In a CBC investigation, a patient went under cover to 20 different dental offices in Canada to identify the diversity in dental diagnoses, treatment plans and estimate costs.

Firstly, this topic does make my blood pressure boil. I know that this exists in our profession. As CBC says, not everything is black and white in dentistry. There are many ‘shades of grey’ in dental treatment plans.

The public needs to know that there are ‘bad apples’ in every profession. However, the majority of dentists are very ethical and honest. I encourage residents to investigate and research before going to a new dentist. Asking friends and family for a personal recommendation is always best!

CBC says that “dentists are keenly interested in whether or not a patient has insurance.” I have to disagree with this comment, as I am an example of a dentist who does not practice in this manner. A treatment plan should be based on the patient – not the insurance plan! Each individual brings dissimilar expectations, a unique mouth and different ways of wanting to treat their dental concerns.

I hope that the undercover patient who visited 20 different dental offices revealed the exact same dental expectation at each visit. This would bring more accuracy to the CBC investigation. Revealing that one would like a conservative approach and only treat active disease, should eliminate any discussion about cosmetic services such as Veneers. At least, I hope this would! We will only know by watching each and every one of these 20 dental visits in length.

If individuals have concerns that their dentist will base their treatment on their insurance, do not reveal the insurance information until after the treatment plan has been created and discussed. If the dentist has any issues with this, take it as a red flag and consider getting a second opinion.

What comes natural to me is treating my patients like they are family. Dr. Gail Landsberger and myself, commit to the highest ethical standard, a caring heart, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Even though my blood pressure rises when watching the CBC investigation on dentists, I rest assured that there are many professional and loving dentists out there.

Thank you for sharing and reading.

Dr. Melissa Skinner

Dr Melissa Skinner
Third Street Dental
106 3rd Street West
North Vancouver, BC
V7M 1E8

Tel: (604) 988-8168
Fax: (604) 983-8168

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