Once my car had a problem while my husband was out of town. I took it to a mechanic and ended up spending a fortune. It turned out this mechanic routinely told women they needed unnecessary work because he assumed they didn’t know much about cars. I now know to double check if I’m at a mechanic’s alone. I’m wondering after a recent experience if dentists are the same way. I had a horrible toothache. We don’t have a regular dentist so I went to one who advertised as an “emergency dentist”. It turned out I had an infection and needed a root canal and dental crown… or so I thought. Fast forward a few weeks later and my husband ends up with a toothache. I sent him to the same dentist I went to, but my husband comes home with nothing but a crown. Was I “overtreated” because I’m a woman?
I’m sorry you feel like you can’t trust anyone. Bear in mind, I don’t know the dentist you saw, neither did I examine you or your husband. I can’t really tell you whether you were improperly treated or not because I don’t have enough information on your case. However, I think I can give some insight which may put your mind at ease.
A toothache can mean many things. It is very possible that your toothache was for a completely different reason than your husband’s.
What Your Emergency Dentist Did Wrong
The one obvious thing your emergency dentist did wrong was not explaining to you the reasons for your procedure. A toothache can be caused by any number of things, including (but not limited to):
- A cavity
- A cracked tooth
- A dental infection
While there may be very legitimate reasons to treat toothaches differently, it’s imperative and proper your dentist explain why a procedure is required along with any alternative treatment options before moving forward. A good dentist will make sure their patients know why they’re getting a certain treatment.
Yours didn’t. That’s why you are feeling insecure about the treatment you did receive. You and your husband very likely had very different types of toothaches, but he should have made sure both of you knew that before either of you left. Even more important, you should have understood the reason BEFORE you were treated.
A root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp of the tooth has become infected, when the decay has reached the center of the tooth, or when a tooth is dead or dying. If you had one of those reasons, but your husband’s tooth was in pain because of a crack, it would explain the different protocols. There are other examples too, but that’s just the first one which came to my mind.
Finding a Regular Dentist
It’s no fun going to the dentist only to put out fires. It’s much easier, both on the patient and the patient’s budget if you see a dentist regularly and can avoid expensive emergency dental procedures.
We’ve found many people avoid the dentist because of dental anxiety. If that’s you and you’ve had bad experiences with dentists, I’d like to suggest you try sedation dental care. This will allow you to have your dental work done in a stress-free and pain-free way.
Best of luck to the both of you.
This blog is brought to you by Huntsville Dentist Dr. Steve Murphree.