When Do You Need Dental Deep Cleaning?

Leave a Comment - 79


wilma leisure

Subject: Deep cleaning,will cost 1,076.00 not sure I need?

Dentist wants me to get deep cleaning done before filling are crowns done,but she as already done some fillings and crowns about a month ago I don't understand why she did the same thing a month ago but now she pushes for deep cleaning now ? I don't feel right about this? Help.


Subject: deep cleaning and scaling

My dentist puts numbing gel on my gums right after she gives the shots and i feel them all as well as her using the dental tools and equipment she use to dobthe procedure when she was done i still felt the plaque and tartar on my teeth and in betweem my teeth at the bottom it feels exactly the same she hits the few spots stull nothing has changed i tell her that I have a pocket and to refer back to the xrays at the side back lower tooth she use the tol to check and mashed the area and says its ok mothings there but yet i know it was inflamed pain and bkeeding priot to seeing her so now I am going back and firth so i decided to gobget a second opinion it took 15 min or kess to xlean each quad and 2-3 weeks inbetween to do each quad. Go figure. Why is she saying floss brush and it will come off i was doing that before the treatment and after still no progress hummm!!!!!

Ron Arthur

Subject: Deep Cleaning now an "extra"

Hygienists used to routinely clean plaque and calculus below the gum line. Now a "regular" cleaning takes ten minutes and is only above the gum line. This borders on criminal, as it leaves us patients wide open to the advance of periodontal disease. It's great for the dentist who can periodically recommend a "deep cleaning" -- still by a dental hygienist working for, what, $30/hour -- at a cost of between $800 and $1500. "Deep cleaning" appears to be mostly a terminology for differentiating cleanings to take patients to the cleaners.


Subject: Deep cleaning /scaling $$$

Yes below the gum line used to be a normal cleaning process. Now its not. I'm an hourly type of guy. Deep cleaning takes 30 min. per quad or less. no real expense except a $4 tip and some water. The machines aren't that expensive at all.

Thing that gets me is prices Dentists are getting for all their services. I am sure they LOVE insurance, even tho have to do more paperwork, Yet, when they want to charge you the going rate of $200+ per Quad AND then charge the next person in line $65 per Quad, because he has a savings plan he pays $10mth for, I dont get it??? They RAPE some people, and dont Give a SH**. Morals do go far for the wealthy.

They dont receive a penny from this discount plans at all. It's just advertising.

ALL DISCOUNT plans are different, HMO's cheaper, yet less dentists to choose. I pay $65 per Quad for deep cleaning. Shop around!

Ms Anne

Subject: deep cleaning

While it's true that some people need the deep cleaning, the scam comes in because this deep cleaning used to be part of a regular cleaning. 30 years ago my cleanings all had the root scaling and planing. And always ended with the polish, now if you insist on "regular" cleaning they don;t do that. 25=17 years ago I went ahead with their new deep cleaning because the insurance I had covered it in fulland they said my pickets were 5-7's. They told me they'd do it in quads and deaden each section.Since I always try to do any tooth work without anesthesia because I'd rather have a little pain than a dead mouth, I said go ahead and try without. I had absolutely no pain whatsoever.Since I wasn't deadened I could tell what she was doing.She used some kind of electric tool and went under the gums which I recognized as being same tool they used to always use. They ended up doing the whole mouth since I didn't need anesthesia. I came back a week later and they repeated the treatment. They charged 500. per quad. Game me an electric toothbrush, a special mouthwash and an antibiotic liquid with a special top that allowed me to squirt under the gums. I used them all religiously and returned in 3 months. They measured my mouth again ( I had a new hygienist) and found all pockets with either the same, or greater depth!. I think the new hygienist didn't realize I had gone through the deep cleaning already and was about to try to talk me into it. So it's possible my gums had improved but I'll never know because the every time I went in for cleanings after that at other dentists they all recommended the deep cleaning. I never did because I had lost that great insurance but I had one feel bad for me that I couldn't afford it and looking around that no one was watching, took that took and went around part of my mouth. I pretended I didn't know what she was doing. (Also she did it knowing it wouldn't cause me any pain. hmmm) Had had some inflammation around a front crown, but it didn't help that either. So now almost 30 years later I seem to have the same 5-7cc pockets (they tell me) but still insist they do only a regular cleaning.. (Some get mad, some don't) I'm 67 and seem to be getting by fine.Just bothers me that can't get this as part of a regular cleaning, but I guess I'm getting by without it anyway. Yes, some others may need it, but it should be part of a regular cleaning with same cost. But one thing, if you decide to get it, get more than one estimate because the cost varies greatly.


Subject: Deep Cleaning and Bone Grafting

I had the nearly same experience as Ms Anne recently. They said I had periodontal disease, big pockets and did "scaling" and "deep cleaning" (although no inflamed gums, loose teeth, tilting teeth or getting long in the tooth - signs of periodontal disease). This was at a cost of over $2,000.00. On a follow-up six weeks later, they then said my pockets were deeper (7s) and I needed bone grating at a cost of $7,200.00! This was for 4 teeth (1 molar in the rear in each quadrant). I did not go ahead with it, but instead set out to get other opinions (I certainly did not have $7,200 laying around and dental insurance would only pay $1,200 on it).

I got second opinion, and guess what...they said they couldn't find any pocket deeper than 4 and that I did not need bone grafting. They also asked about the time frame as to when the cleaning was done and when the follow up was. When I told them, they said usually you wait 90 days to give the gums/teeth/bone time to heal. They asked me what I do for my teeth at home and I told them. They said just keep doing what you've been doing and maybe come back in a month or two and they would check them again, but that it looked good to them. They took their own x-rays rather than going by the ones I had gotten from the other dentist; showed me where the bone was and said it all looks good. I am appalled at what some in the dental field are doing to unsuspecting patients! It should be a crime!

Michael Holman

Subject: Deep Cleaning - Cost Ouch!

Dental Deep Cleaning - Cost Ouch!!!!

Dental deep cleaning is similar to a regular cleaning, but it cleans down below your gum line. Yesterday, I paid $808.00 out-of-pocket for a deep cleaning and scaling. This was the discounted insurance price. The retail price would have been $1560.00, which I was told was comparable to what other dentists charge.

Deep cleaning uses the same tools as a regular cleaning and takes a little longer. My total time in the chair for two sessions was about one hour and fifteen minutes, including preparation. Dental assistants performed the deep cleaning. No dentist was present at any time. The deep cleaning did not feel any different than a regular cleaning. If I had not been told it was a deep cleaning, I would not have know the difference, except that the second dental assistant used a topical anesthetic.

I go to the dentist twice a year, brush regularly twice a day with an Oral B toothbrush, use a Waterpik, and use a good mouthwash twice a day. I am old and my gums have receded, but they are not inflamed, do not bleed, and none of my teeth are loose. I do not floss regularly. I will add flossing to my daily routine.

I do not mind paying for value received. I do not believe I received $808.00 of value for my deep cleaning. The cost was far too great for the service. My old dentist retired and sold her practice. The dentists who bought her practice have greatly expanded the practice with many more assistants, who push more and more services.


