Q: My wife and I just moved from Chicago. We had the same doctor for thirty years. My new doctor was performing a crown on me and told me I needed a root canal at the conclusion of the appointment. This doubled the fee. How can I be sure it is really needed?
A: Many a mechanic has told me: “Hey Doc; while we were in there changing your water pump we noticed your radiator is leaking, you should change it before we put everything back together.” Now at this point, your car is in more pieces than a Sunday yard sale in Texas. (How much is that Liberace album? Would you take $3.00 and throw in the fondue set?)
I recommend you visit doctors who use intra-oral cameras (I.O. Cameras); a fiber optic camera that shows live color images of your dental treatment while still in progress. This device is close to 30 years old. When they first came out they were about $30K; now there free with a full tank of gas at Chevron (well almost, relatively speaking.)
Think if it as a colonoscopy from the other end, which finds issues, X-rays wont. Today after I removed old silver filling while preparing a tooth for a crown, massive decay was found and documented with the I.O. camera. The patient and I viewed the photo, which clearly showed the black and brown muck.
After I removed the decay, a second photo revealed a deep hole bottoming out on top of the nerve canal, if not exposing it. These images are stored in the patient’s file facilitating in getting insurance re-imbursement and gaining the patient’s trust by sharing the experience.
I told “my son the doctor”, who is relatively new in the in the “dental biz”, working in Manhattan and Peekskill NY: “Get one of these so the new patients at the practice will trust your diagnosis when they see it in the flesh!” This was followed by: “Ok Boomer; calm down. It’s lunch time”. (Classic millennial answer.)