03 Nov 2007 08:12 pm
Okay, I may be stretching things a bit to refer to her as the “best dentist in Springfield, Missouri” — after all we’ve got dentists out the wazoo – but Heather Cline, D.D.S., P.C. is my new hero.
Perhaps a little history will help explain why.
“You’re an anti-dentite, Jerry.
You’re a rabid anti-dentite.”
- Cosmo Kramer
A couple weeks ago, I went in to my now former dentist for a check-up, cleaning and to fix an old filling that had apparently fallen out. (I thought I’d chipped a tooth.)
The cleaning went well. The Dental Hygienist did an excellent job scrapping the crud off the old fangs. She even tried repeatedly to get me to agree to a full set of dental x-rays, which I make a general rule to refuse unless absolutely necessary. (I feel it’s my prerogative, not theirs.) I wanted to see the dentist first and find out what he could see visually and then decide what needed to be done.
Apparently this did not sit well with the dentist. In addition to replacing the known worn out filling he claimed:
- I had three more cavities that needed work.
- I had a fractured tooth.
- He thought one tooth might need a crown.
- He even tossed out the possibility of doing a root canal.
Total estimate (not counting the root canal) was going to come to $1456.00.
I forget how much extra the root canal would have cost. (I think it was another $800 – $1400.) I was so stunned by the first amount that whatever he said didn’t register. Besides, I knew I didn’t need a root canal.
When I questioned his estimate, his only response was, “Dentistry isn’t cheap.” To which he followed up sarcastically with, “Besides, you didn’t want x-rays.”
My interpretation now several weeks later: “This is your punishment for refusing to allow me to annually bombard your head with unnecessary x-ray radiation. I’m going to do as much damage to your teeth – and gouge you for as much money — as I think I can get away with.”
How did I arrive at this interpretation? Read on…
Fortunately, I had an appointment the following week to see the best orthodontist in Springfield, Missouri, Dr. Jerry Cash. So while there I expressed my dissatisfaction with Dr. Sarcastic and asked him if he could recommend a good dentist. (I also asked him if I had a fractured tooth and he couldn’t find one.)
Dr. Cash recommended Dr. Heather Cline.
So I made an appointment with her to get a second opinion. I did not let on who the previous dentist was or what his diagnosis had been. I wanted to see if she would come to the same conclusions. (Did I mention that I don’t trust dentists?)
She did a full comprehensive examination and determined that all I needed was a new filling for the worn out one. I asked her if I had a fractured tooth and she said no. No mention of crowns, root canals or any other unnecessary work.
I did agree this time to a full set of dental x-rays and — as I already knew — they showed my teeth to be perfectly healthy just like they always do. Not one thing wrong with them. Nada. Zip. Nothing. There was no need to be nuking my noggin’ on an annual basis even if Dr. Sarcastic needed help paying for his Beemer.
Total cost for all treatment came to $180.00 and that included the x-rays and comprehensive exam.
Not cheap, but a far cry from $1456.00 for a bunch of work I didn’t need done. Needless to say, I have a new dentist and I’m starting to become less of a rabid anti-dentite. (At least for the time being.)
Thank you, Heather for being the first honest dentist I’ve ever met. (Dr. Cash is technically a dentist, but I think of him as an orthodontist.)