Subject: Dentists have become as bad as mechanics

I have been out of work for almost a year and I went to a local Dentist because I wanted to get my 22 year old and myself a cleaning . The Dentist had a $39 special for a checkup and a cleaning. They did a gum check and I had a number of 4s. It was better than the checkup I had 8 months earlier with my dentist where I has some 5s. I asked then if I needed a deep cleaning and my dentist said no. I also went on line and saw the American Dental Association recommended deep cleaning if pockets were greater than 4. I realized I was being scammed and they wouldn't give me a regular cleaning. I bought their "insurance" a week earlier and called my credit company to dispute the bulk of the charge. I know from experience I don't need a deep cleaning just like I don't need the $1,500 of work on my car recommended when I go to the tire store. I have my honest mechanic check it out so I can tell they are lying. This Dentist is just down the street but I will never go there again.

David Platt

Subject: Not worth it?

I understand deep cleanings are expensive and it can be hard to get the money, but it is very worth it. everything is more expensive these days so then what? Not going to take care of your teeth? Periodontal disease is very real and not only leads to tooth loss, but also heart diseases, arthrosclorosis, lung problems, nemonia, diabetes, intestinal problems, and the list goes on. If you simply can't afford it-- I agree that sucks. But if you would rather save your money for something more worth it, you may not be smiling, or even be around to enjoy this more worth it thing. Are you worth it? Yes you are! I've experienced several dentists who have terrible bedside manner and were harsh in their applications, such as poorly administered shots (a shot should take about a minute or more to do for each one. If they do it quickly it ruptures cappilaries and gum tissues-- that is the pain that lasts for weeks, not so much the procedure, but the procedure could leave you sensitive for a while regardless of the shots). Also any dentist who refuses to give nitrous oxide when asked is a biased fool, and I refuse to go to a dentist without it. If they would do the research they would know the great benefits for the patient. For me it makes all of my visits tolerable, and sometimes even exhilarating. If they'd rather have you pleading to stop the torture, then that's not a dentist for me. If you can find a good dentist stick with them, but by all means do not think deep cleaning is a scam. It will serve the longevity of your teeth and your life!


Subject: It's Business

I've been blessed with excellent teeth all my life. But as I age all good things come to an end. Back in the late 70s I made around $30k per year and enjoyed a dental benefit of $0 deductible for all services. I also had an honest dentist. Back then, without insurance a cleaning was $30. Due to the continuously eroding economy in American society, the 70s were my highest income years.

Last dental insurance I had was in 2013. That plan offered 2 cleanings and one exam per year provided from a limited list of dentists. I hadn't had a cleaning in over a decade. My teeth were not giving me any trouble and had a good appearance. So, since I signed up for insurance, I thought I'd take advantage of the plan. Following the covered exam, I made an appointment for a cleaning.

Things have change since the 70s. The cleaning lasted about 20 minutes and was performed using ultrasonics. I never felt my teeth were cleaned nearly as well as my 70s experiences, and those cleanings could last well over an hour. Following the ultrasonics, the dentist said I needed to have my pockets checked. Fortunately, I had arrived with only five bucks in my pockets, so i didn't worry too much. Because of the 20 minute procedure, I was led to believe the pocket exam was included in the cleaning. It was not! The exam said I had pockets ranging from 3 - 6 mm with most in the 4-5 range, and that to avoid $12,000 of periodontal work and gum surgery I needed to act soon.

My half sister is a 30 year veteran hygienist in another city about a day's drive away. I reluctantly called her to ask about that. She said she'd get my records and have a look. A week later she called and said that my mouth was not bad at all, but graciously offered to do a deep cleaning out of love when her time was free and the facility was available. Six months later, I was in her chair. She's the best hygienist since the '70s and worked me over for nearly 2 hours. When we left, I asked her if that was a deep cleaning? She said that today what she performed is billed as a deep cleaning and added, "Yeah, I know; it used to be a regular cleaning service. It's business."


Subject: Comment on It's Business

Thank you for sharing your experience. I felt like crying. It's just so sad that we work so hard and pay for insurance but we keep hearing " your insurance doesn't cover it anymore." I won't go into the negatives I've experienced but I will say it seem all I'll be able to afford to do soon is just pull them all out and be done.


Subject: Concerned Parent

I know this may be off topic here but my daughter is getting a deep cleaning later the last time week. So does anyone know if she can anesthesia? She's 12.


Subject: Over-the-counter pain pills may do the trick

I received deep cleaning lately. One dentist scared me to received it immediately before doing anything. Another said "it would be beneficial." She never said the first one was wrong. (They were both doing business in the same town...) When two dentists said so..., I succumbed, although I floss everyday without bleeding. (Oh, it was my first visit after move into the town.) The hygienist who performed deep cleaning suggested me to try without anesthesia for the first operation, so I agreed. I took two pills of Alive about an hour prior to the operation. The procedure went on without pain, thus without anesthesia - two quads at a time, two visits total, only with Alive. It took about an hour altogether for both cleaning operations by the same hygienist in my case. If I were you, I would try popping pain pills first, and see. If I still have pain, I can always address my discomfort. The dentist would be glad to take care of my pain right away.


Subject: Please get a second opinion

Please get a second opinion about this unless you know your dentist and trust him/her 100% and have a fabulous history with him/her. I mean, are you sure she needs a deep cleaning at age 12? Also, I wouldn't want my own child under general anesthesia. Last...please stay in the room with her. There is no sensible reason for the parent to be kept out.


Subject: How to treat and reduce pockets without deep cleaning?

I have a few 5 mm pockets in a few back teeth. I don't want to get the expensive scaling and planing because I want a conservative approach, and I read that getting deep cleaning can actually serve to further detach the gums from the teeth.

If it's not 7 mm, I don't think it's necessary. 5-6 mm seems to be borderline. I don't want it if I don't have to. I would rather reduce the pockets from 5 mm to 4 mm with more normal techniques like regular dental cleaning visits, mouthwash, and flossing. Is that possible?


Subject: srp cleanings

srp cleanings are recommended to patients who have periodontal pockets that are deeper than 4mm and there is bleeding present. Deep cleanings are non surgical procedures meaning that there are no incisions. If calculus/tartar deposits that are located subgingivally are not removed by scaling, the new plaque/ bacteria that is produced daily in the mouth will attach to those rough surfaces that tartar provides. Therefore the gingiva is unable to heal properly and the area continue to be infected. A great tool to use after a deep cleaning to prevent regression is the use of a Waterpik or water flosser. The water pressure can reach the deep pockets and remove debris. A Regular cleanings or prophy is not the best way to treat moderate to advanced gum disease/ periodontitis. Is like placing a band aid on a deep wound.


Subject: deep cleaning

im so afraid of getting this done i've looked online and heard some horror stories and i just need reassurance can anyone help me out truthful


Subject: deep cleaning

I personaly have not had it done but i do not like the dentist at all i have have 4 deep cavities treated and used oral concious sedation and it works miracles now i do not have such a huge fear of getting any work done if i need it currently have 6 month braces on about to get them taken off in another month. Look into it its awsone hope this helps


Subject: deep cleaning..

my prior dentist retired... the new team had every gadget you can think of. also, THREE OFFICES,, selected by hi end ,zip code no."s .. $$$ the retiring dentist said " staff will stay the same." the new dentists replaced all the staff with "BABES !!" ( he may have selected them from a hi end fashion magazine ?) after we paid our share, in full, at time of service, he sent another bill.. his office stated that our insurance did no pay, enough, after he determined the insurance in advance..$$$ we paid the "after bill," but never returned..new dentist sells "deep cleaning." $$


Subject: The problem is its nonsensical pricing

Deep cleaning is a necessary treatment for people with certain clinical conditions. Nonetheless, I have hard time to see any sensible bases for its seemingly average price tag of $1,000+. I've received deep cleaning once, which required me of two visits. In the first visit there was about a 30 minute cleaning operation and in the second about 20 minutes. Total cleaning operation was about an hour altogether done by a hygienist. According to American Dental Association, hygienist license requires "at least 2 years" mostly community college or tech school based programs. Some university based programs end with a bachelor's degree. I wonder who else could charge nearly one grand for an hour of labor? Regular cleaning costs around $70 - $120 including checkup by a dentist. How could we make sense the ten times price hike for DEEP cleaning? Just wondering...

