Sunday, March 16, 2008

While you are waiting...

I've been pretty lucky when it comes to teeth. By this I mean not too many cavities; no root canals or gum disease, etc. But even I have asked this question during my 6-mo. visits: Is tooth cleaning a scam?
But another reaction is to question whether it is really necessary to put dental patients through so much financial and physical discomfort. Dentists, like other agents (real estate agents, car sales people), do not have the best economic incentives when advising how much to clean.

My dad always told me that dealership rust-proofing was a scam to give dealerships some extra cash without providing your car with any extra protection. Could getting your teeth cleaned be the economic equivalent to having a car dealership rust-proof your car?

Like I said before, this post is probably just working out some wounded inner child issue. (And let me be clear that I’m not calling into question the value of brushing and flossing your teeth, or visiting your dentist regularly to check for cavities, as well as other potential problems). But it’s food for thought. The next time your dentist asks you to make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned, you might reasonably ask, “Why?” [More]
Still, like so many habits of long-standing, knowing the empirical value of this exercise is not usually enough for me to stop going. And paying $125. To tell you the truth, anymore I'm just glad enough to have a service like a dentist in Chrisman to place some economic value on possibly being ripped off just to keep her there for folks who really need her there.

A lifetime in a shrinking community changes your value system.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Continue cleaning your "real" teeth. I had good teeth until late 60's when the front ones began breaking off. Now have a $6.000 bridge. Looks good, but almost afraid to bite into anything hard.