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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Haggling Dentist

Before Scott's recent dental drama, I never realized the frustrations that can arise when working with a dentist. I don't remember the behind closed doors negotiations occurring between my Mom and my childhood dentist as I faced a root canal, cavities etc..  When Robby and I go to the dentist, I have always felt that it was a professional medical exchange.  Scott's dentist puts all of my previously held beliefs to the test. Sitting in her office and listening to her lay out an extensive dental plan, I felt like I was haggling with a used car salesperson instead of seeking dental care.

I appreciate that she is trying to make money for her business. I understand that she is not in the dental profession out of some philanthropic need to improve the smiles in the world. For her, dental care is strictly a business transaction.

I tried to maintain an open mind as she laid out the dental care plan for my husband, but I have to admit that my eyes kept wandering towards the final figure at the bottom of the page. Nearly $18,000, out-of-pocket, to bring his teeth up to her standards. $18,000-wow. I just could not move beyond that final number.

Her plan included many items which I consider to be unnecessary. I love my husband dearly, but braces for him is not a top priority. Of course, it took my persistent cross-examination questioning before she finally admitted that her "teeth moving" recommendation equated to braces. Her rationale, which she maintained each time I scoffed at braces, was that he deserved an "awesome smile."

She also recommended that he have his wisdom teeth removed because they "weren't going to grow and were not doing him any good." The fact that they were not causing any harm was a fact that she was reluctant to admit. After enduring the week long turmoil of simply getting him to face his dentist phobia, I can only imagine what would happen if he required true dental surgery. She knows of his fears, so in my opinion recommending a procedure which was not absolutely necessary surpassed insensitive and bordered on cruel. 

After listening to her lay out her extensive plan to achieve the "awesome smile," Scott was pale and dumbstruck. I finally broke the silence by stating that we were going to have to prioritize and whittle down the list. At this juncture she looked at me square in eyes and accused me of not valuing my husband's medical care. Needless to say, that did not sit well with this hot-headed hormonal woman. 

To my credit, I remained non-confrontational but insistent that the list would have to be prioritized. She continued with her sales pitch, urging Scott to commit to her plan because "prices were going to increase next month and it would be more expensive if we didn't begin work immediately." Needless to say, any professional respect she had been afforded evaporated in that moment. 

We left the office with her proposal and without signing any authorization to begin work. I've been actively searching for a new dentist, somebody who will not try to push unnecessary and expensive services simply because they have the ability. We need somebody whom we can respect and whom I trust is recommending procedures because they are truly needed and not because they need to pay a car payment.  I worry that I might be embarking on mission impossible.

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