Mexico Traveler

Subject: Better to pay for the work in Mexico...

After viewing some of these comments and hearing about how much a deep cleaning costs in my area ($330 USD per quadrant), I am very glad I have always had my dental work done in Mexico. For the $1320 of a deep cleaning I can fly to one of my favorite cities in Mexico (Guadalajara), go see a very well educated, professional (and good looking) female dentist on the same day I fly in if I wish, get my dental work done for under $100 USD, have a few margaritas later to take down any swelling and be back in the U.S. in a couple of days if I want to enjoy a weekend down there - Chapala is very nice and there are a lot of ex-pat Americans and Canadians living there.

If you really want you can get your X-rays done here in the U.S., then take them with you to Mexico.

The only way things will change here in the U.S. with the rip-offs from US dentists is to go elsewhere and 'starve' them out here. Otherwise, you're only giving these dentists in the US like that Palmer guy who killed Cecil the lion the money to go and do such terrible things while they rip you off.


Subject: Agree with going to Mexico

Two years ago I too was told I needed a deep cleaning. Was told it would take a little longer to perform so there wasn't time on that day to perform it. So when I went to schedule the deep cleaning I found out it would cost $950 +. I said I don't think so and left. I started to do research about getting a deep cleaning in Mexico and researching which dentists offered what cleanings and at what price. I decided to get a deep cleaning and also the laser treatment (something offered only by a few dentists in the USA). The total cost of a deep cleaning and laser treatment was $390. That also included a follow up after 2 weeks where the dentist redid some of the pockets with laser at no additional cost. The dentist was great and spoke great english. That was two years ago and my gums are in great shape and I just have normal cleanings performed and each time I ask how are my gums and they say great. Now I get all my needed dental work done in Mexico. The last thing was a crown that cost me $160 and in the states was quoted as $1500 +.

Guadalupe Sweatman

Subject: Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your experience with the dentist in Mexico. I was about to pay 1,200 $ for deep cleaning here in west Covina, Ca. But I was going to make payments, of course. I would like to have the address of your dentist in Mexico.

m michele

Subject: deep cleaning

I went to the to have 2 teeth checked due to teeth being broken off. Dentist took xrays and said both needed pulled then started pressuring me to have graft and implants. Had teeth cleaned then more x rays which now being told need full mouth deep cleaning. 2 teeth still not pulled. Have paid out of pocket for these multiple xrays. Sounds like a scam.

Vinita Vargis

Subject: greedy dentists

I haven't found an honest dentist yet. Some of my experiences are, they have misdiagnosed, overcharged, sent false claims to insurance company, pressured to do unnecessary work, done illegitimate work, so that insurance refused to pay. In one of the dentists office, dental assistant done majority of the work for placing a partial crown, and she was so rude. I should have complained to the Dental Board. In Arizona, there's a dentist in every block. Most of them are waiting to grab your money. I'm scared to go to one now. I have so many bad experiences with them.


Subject: Greedy Dentists

I agree with you that most dental offices do overcharge and seem to be greedy. I work as a manager for a wonderful dentist. She is kind and non aggressive with her treatment recommendations. Also, I should mention that our prices are amazing. Our SRP's cost $500 total for all 4 quads plus irrigation to help get to the areas our tools can't get to. I have been in the field for almost 15 years and by far this is the best office in the Phoenix area, or any where else for that matter, I have ever worked at.


Subject: Greedy Dentists

I agree with you that most dental offices do overcharge and seem to be greedy. I work as a manager for a wonderful dentist. She is kind and non aggressive with her treatment recommendations. Also, I should mention that our prices are amazing. Our SRP's cost $500 total for all 4 quads plus irrigation to help get to the areas our tools can't get to. I have been in the field for almost 15 years and by far this is the best office in the Phoenix area, or any where else for that matter, I have ever worked at.

Mary James

Subject: Julie DeLuca Post

Are you Loca? Of course there are unscrupulous dentists. If there weren't many it wouldn't be so hard for people to find a good dentist. Why would people say they have had bad experiences in offices and with dentists if the haven't? Its true that some people many not know or want to be bothered with the details of taking care of their mouths; however, have you seen all the people walking around with teeth that have been whiten to the point that they now have a kind of blueish tint? I have. Its very sad when you live in a society littered with so-called professionals that will TELL YOU and have you do ANYTHING just to make a buck, but its true. They do. And really? Who is it that isn't handling the truth well? People posting their experiences or?

Julie DeLuca

Subject: Scaling and Root Planing AKA Deep Cleaning

Ok. I've read all of these posts pertaining to the topic. I am a dental hygienist and have been for the last 21 years and also a clinical Dental Hygiene instructor. Some of the things I have read are true and some are not even close! One of the main problems with this whole topic is that everyone has an opinion, which I can appreciate, but in reality, there are facts in this profession that many people don't want to accept- one being gum disease. Do you know what it actually is? I educate my patients every single day and I explain the etiology and risk factors and how to treat it. It is then the patient's responsibility to do the treatment or not. I don't ever try to make them "feel bad" if they don't want to do the treatment or cannot afford the treatment. I even see patients who have refused "deep cleanings" and have up to 9mm pockets+ with bone loss and tooth mobility and they are okay with that- they know what the end result will be and choose to do nothing except get regular cleanings- well okay then! So be it! After all, it is their mouth, not mine. So if there is a Dentist or Dental Hygienist making a patient feel bad about not having "deep cleanings" done well then shame on them. However, could there be a possibility that the patient can't handle the truth? I know patients do not like to hear they have periodontal disease, but the sad fact is that most people do have some form of gum disease whether they like to hear it or not. I clean approximately 8 - 10 patients a day and I'm lucky if up to half have healthy mouths- but that is my job- to clean them, regardless. My hope is that with each regular cleaning that the patient's gum condition will improve through my efforts and their efforts at home, which is so important, but the fact of the matter is that most people do not or will not floss and because of this will increase the severity of their situation. If you were to look up periodontal disease in a dental book and not on the internet, it might be a real eye-opener. I'm sure there are Dentists and Hygienists out there who are not true to our code of ethics and are trying to "make money" but if that is the case, you can simply leave the practice, there are several more that would be willing to work for you and be a better fit. There is too much misinformation and exaggerations out there too. Unbelievable! I am glad to say I have never worked for an office that tries to "make money" doing "unnecessary treatment" but it does get increasingly difficult to do our job each an every year trying to get the patients' dental insurance to cooperate and help the patient pay for the cost of dental procedures, which do have to increase annually, yeah, sorry...it is a business as well as a place that provides dental care- you know: paying the utilities, dental supplies, overhead, etc. Dental insurance was put into place in the 1950's and the calendar year maximum was approximately $1000. I would like those of you who are not familiar with this fact to look at your policy now. How much has your annual calendar year maximum gone up in the last 60+ years? Is it still $1000? $1500? $2000? The cost of dentistry has had to have gone up since the 50's but unfortunately for you, your dental insurance benefits have not. Okay now maybe you can see some of the trials the dental profession have to face when it comes to maximizing your benefits on things you really need for YOU- that's right- I said for YOU, not us. I can go on and on but maybe what people should do is find a friend or relative that has been working in this profession awhile and bend their ear a little, and also seek 2nd and 3rd opinions- it is your right. Since this is my profession, I defend it and am irritated and annoyed by the misinformation and barbaric comments. There are rotten, deceptive individuals in every profession so I would hope that consumers would voice their concern but please take the time to educate yourselves before expressing inaccurate opinions. The last thing I am going to say is directed at the comment which stated that we hygienists now use ultrasonic scalers to make our jobs easier and charge you more, etc. Let me just say, that is the most horrific statement I have ever heard in my 21 years of practice! Let me know how you feel bending over patients and scaling by hand 10 hours a day for 21 years and then get back to me. Do you realize how many hygienists' careers are cut short due to carpal tunnel syndrome from hand-scaling alone? Shame on you for that audacious comment! I have a huge following of patients because I am well-educated and have mastered my technique with the ultrasonic scaler. It is an improvement to hand-scaling the teeth alone by leaps and bounds. In fact, all of my patients that I use it on have seen increased gum health where they state they are not doing anything differently with their home care. It is for the benefit of the patient's gum health and it helps prolong us in our profession in which I won't apologize and my patients are thankful and relieved that I get to treat them for many more years to come.

