I haven’t had much luck with dentists over the last few years. It seems that when I finally find one that I like and trust, that my insurance at work changes. When that occurs, I have to start the process of finding a new dentist. Due to time and energy and priorities, this will often take me upwards of 6 months. I will then finally get an appointment.
My goal is to get on a regular professional cleaning schedule, say once every 6 months. But when you go to a dentist for the first time, they often do not want to do a cleaning the first visit, but merely a consultation. It seems like, much of the rest of the business world, that they just want to make an extra buck, and an extra visit gets them paid extra.
One thing that dentists try to get an extra buck on, is something they like to call a “deep cleaning.” I have had friends of friends of dentists say that a deep cleaning is just a hoax in an attempt to extricate money from the patient. I have had this experience twice.
I went to a dentist once in Rancho Bernardo. This dental experience was a sham from the moment I arrived. I walked in and they wanted to charge me a $5 co-pay. Mind you, it wasn’t a co-pay that my insurance required, but merely the dentist.
I get myself into the chair, of course, for just the inspection and not a cleaning. As the dentist is peering into my gaping mouth, he is breathing on me, and it is despicable smelling breath. After his review of my periodontal offering, I was told that I would need a deep cleaning. The was the last time I visited that dentist. After another 6 month period of trying to find a new dentist, I finally received the cleaning I wanted. That next dentist I went to, told me that my teeth looked great and took care of them.
As things have gone for me, my insurance coverage shortly thereafter changed. I was back on the dentist street, having to fend for myself.
About 6 months ago, I went to a dentist in Carmel Mountain Ranch. I loved the potential of a dentist not too far from my office. I went there, did my typical bleeding, and once again was told that I would require a “deep cleaning,” and it would cost me about $1,200 out of my own pocket. The last time I went to that dentist.
This last week, I finally went to a dentist again. I sat there in the waiting room and my mind was taking notice of everything in the room, everything on the walls. All of the plaques and certificates and cancellation warnings. And then I noticed the piece of paper on the counter top. The words jumped off the page: “DEEP CLEANING.” I was doomed again I thought.
I was not impressed with the office as they took me back to the chair. Even when I was getting my teeth x-ray’d, they had to slide things out of the way on the floor with their feet. This was not going well. And then the dentist surprised me. He said that my teeth were in good shape, and that despite my troubles in creating the habit of flossing, that my gums were in decent strength as well. And then he said that he would do a cleaning that day. The best part was that I did not hear the words “deep cleaning.”
Now I did the cleaning, and I even filled out the postcard to remind me of a visit 6 months from now. But there are factors that I will still have to consider. The first factor that I haven’t mentioned, is that the cleaning seemed really quick, and not very well done. They did not floss my teeth, there wasn’t a heavy polishing (though, they did do this briefly), and there definetly wasn’t any t.l.c or mouthwash. The second factor that I will have to consider, is that my dental insurance is changing again as of the first of the year. I will more then likely have to start the search all over again.
Since I’m blabbing on about the bad dentists, I must say that the best dentist I have ever had local to the Poway/Rancho Bernardo area, is a dentist that is in the Twin Peaks shopping center–to the right of target. With a busy work schedule, it was nice that that dentist, twice a week, would stay open till 9pm. It was very convenient. I went to that dentist for a couple years while I worked at Tierranet. And then, of course my work insurance changed.