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Dentistry/Just common sense?


QUESTION: I pay for dental insurance through a large state DHMO. It gets me 2 cleanings/yr. I went to a new dentist after 18 months of no cleanings and he told me my teeth were clean and dismissed me without a cleaning. Did I just find the most honest guy in history? I brush every other day (is this possible?)

ANSWER: It depends on what you want to believe. DMO's have little incentive to perform preventive procedures, since they are reimbursed on a monthly basis, whether you have any treatment or not. Usually there is not additional fee paid them for performing your cleaning. If I was you, I would choose a different provider.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for that response. Is this another possibility:
he told me to find an "occlusionist" for my thinning front teeth.
Might it have been appropriate for that person to clean instead?
At any rate, I was told I was doing a "great job" on my own teeth.
After almost 59 years this was a first.

I believe you are entitled to two cleanings a year by the dentist participating in your plan. If he will not do it for you, it probably is time to change your primary provider? I am not sure what an "occlusionist" is, but most dentists are capable of fabricating an occlusal night guard.


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Lawrence Spindel DDS,


Cosmetic Dentistry, Endodontics, General Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry, Comprehensive Dental Care


Former Clinical Instructor of Comprehensive Dentistry, and Prosthodontic Department New York University School of Dentistry. Also former instructor of Preventive Dentistry Columbia University School of Dentistry.

Ask Dr Spindel Dental Blog also numerous articles on (over 100 pages of original content)

1980 DDS New York University College of Dentistry 1981 GPR Manhattan VA Hospital

Awards and Honors
OKU 1980 Honor Society 1980 Long Island Academy of Odontology award for highest combined Academic and Clinical Achievement.
In 1997 he was elected to Fellowship into the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics

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