Rosy S

Subject: to hygenist

1. After reading all these comments I no longer feel bad about paying 1,k for deep cleaning. I am 60 and I have issues, so even though they did the whole mouth I had enough 5 and 6's to be just fine with the entire clean.
(and my provider had the most gentle hands ever! whew!)
2. As a safety professional, I too worry about ergonomic issues in your profession. My regular dentist who is maybe 50 sometimes comes in with lower back pain so severe that he needs a cane. No one in my office has carpal tunnel, but I was intensely aware of the the wrist angle while cleaning.
3. I had two, 1.5 hr sessions. that is 3 hrs. $320/hr. To pass time I wondered about the overhead, the insurance and then how much my hygienist might earn for her time. Pretty sure less than $70/hr, which in the Bay area, is like a working wage.

so yeah for the professionals out there who do a great job--- and for patients, when your dental providers ask you to shift, they move you up and down, and need a little help for you, trust me, they are trying to protect their bodies from long term injury, too.

Frank Spotten

Subject: Scaling and root planing AKA Deep Cleaning

Why is it after the Economy crunch all of a sudden you he from everyone you know that they need a DEEP CLEANING for $2100 or more. But people in their eighty's and more are just now told they need one. They have seen a group of dentist in their time an no mention of this. Not even you may need this in the future. They just came out with the fact that some if not all of are parents that paid for braces for their children did not need to and you expect people to believe in you. I believe in the old rule. I don't care who you are IE, police, president, mayor who ever. You earn respect. As a police officer and I would respect what you represent but maybe not so much the person. When you first come out with you have 21 years in service for something that dose not mean much. I have met lawyers that been at their jobs for years but I would not trust them. Do you have the backing from your patient's and other dentist's? If so way to go. You are one of the few. But let me explain something to you. Saying you are a instructor in something dose not always say something good. Their are too many places out there in the work force that stick someone who has enough knowledge to get what is wanted to fill people in and they were given the job to keep them out of other people's way. A large number of your soon to be patient's
may have seen this first hand. Also why won't a lot of insurance pay anything for this treatment??


Subject: root scaling--be forewarned!

My dentist is a good friend and a great guy! I trust him! Even so, after 5 shots the incisions in the gum and the scaling caused the most pain I have ever experienced. He explained that inflamed tissue does not react as expected to the shots, and I should have been getting it under control with antibiotics before the OP. (I had been on antibiotics for 5 days before the OP.....)
Afterwards, I told him I want gas next time....he said they don't use that anymore because the nerves remember the pain....I don't really understand.
Someone here said to take a tylenol before the OP....If I ever do it again I will get Codeine tablets beforehand and take a diazepam for good measure, and get my girlfriend to drive me there in a semi-coma.
Can someone explain to me why, if they can do OPs everywhere else painlessly with local anesthesia, they can't control pain in the gums before going to work?


Subject: I had the procedure done too and without numbing at first.

I hate this procedure. It is more painful than when a Peridontist has to perform surgery on your gums to clear the disease. I even felt the Peridontist cut the gum after it was numbed too. I wish there were dentists who do these procedures when you are completely under.

violet johnson

Subject: response to destist mail

the health care system in the usa is ridiculously expensive any way especially coming from England and a former nurse I had meniscus repair $67.0000 !! and it wasn't repaired still had pain when I saw a second surgeon. about dentist I have the best dentist no pushing things you don't need I have been seeing him since I came to the USA 24 years ago, moved house thought I would find some one close to my new home wrong they were awful, went back to Dr licking in Sunnyvale California he will not do anything even when its suggested by the dental assistants excellent honest care


Subject: Just because he doesn't do

Just because he doesn't do things when even assistants recommend it means nothing. I've seen mouths ruined because their "great, nice honest dentist" just slapped on on the back and told them what they wanted to hear. Just to make them happy. Supervised neglect.

Chris M.

Subject: Dental Sclaing(Deep Cleaning)

I am 51 y/o male and have always took great care of my teeth outside of flossing daily. I go to the dentist every six months for a cleaning. Four years ago I let them talk me into a deep cleaning, at a cost of $700 that the insurance company did not pay for. I just went in for a regular cleaning and they are stating that I need another deep cleaning. WTF are they trying to do hit me up for a cleaning every 4-5 years. I have strong teeth, my gums don't bleed and I don't have pain issues with my gums or teeth. I am sure that I am being scammed into having another deep cleaning. The procedure is painful and uncomfortable, do I like paying people to inflict pain on me? I think not, I am thinking about reporting the dentist to the board of dentistry.


Subject: Dental Billing

A girl I dated worked for several dentist ....She is disgusted with how much over billing is involved... 98% of them are crooks!!!! They are experts in over billing and getting away with it...
They never pay thier bills and always being sued.....they have all thier houses,cars and boats and planes in TRUST ....
As for the "lab" they supposedly get thier crowns from...total scam.... They buy these box trays of various size crowns from CHINA dirt cheap and then they find the "closest" size to your tooth mold... Then when you come back complaining, they simply file it down till you stop complaining....
Thier job is to burn up your allowable yearly insuranace cieling on small stuff. so that when you do need work they can fully bill you directly...

Nita Vargi

Subject: Malpractices

Oh tell me about it. I have had so many bad experiences with dentists, none are truthful. I don't know why the Dental Board allow them to do malpractices. Please complain it to dental board. I have experienced overcharges, false claims, misdiagnosis, unnecessary work because of their greed. We do not need this kind of dental services. We need to stop these malpractices.

Debora Bolton DDS

Subject: Dentist Perspective

This article really saddens me. 99% of dentists went in to health care to help people. I believe this pervasive skepticism in health care stems from allowing business to run healthcare. Luckily dentistry has, for the most part, kept that out. Failure to diagnose periodontal disease is negligence because it is associated with many health problems. Your dental insurance will not pay for this service if it is not necessary. They require your X-rays for payment. If you don't trust your dentist, have them send a prior approval to your insurance or seek a second opinion. If you receive approval please get the procedure done. It is most important to find providers you trust.


