by James Tuck
Terrified of the dentist? Most people are. Dentists tend to be the most depressed medical professionals because most people “hate the dentist”. This fear might be irrational for some, but how can you hate some place that gives you laughing gas? Whether patients are getting nitrous oxide, they are generally still terrified of the dentist.
Is it unfounded? Dental patients in Massachusetts have plenty of reason to be terrified of their dentist. A dentist terrorized many and committed Medicaid fraud when he tried to save a few pennies.
When performing a root canal, the dentist used paper clips instead of the customary steel posts. Paper clips. I cannot even show my disgust.
The dentist was ratted out by patients who found their mouths were infected after the procedure. He is charged with Medicaid fraud for posting charges to Medicaid from different doctors in his practice.
Tales of rogue dentists, terrorizing the mouths of thousands spread through circles. Tales of a dentist who would fill handfuls of cavities. The catch? They didn’t need to be filled.
I know what you are thinking: what kind of sadistic madman would do such a thing?
The fact is that rogue dentists and doctors are all around us.*So how can you be sure that you are meeting with a good dentist or doctor?
The easiest way to know if you have a good medical professional is to ask around. And flipping through the phone book is not your best bet. Word of mouth is the best advertiser, and the best way to spread info about any misdeeds. If you have a friend who loves her dentist, you have a better chance of finding one. My local magazine (and city, for that matter) have the “best of” awards every year. Citizens vote on their favorite restaurants, stores and yep, dentists. Referrals from friends, family and high ratings are a great way to go.
If you are truly concerned, ask to see your dentist or doctor’s medical degree or certificate.They went to school for many, many years, so most dentists and doctors will proudly flaunt their degrees (in a fancy picture frame, no less). Not sure about the credentials? Demand to see them. If the doc or dentist resists, find another one.
If you find yourself if the position where you fall victim to a sadistic medical professional, you are not powerless. Report any misconduct. If you are seriously injured, consider hiring legal counsel. I do not like the idea of getting “sue happy” (where you sue people for making you fat), but you need to stop the dentist from hurting anyone else.
The biggest red flags for a bad dentist is when your teeth hurt worse than before you you went in. And if a doctor tries to treat you without a nurse in the room, be concerned.
*That is not to say the medical profession is littered with madmen; evil, money-hungry people can show up in any profession.