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Larryb Views: 10,448
Published: 14 years ago
Status:       RN [Message recommended for CureZone Newsletter!]
 

The Root Canal Factory


It's been years since I've seen a dentist, but because of OP I'd even stayed away when several fillings had fallen out months ago - maybe even a year ago. (A really dumb thing to do - but also a testament to how far you can go with OP and oregano oil as a stop gap).

Anyway oil of oregano finally wasn't eliminating the toothache, so I got the name of a dentist from a friend and called to schedule an appointment.

When I called, I told them the receptionist I had some fillings that fell out (didn't tell them how long ago) and was having a toothache. The RECEPTIONIST!! answered that if I was in that much pain I'd need a root canal - and was I prepared for that? I asked if there wasn't another possible remedy for a tooth ache and she answered "no, in my experience it's probably a root canal".

I go in for my appointment and again while i'm filling out my first timer paperwork the secretary explains that I'll be needing a root canal and after my next appointment for the root canal(s) when would I like to schedule a comprehensive exam to discuss my future oral health goals? And by the way I'll need a seperate meeting to discuss the "financial planning aspect" since presumably the tab won't be anything the average person could hope to settle out of pocket.

Remember at this point I hadn't been past the receptionist as a new patient - nobody had so much as looked inside my mouth or for that matter knew the first thing about me or my medical history. But I was in pain and didn't want to say anything to jeopardize getting in with the dentist.

So they call me in, an assistant takes a few x-rays of the teeth in question, and announces that I'd need a ... what was it again?... oh yeah, a root canal. Then she asks "Will you have an interest in saving those teeth?". I answer yes, and she asks when she can schedule the root canal. I asked her if it would be too much trouble for me to be looked at by the dentist before I choose a treatment course. "No he'll be right in" she says.

In comes the doctor who introduces himself, takes a brief look at teeth (NOW WE'RE TALKING) and asks if I have any interest in saving my teeth? "Of course" I answer and he proceeds to tell me I'll actually need 2 root canals. I told him that I was confused, that I thought getting a root canal was leaving you with a dead tooth instead of saving it. His answer? "It's all about choices. We can either do the root canals today or extract the teeth. Would you like me to extract them now?"

After he said this, he moves towards me and is watching my eyes closely for (I'm guessing) the usual flash of existential terror after it sinks in that I'm seconds away from having 2 of my teeth ripped from my face. And after which I'd be pleading for the root canals.

I told him I'd need time to sleep on it, but couldn't he at least give me a temporary filling to patch the one that had fallen out? He looked at me like I was from Mars and didn't say a word. Finally I broke the silence by mentioning that I'd had one done before; to which he replied "OK sure" and gave me a temporary filling. Immediately after the tooth was patched it stopped hurting. I asked if the pain might be caused by the air, water etc hitting the exposed nerve. His answer? "It's possible."

I ended up paying $150 for about 3 minutes of work and a half hour sales pitch with enough fear baiting to buckle the knees of a drill seargent. Who knows - maybe I DO need a root canal. But after all the preposterous sales pressure, how could I ever believe I was getting an objective opinion? Since I recently had a shockingly similar high pressure assault from my family doctor of 12 years, I don't think this is an isolated event.

I realize that people are probably deferring medical care as much as possible since their food, gas, heating and mortgage costs are going through the roof while their income stays the same at best. So the healthcare profession is responding with the tools of their trade - namely high pressure scare tactics and selling the patient the costliest services they can get away with rather than most appropriate.

The whole experience was truly disturbing but I can tell you I've decided to OP twice daily from here on out. Whether to root canal or not? Let 'em wait.
 

 
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