Subject: Dental work sales

It is getting the way like the hygiene and dentist are all get commissions whenever they makes a good sale. And patients are all innocent victim to their authority. I was in dentist office this afternoon, the dentist did not check carefully on each tooth for the pocket, just roughly use tool checked few teeth then told me I have to do deep cleaning. Without my approval on this issue, she went to insurance claim office of their clinic very angrily and loudly describe the whole thing. I never experience any clinic so rude to patient. It is such a bad experience just because I did not agree to this $1000 deal.


Subject: dentists are money hungry, don't be naive

i'm under 30, when I was a child I did not have money for cleaning and yes I had some plaque built-up, yellowish stains, I used a tweezer and a needle to scratch it off :) and when I was an adult and lived in Western Europe (where doctors are much better than North Americans, like it or not, it's a fact, I've been to several countries, even in Eastern Europe dentists and plastic surgeons are 100% better) those dentists only recommended MAXIMUM 1 cleaning a year!!! they were not drooling after my money and I must say there a cleaning is NOT $150-170 like here, it's around 50-maximum 100 bucks. If you have good hygiene then 1x a year is fine, if u don't have good hygiene then u could go EVERY day for a cleaning and u will still have smelly breath, cavities (cleaning won't really prevent cavity) and gum disease. Oh and after pregnancy my teeth went bad, I donno why, maybe stress and had no time brushing twice only once, so I had gotten 9 cavities fixed (1 was screwed up and didn't work so had to switch dentist!)and a root canal. My new dentist is trying to force me to have the 170 bucks cleaning 4 x a year while only 2 is paid by my insurance, I'm not insane, she even stated she would PRE-CHARGE me at my next visit two installments of 85 bucks, WTF ???????????? How dares she forcing me to have it, even for free I do NOT want it, she poked my gums and they all bled but I know it's vitamin deficiency !!! 99% you have to take vitamins, brush2x, floss daily and rinse with salt water&essential oil (peppermint, tea tree oil, any) mix, you don't need a mouthwash bcuz those are all chemical garbage. When dentists want to force the 20 bucks fluoride rinse on me, I REFUSE! It's very harmful to the braincells in case you swallow it, so is it for the environment, lakes, marinelife, and ends up back in our tap water supply. Mind you, I prefer buying sometimes(every 2-3 yrs) the home whitening kit, it's less painful and cheap too, as once I had a proper kit from a dentist that was so strong it burnt my gums(so did harming enamel)


Subject: deep cleaning etc.

Somebody help I went to the doctor to check up my teeth and gums since I haven't been to a dentist in over 8-9 years but I do brush and floss (do to payment issues,no insurance) but the point here is they said it'll be 3,000 after everything and I just wanna know if that's too much or not thanks.

Patricia Hardy

Subject: Cost of my deep cleaning

My cost is $137. Per quad. Their is 4 quads in your mouth. This is with a discount card. I need 2 crowns, one with a root canal. One crown is $827. The other with root canal is $1370. They also found 6 cavities. Some are $76 and $59. $144. For exam with both types of x-rays. It can add up, depending what needs to be done. This dentist office gives me the completed cost a head of time in writing. I hope this helps.


Subject: Swollen gums?

Are your gums swollen or is it paining a lot? Deep cleaning is just a way if your gums has excessive plagues which cant get rid of by normal cleaning. A way to extract money, 3000$ :O is like a waste totally not worth.

andrea allred

Subject: deep cleaning scam

I am a person in my 60s but have always taken care of my teeth. I have never had signs of any "disease" and I've had XLNT dentist. So last year I was also given this "You need deep cleaning - or else" thing by this rude hygenist. I told her I was skeptical and that my previous hygenists had always picked out plaque so hard that my gums had hurt the next day - and that THAT WAS WHAT I THOUGHT I WAS PAYING FOR!! $92 (I pay cash) and I expect the damned things done right! She was rude and said "look for that 92, I basically take off any plaque above the gumline and polish your teeth". Well I shouldn't have any plaque above the gun line if I'm cleaning and flossing regularly - right???!! AND to top it off, they now have this high pressure water cleaning which really dislodges a lot of below the gunline matter, saving them a lot of hand work they used to have to do. So they work less, and charge more!

I have been so upset that I was scared by fear tactics and made to feel bad about my teeth that I now am avoiding the dentist period. So what do I do now? Why should they do a reg cleaning for $92 when they can scare me and get another $50 each time to do the job??? I have been on the verge of reporting her to the ADA, but the dentist himself is nice and I like him. I also know she works on commission (she complained once about it).

SO. Bottom line. With all this ad economy the past 10 years, dentist's fees have gone up over 10 X. A filling used to be $63, it is now what ? $263? A lot of this we can thank the insurance companies for. The ADA keeps figuring out ways to get more from your insurance and at the same time getting more from you. So as a cash payer, I can not keep up with what they get from insurance.

If everyone paid in cash we would not see this ridiculous rise in dental rates. People with insurance do whatever the dentists say - they don't pay, or a small co-fee (sometimes) so they don't care if they are over treated. Then we paying cash can not afford what the insurance pays for them, the the dentists only want the people with good insurance.

One dentist said to me once, "you have $1500/yr on your dental insurance - let's figure out a way to use it up". he pulled out good fillings and replaced them when it wasn't really needed.

GREED. I've bought a high pressure water cleaner myself. I'll just hope for the best. But then what if I get a cavity?? they won't fill it unless I do the expensive cleanings. Blackmail on top of greed.

Cynthia Wilson

Subject: uninsured dental patients

Try going to a dental school operated by your area college or university. They usually charge less because the students are learning and they need practical experience. If you need a deep cleaning, the care will likely be overseen by a periodontist, who specializes in gum disease.


Subject: deep cleaning

My wife and I just got back from the dentist. He said I need deep cleaning for my bottom teeth. Ok maybe he right I have not been to a dentist over year. My wife just need a regular cleaning and she has not been to a dentist over 2 years.


Subject: Anyone in the dental field

Anyone in the dental field knows this quote is so untrue!!!!!..

"If you went in for a routine exam and were not experiencing any pain or discomfort, there shouldn’t be an urgent need to get something done,” he says.

If there's pain you've gone into the very expensive side of dentistry. Periodontal disease is not painful in and of itself. This article is misleading in so many degrees.


Subject: Deep Cleaning... Scam?

We moved to a newly built house in a part of town without many residents yet. So when we needed our checkups we pretty much picked the dentist closest to our house. My husband went in and was recommended to get a "Deep Cleaning" because of... reasons? He said they kept using the word "disease" when referring to his gums and figured "Doc knows best" so he took the $350 cleaning (which involved a topical numbing of the gums but the same $40 scraping sounds of any other cleaning). He was curious if what they did was legit so he told me to keep aware because it felt like this place is hurting for business so maybe they're pushing things just for the money.

A few days later was my exam. They told me I also need "Deep Cleaning" and also needed a filling replaced. And you know what I did? I paid them $400 and let them go to work.

The reason I let them do this was because my last few dentists were so rude. They took me in, looked at xrays and then ran out the room without saying a word. These guys were super nice and pleasant so I trusted them. But in retrospect then I feel like a tool. Did one of us need "Deep Cleaning"? Maybe. Did BOTH of us? Probably not. I guess we'll find out in 3 months when they dip into our wallets again.


