him make his mortgage payment, among other things! Glad you saw through his dishonesty.

  53. Amen to second opinions….my husband was told how much his crowns (2) would cost and I told him to go see my dentist…bingo he got 2 for the price of what one would of cost at dentist #1…Some dentist’s just over charge because they can …. pays to shop around

  54. Your listening to your inner voice has obviously hit home with a lot of readers, myself included. Here’s my story, and I’ll try to keep it short. In 2019 I slipped and shattered my ankle. It required a plate and about 7 screws.The foot was literally dangling off my leg like a fish flopping. I found out I had very bad bones at 63. I questioned this, and just keep getting told “you’re old”, in slightly nicer terms. But it didn’t sit right with me. Neither my older sister or my Mom had this issue. A year later I was hiking, and through divine providence got in a conversation with a younger hiker I met on the trail. She started telling me about her parthyroid tumor, and every symptom she described was mine. I went back to the doctor, had the blood test again, which still showed inconclusive results. But I insisted on being referred to a specialist, and again, the tests were inconclusive, but for some reason she listened to me, and scheduled surgery. Not only did they find a large parathyroid tumor, which probably kept my bones from absorbing calcium for the last ten years, but they also found a cancer tumor in my thyroid, and had to remove that. Since the surgery my bones have improved, and I am no longer feeling like a crystal chandelier when I go for hikes. Always trust your instincts, and always get second opinions. Trust that inner voice! And I’m glad you had such a satisfactory conclusion with your tooth! Besides the expense, it is always best to salvage your original tooth if you can! Thanks for listening.

  55. I’ve had to have several implants and they are very costly! I often kid my dentist that i could “park a jag” in my mouth! You need to be with a dentist who you can converse honestly with and who you trust. Not easy to find in this crazy world!

  56. I have gotten a second opinion on dental work. Worth the worry and money. I had a dog that needed knee surgery. I got a second opinion on that. Turned out the second opinion vet said the first vet has a ‘touch’ with the surgery and had done her dog knee surgery. (we had moved and I really didn’t know the original vet) She did the surgery and it went well. Her recovery was some work but changed the rest of the dogs life for the better.

  57. Susan, I am so glad you wrote about your experience in detail. I was an insurance agent and because of so many personal health issues I could relate to people’s claims. Be sure to go online and check reviews or check with the Department of Insurance in your state. Anyone with a professional license will be listed. They like to settle lawsuits out of court because those will be listed too. See all these ads about Medicare paying for implants ? Hearing ads ?
    My insurer paid doctors $60 million to keep patients healthy and cut costs. When your primary care asks personal questions you think they are friendly. They were getting $49 additional per visit. My oncologist insisted I go to the main hospital for a DNA test. Medicare paid an additional $149 to the hospital. I lnow someone who teaches in med school. New students do not want to open an office or care about patients. They are willing to work for a hospital or walk in clinic. All they care about is getting rich. Get an older doctor or dentist. Get an older insurance agent. Do your research.
    Susan, you did everyone a great service by posting your story.

    • Since you write about this, I met a highly educated woman with Bells Palsey. How did it happen ? At the dentist. She was teaching online and can’t find a job because of her face. She said she talked to an attorney and can’t sue. Why ? She signed a waiver in the slew of papers. It was a national chain beginning with an A. Please read what you sign.

  58. I am so glad things worked out for you, that sounds stressful!! Trusting your gut instinct/intuition is always good advice!

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