While the vast majority of dentists are honest, ethical practitioners, it’s an unfortunate fact that certain aspects of dentistry make the profession more vulnerable to fraud than others. The subjective nature of dental diagnosis, as well as general lack of in-office oversight, mean that it’s easier for an already-unethical dentist to go bad—and harder for him or her to be caught. Below are some tips from our James Island dentist on how to spot and avoid dental fraud.
Choose a Dentist Based on Referrals
As with any other profession, the way to maximize your chances of having a good experience is by relying on the advice of others who’ve had a good experience. If you’re new to the area, you can always ask for a recommendation from your local dental society or health professional, or read online reviews. Don’t rely on the fact that a dentist is covered by your insurance plan; this is not the same thing as a referral. An ideal practice should be covered by your insurance and well-reviewed.
Ask How Long Your Appointment Will Be
If you are a new patient, your appointment should take at least an hour and fifteen minutes, up to an hour and a half. Offices who promise a 45 (or even 30!) minute treatment are usually trying to cram in as many patients (and payments) as possible. Appointments for already-established patients shouldn’t take as long, but pay attention to whether you feel “rushed.” For example, a dental cleaning should be 45-60 minutes long, not 30 and certainly not 20 minutes. Be sure to brush up on the steps involved in a routine dental cleaning, and try to remember if every step was taken during yours.
Avoid Places Which Advertise Heavily
All dentists advertise, and almost all dentists will occasionally offer discounts on certain treatments, like tooth whitening. But a practice’s sales and discounts seem particularly aggressive and constant, it is probably a place you want to avoid. Be especially wary of corporate dental chains with multiple locations. As franchises, these offices usually rely on a quota-based work model, which often lead even well-meaning dentists to err on the side of unnecessary treatment.
Trust Your Gut
If you have a bad feeling, don’t be afraid walk away. Dentists are there to help their patients, and an ethical dentist will understand that you need more time (and possibly more opinions) to make a decision on something that is generally so costly. If you are suspicious of fraudulence, you might even suggest getting a second opinion and gauging his or her reaction. An honest dentist will support you seeking more information and not try to discourage you from doing so.
Need a General Dentist in James Island SC?
At Lowcountry Dental Arts, we are proud of our reputation and not afraid to stand behind it! We have been the trusted, go-to James Island dentist for many years, and our reviews and testimonials show it. If you are interested in joining our James Island dental practice, click here to fill out our appointment request form.