Subject: Cost

Mine said it would be $1,000. $300 would be great!


Subject: deep cleaning

I went to this dentist for a regular cleaning and they started to measure my gum pockets and took around 20 xrays. Then told me I have peridontal disease and showed a video and won't do regular cleaning without consenting for deep cleaning and charged 1200. collected 500 from me eventhough my insurance pays 80 %. When I questioned the calculation the rude girl got mad and I heard gossiping about me. I was charged $500 for 1 hour work by a dentist and when I asked to see the dentist she was too busy. I wish I should not have done this at this greedy office.

Dr Manjitsingh Bhalla

Subject: Teeth Cleaning

Deep dental cleaning although provides good results should be performed when needed. Your dentist whom you trust can be your best adviser. Ultimately, it’s one’s decision if to approach or not! In midst of some uncertainty, the cases and practical tips presented herein are just amazing, hoping to be much helpful in deciding when to actually seek for dental deep cleaning; preserving further damage to rest of oral area; great write-up!


Subject: Deep Cleaning Blackmail

I've been going to the same dental office for eight years. I also thought I was coming in for a routine cleaning only to have the hygienist tell me I needed a deep cleaning. I questioned the need considering this is the first time it was ever mentioned and I'd been coming in regularly every six months. I declined the procedure, and the hygienist said she wouldn't give me a regular cleaning until I signed a "medical release form" absolving the dental group of any responsibility if ANYTHING went wrong with my teeth! I've been to many dentists over the course of my life, but this hygienist insisting on this procedure was way over the top. I asked to speak with a dentist but was told they were "all busy" with other patients. This whole process struck me too as overly aggressive marketing for a procedure that would cost me an additional $800-$1,000 out of pocket. The only choice I was given was deep cleaning, or sign the medical release to get a regular cleaning. I never got to see the dentist and, as I wouldn't sign the release, I left without the cleaning.

Tina Floyd

Subject: Deep Cleanings

One secret I always tell my patients who can't afford deep cleanings for their spouse who is not covered, because I see only active duty military, is go to a dental hygiene school. The dental hygiene school is not making any money off of telling you exactly what you need and often times it is free. If your insurance only covers cleanings every 6 months go the other two times to the school. Bottom line not all dentist are crooks and some of you do need deep cleanings and not all offices tell you because it is easier to do a quick cleaning, where dentists have only 270 hours according to the American dental association on perio disease and dental hygienist have at least 2500 hours. Dentist are the drill team Hygienist are the Health team. If a person doesn't get cavities, chances are they are prone to perio disease. It is basic chemistry our saliva is acid(cavity) prone or alkaline(tarter build up--perio disease prone). It is just our genetic make up, but we can help maintain this by brushing and flossing and if you are prone to cavities add fluoride. Hopefully every office is perio charting (measuring your bone levels) at least every year. For dental hygienist part of passing boards is your ability to do this and be with in 1mm. Many dentist don't do this and have not developed this skill. Trust the hygienist and not the ones who get commission or sugar coat and don't tell you the truth. Use an electric tooth brush (it can be a spin brush) and floss if you hate flossing check out the water flosser that hooks to your shower.
I have been practicing for over eight years 40hour a week and now run my own Dental hygiene practice...... I want to help customers with out having a dentist dictate the amount of time I spend and how much I charge.
Tina Floyd Registered Dental Hygienist Alternative Practice.....

Shannon Roberts

Subject: Location for dental services

Dear Ms. Floyd,
You have a very impessive and informative missive. May I ask, where are you located? Would you have any advice on how to find the equivalent of yourself in the northern califonia area say Chico, San Francisco-bay area? Many thanks for your information.

Shannon Roberts


Subject: Periodontal/ Gum disease

Gum disease is real and affects more like 80% or more of the adult population. There are guidelines and criteria set out on how to case type a patient and how to treat them is mostly the same from MOST preventative minded dentists. You would be suprised how often we as hygienists are encouraged or forced to just do a "cleaning" by our patients, by our bosses, by insurance, and even by ourselves because a patient doesn't understand or value their teeth or the procedure. I pride myself on ethical treatment. I do my very best to gather as much information as I can through X-rays , exams and full mouth probing ( measuring pockets). Some of the above mentioned comments note that hygienists are over treating or over selling dentistry. That CAN be true, but in most states a hygienist cannot diagnose treatment needs ( no matter if there is a 12 mm posset or a big hole in your tooth I am not able to diagnose by law ( in Arkansas). I have a four year degree in dental hygiene and nearly 20 years of dental experience between assisting and hygiene. I have worked with over 16 dentists ( counting temp
Work). I am proud to say that for the most part all of the drs I have worked with are very preventative minded. And the primary goal is to keep our patients healthy and help them retain as many natural teeth as possible for a lifetime. Just because no one has ever mentioned gingivitis,( swelling and bleeding that you may not be aware of) or radiographic evidence of bone loss along with pocket depths does not mean they are not there. There as many non complacent dentists out there who just do what insurance covers bc they don't want to do the extra work to have claims paid and benefits used for the best I retest of the patient and the fact that they don't want to anger their patients by charging them their percentage ( good insurance often only covers a percentage of "major" work. And the term "cleaning " is so outdated and misunderstood"). Many children have bleeding gums and gingivitis. And most of the time this can be resolved with better product choices and more In tensive care by the patient at home. Adult patients who don't floss or who smoke often don't know they have inflammation and bleeding bc they never clean below the gums at home or brush them
Well enough and smoking causes the surface blood vessels in your mouth to become damaged and smokers often times do not bleed even with advanced stages of gum disease. Most of you reading this if you have made it this far are concerned about your mouths. Dental periodontal probing is a much underused tool. I start spot probing my teen patients bc of danger of juvenile periodontitis. Taking Probe depths is a very difficult thing to learn to do. I have often used pressure probes to measure the force used and I recommend offices periodically have drs and hygienists do this to calibrate across multiple providers that the same measurements will be obtained on the same patients no matter who takes them. Too little force results in an inaccurate depth and too much punctures the JE. ( junction all epithelium--- the bottom of the pocket". Having probe depths taken should not be extremely painful not should be barely noticeable in a healthy mouth, slightly tender with gingivitis and possibly uncomfortable and slightly painful with deeper pockets/ more advanced stages of gum disease.
Pocket depths when accurate don't lie and neither do X-rays. The true questions and discussion here should be what type of dentistry do you want? Preventative, fix the worst and deal with it later, or emergency care? Next ask yourself what kind if a dentist is treating you? Are they preventative minded? Are they concerned with your health as a whole? What seems to be the goals of your hygienist? Are they spit shining PTs and sending them on their way or ante they evaluating your unique situation and treating you an treatment planning for you as an individual? I cannot tell you how many teens and children I see with heavy calculus/ tartar calcified deposits. Poor brushing habits, mouth breathing, and offices who just polish only are the causes. As well as patients who are not seen regularly. I see many young adults who had no dental care between high school and finishing college. Many of these patients have Gingivitis and early stages Of gum disease. As we age our likely hood of having gum disease increases. Heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems and medications can also affect the health of the gums as can alcohol and tobacco use of any kind. Dry mouth affects oral health. I could go on for days. I hope when a patient sets in my chair that they say, no one has ever spent that much time assessin the health of my mouth nits my primary responsibility to document and reevaluate the patients level
Of oral health each year. I also do my best to not over treat and to take into consideration factors influencing the success of my patients oral treatment. My goal is to get your mouth healthy and teach you how to keep it that way and next
To see how often you need my services to maintain that health for a lifetime. CAN I "just clean your teeth". As in scape scrape ,
Polish rinse and send you on your way? Yes, but if your underlying oral condition is diseased that is negligent and neglectful on my part and serves no benefit to you whatsoever. You leave with the same disease you walked in with. And by the way it's fraudulent, just as fraudulent as charging out for periodontal services when they are not needed ( over treatment) . Dentistry does not fit into a cookie cutter mold. When you truly need periodontal (deep cleaning) treatment the dr and hygienist should be able to show you in your mouth, by probe depths, and on x- rays how they came up with this information that lead to a "deep cleaning". There are so many variables and we are constantly changing them as well. I would be glad to answer any questions and encourage you to ask questions of your dentist and hygienists. The good ones will be glad to explain further and makeing sure that you understand how you got to the disease point you are in is one of the most critical steps in getting you back as healthy as possible.


Subject: New dentist, new hygienist, say I need deep cleaning

My dentist that I'd been seeing for 26 years retired recently and another dentist who teaches at the local dental school bought his practice. I like this new guy very much. He just did a crown for me and it is perfect. I am a wussy patient and he is perfectly willing to let me use nitrous oxide, understanding that when I am not anxious I am a better patient.

I am 60 years old and my former dentist never did a perio probe. I just had one done by the new hygienist and "PD>alert" in 20 teeth, with 6+ in four. They say I need a deep cleaning. The dentist says I should wait till after the new year when insurance kicks in because it is expensive. My insurance is not great, it only covers $1000/year. I am having a second crown replaced and am paying out of pocket because I've maxed out my insurance.

I have a copy of my perio chart and x-rays because I am relocating and this way when I find a new dentist I can provide this. This dental office has an older clientele and does not specialize in cosmetic dentistry, but rather, in dental health.

I don't want to have an unnecessary procedure, but I am willing to pay for one that will help me keep my teeth. I come from long-lived stock and my parents both had endless trouble with their teeth. Should I let this guy do it before I move, or wait till I move and get a second opinion? Will a second opinion even matter if thisprocedure is so profitable?

Mel Naylor RDH

Subject: Periodontal disease

PERFECTLY WORDED! Have your hygienist show you the calculus Spurs on the X-rays. Have her show you how the measuring probe drops into the pocket. My office is all about patient education. You know not only WHAT you're having done but also WHY!


Subject: Bias Article

This article is very bias and as a dental professional, I would like to comment that I often have new patients come to our office with no knowledge from their previous dentist about their periodontal condition. When I mention the bone loss on their x-rays they say, "Oh, but I just want a 'regular cleaning.'" It is difficult for us because we don't want to say that the last office may have not made it a major concern. Regarding the question about a nineteen year old needing a deep clean, it is very possible. Periodontal disease is strongly genetic and affects at least 50% of the U.S. population.
If you are a patient and concerned that your dentist is recommending SRP (Scaling and root planing) and it may not be necessary, ask questions!
Question 1: Can I see my x-rays? Have the doctor show you where your bone level is as opposed to where the bone height should be. You can also ask to see if there are possible spots of calculus (tartar) but keep in mind some calculus is not always seen on an x-ray
Question 2: What are my periodontal measurements?
A dentist or hygienists should NEVER recommend SRP without a full periodontal chart. They can be different but usually consist of six measurements around each tooth. 1-3mm is a healthy pocket and 4mm typically means there is some inflammation. After 4mm there is bone and attachment loss. If a patient has a lot of calculus buildup, typically these readings can be skewed because the probe is hitting calculus so the numbers should actually be deeper!
Question 3: What is SRP and what is it removing?
Have them explain this procedure. It can seem costly because it is just that, a procedure. It is not a "cleaning." It is treating a disease while a regular prophy (cleaning) is done to prevent disease.
Question 4: What are my risk factors for this disease?
Genetics, past or current smoking, diabetes, heart disease, poor home care, lack of seeing a dentist regularly are just a handful of reasons why a person may be affected by periodontal disease.
I only recommend SRP for the specific pockets that are affected. We look at which pockets are bleeding and which are deeper than 4mm. Bleeding is a strong indicator of disease and in response to the dentist in the article that said "If you're not experiencing pain...then it isn't urgent," most people do not feel this disease.
I hope this helps people understand about SRP and why it the first step to treating periodontal disease. But I also hopes it helps you to ask questions to make you feel more confident in the dentist that you chose for your care!

Diane W Drane

Subject: If you have pockets over 4mm

If you have pockets over 4mm and your gums bleed you need Deep Cleaning. Your dental health is related to heart disease and diabetes. Pockets over 4mm without bleeding is ok.


Subject: Gum disease

Gum disease is a chronic infection affecting the bone around your teeth and can effect your overall health. Proving depths 5 mm and above indicate bone loss. Bleeding found during the exam is the hygienist finding holes in the gum tissue already caused by the bacterial infection you have. Many offices are lax in checking for this disease which can account for you being healthy one visit and 6 mo later at a new office being told you have disease. Most hygienists do not get paid on commission so there is no benefit for her to tell you that you have a disease It is actually easier to tell you that you are healthy than to tell you that you have a chronic inflammatory infection - which is why so many offices don't tell you. Most offices are honest. Many insurances that your employer picks for you do not cover all of this procedure. It doesn't mean it is not needed. Your employer just chose to not provide the coverage for you. Please do not allow articles like these or the advice of friends to sway your medical decisions. Go for 2nd and 3rd opinions.


Subject: Gum disease

Gum disease is a chronic infection affecting the bone around your teeth and can effect your overall health. Proving depths 5 mm and above indicate bone loss. Bleeding found during the exam is the hygienist finding holes in the gum tissue already caused by the bacterial infection you have. Many offices are lax in checking for this disease which can account for you being healthy one visit and 6 mo later at a new office being told you have disease. Most hygienists do not get paid on commission so there is no benefit for her to tell you that you have a disease It is actually easier to tell you that you are healthy than to tell you that you have a chronic inflammatory infection - which is why so many offices don't tell you. Most offices are honest. Many insurances that your employer picks for you do not cover all of this procedure. It doesn't mean it is not needed. Your employer just chose to not provide the coverage for you. Please do not allow articles like these or the advice of friends to sway your medical decisions. Go for 2nd and 3rd opinions.


Subject: deep cleaning no thanks

Tried a new dentist today that is closer to where I work. Thought I was coming in for a routine cleaning only to have the hygienist tell me almost right off the bat, "Uh oh, you have plaque on your teeth. You need a deep cleaning!" Needless to say, I declined the procedure. I am in my 40s and have been to my share of dentists and have never had one insist on this procedure, much less even bring this up. Yes, I have plaque on my teeth. I'm a lazy flosser. That's why I came in for a cleaning. Every other time I've had my teeth cleaned, the dentists/hygienists I've been to got the gunk off the usual way and my mouth felt great. I rarely get cavities, and I don't have gum disease. Struck me as aggressive marketing of the worst sort. So instead of the deep cleaning, they still ended up insisting that I have an "intermediate" cleaning that cost $70 more that a regular cleaning -- an extra amount I had to pay for out of pocket because my insurance only covered the routine cleaning. This entailed the use of some sort of high pressure water tool but excluded the polishing, so my mouth doesn't even feel fresh and clean. And they think I'm going to come back in 3 months so they can see if I still might be in need of the deep cleaning? You've gotta be kidding. The dentist didn't even look my mouth.


Subject: periodontal disease

Skipping your periodic exam and cleanings can account for the situation of a deep cleaning. Tartar stars to build up in 18 hours naked to the eye. I'm saying you may have needed this deep cleaning and periodontist. Always seek another opinion if your leery. I've seen patients that where misinformed about there dental health all due to a practice being too conservative also.


Subject: Periodontal Scams

This very thing just happened to me this week. I moved to a new area for a new job, and attempted to choose a new dentist I could go to. Because a new job and the move for the new job, I hadn't seen a dentist in about a year and a half.

Because of my work, and my own decisions about insurance, I have very good dental insurance.

I set up an appointment with a dental practice not too far from my job. I was pleased that I could then continue regular cleanings and exams.

They took a ton of digital x-rays. Fair enough, I thought. I'm a new patient. On the other hand, I knew well that they could be reimbursed fro these through my insurance. But I wanted to trust them.

But after the dental tech finished the x-rays, the "dentist" came in, and began an "exam." My gums still hurt from this, two days later. He kept speaking about "bleeding," but my gums have never bled.

After he finished, he told me I would need to schedule and appointment with a periodontist (one of two in the area), and that I had gum disease. Yet less than two years previous, I had not had all these "pockets" he was speaking about. I'd been going to a great dentist in the WDC area.

I think it's a scam. And I think my new "dentist" gets kickbacks to channel people to this supposed periodontal savior who's now going to keep my teeth from falling out.

I have a really hard time believing that I could go from a great checkup with my previous dentist to a diagnosis of periodontal disease in a year and a half. Not much has changed in the way that I clean my teeth. And they've always been fine.

Further, I think the attraction of my great dental insurance is a lure. I think the whole thing's a contrived attempt to make money.

Anyone else with an experience like this?


Subject: deep scale cleaning pressure

I went to a new dentist office for my routine cleaing. I have went to same dentist for years, always taken good care of my teeth brushing even at work. Flossing could be better. In any case, the hygenist immediately came on strong with pictures enlarged of my teeth and all the treatment I needed to prevent tooth loss and overall health. Brochures, more talking, and could not do regular cleaning what I originally came in for, because "pointless' when other needed to be taken care of first. I then was escorted to a financial person in a room where I realized even with insurance, I would owe around 800.00! I teared up and said could not afford that and she left, came back and then it went down to my part 300.00 little over. I had called husband in the meanwhile, he said get out of there! Now of course, I am scared I have dental disease and not sure what to do.

Paul Shepherd
Paul Shepherd

Subject: Re: Periodontal Scams

Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. If you feel uncomfortable with your new dentist's advice, by all means you should seek out a second, or even third, opinion before agreeing to a deep cleaning. As Cynthia Wilson mentions in the article, if you've had a history of good oral health and now your dentist is indicating you need a dental deep cleaning, it could be an unnecessary procedure. - Paul Shepherd, Angie's List


Subject: deep cleaning

Any chance my 19 year old son needs a deep cleaning? His teeth were treated regularly until this past year. He has not had a check up in 1 year and now they are telling me he needs a deep cleaning. What are the chances of that at 19

Cynthia Wilson
Cynthia Wilson

Subject: deep cleaning

I'm not a dentist and don't know your son's medical history, so I can't say. But I can suggest that he floss after brushing everyday to day to strengthen his gums and curb any bleeding. Then see what the dentist says at his next visit. Floss is a lot cheaper than a deep cleaning, less invasive and it does works. A dentist once told me that I needed a root canal because I had some sensitivity to cold foods. It wasn't severe pain. I flossed. I never had or needed the root canal, which was recommended more than a decade ago. Cynthia Wilson - Angie's List.

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 I am familiar witht he ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers across the country, in particluar, the one in Overland Park, KS.  They are a "one stop" implant center.  The doctors there are at the top of their field, and an advantage is that you have all of the specialists that will be working with you in the same place.  That would have to make communication easier between doctors.  They usually offer seminars for patients and I think, offer free consultations, which is always worthwhile.

  If you chose to go the other way, some Prosthodontists will place and restore the implants themselves. In other cases, an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist will place the implant and a Prosthodontist or General Dentist restores it.   Fees can vary quite a bit from office to office and with the different options for restorative materials.  Some offer free consultations, for others, they charge a fee that might be applied to any future treatment in some cases.

The first step is to schedule a few consultations with different providers, which it sounds like you've already done.

The most important factors when deciding which practitioner to work with:
.1.  You should feel comfortable asking your doctor any questions so that you have a good understanding of the procedure itself, healing time and long-terem outcome, and possible complications.  Write down a list of questions and take them with you to the consultation.

2.  Ask about the experience of the practitioner. How many similiar procedures have they completed?  Have they had any major complications with any cases?  Ask to see photos if possible.

3..Figure out if it works out better for your schedule, to go to a "one stop" provider or to separate providers for the placement and the restoration of the implants.

4. Follow your instincts.  If you feel rushed, didn't get direct answers to your questions, didn't communicate well or had any other negative feelings, this probably isn't the doctor for you.

5. Consider insurance coverage and financing options.  If your dental plan covers implants and it is important to you to use a preferred provider, you will want to check your list.  Many times, insurance does not cover implants, or at least not all of the steps.  You may want to inquire about payment and financing options.

I hope this at least helps you feel a little less confused and a little more directed. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further help.
Beth L. Gehring,DDS, PC
816 NW Vesper
Blue Springs, Mo 64015
As a  Dentist, I am sorry to hear about your denture nightmare and I know how frustrating that can be.  I am surprised that your doctor wasn't willing to work with you on some type of solution.  A few options would be either remaking the dentures once more,  or offering to return some of the money and have you return the dentures.   Unfortunately, the doctor has put in a lot of their time and lab expenses, but the patient also  has time and money invested.  You might try sending a letter re-explaining the problems you hand and offering an acceptible and fair solution.  Be sure to keep a copy of it and any correspondence you receive from the Dental Office.  In the event that you don't get anywhere, you have documentation of the problem. 

At any point in the process, did they have you sign something saying you were happy with the denture set up?  Some practitioners will document the patient's acceptance at the try-in appointment, before the denture is processed.  At that time, changes in tooth arrangement, size and color can be made with minimal lab expense. 

If the letter doesn't get you anywhere, you might try going to the governing body of the dental profession in your area.  I am a dentist in Blue Springs, Missouri, USA.  Here, we have the Missouri Dental Board  (or the Dental Division of the Missouri Department of Professional Registration.)  This is the entity that licenses us to perform our professional duties in our state.  They often have a process to file complaints against a provider if you were unable to resolve the problem yourself.   After your complaint is received, they will contact the doctor to get their side of the story, then try to mediate a solution between the two parties.  

As far as a new set of dentures, you might seek out the services of a Prosthodontist (specializes in dentures and removable appliances - extra training and certification beyond general dentistry) or go to a local dental school.  The students are supervised and checked off at each step by professionals.  Most dental schools also treat patients through their faculty practices, and you can often get the services of a specialist at a lower price. 

I hope this information is helpful to your situation, and I wish you well. 

Beth Gehring, DDS
816 NW Vesper
Blue Springs, MO  64015  USA
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