A growing number of dentist offices around the country have increasingly and aggressively begun to over-diagnose patients in a move to drive up profits.
According to MyFOXChicago.com, one group of 11 dental patients recently filed a class-action lawsuit against a prominent corporate-run chain of local dentists that operates throughout New York City.
“Maybe they came in because they had a toothache and maybe needed a filling; they walk out with a two- or three-thousand-dollar treatment plan,” Brian Cohen, a New York-based attorney representing the 11 patients in the class-action lawsuit, said. The group’s lawsuit alleges that the dental clinics are guilty of practicing unlawful corporate medicine.
“They lure patients in with promises of free X-rays and exams and the quicker they can get them out of the dental chair to the sales chair, the better,” Jeffrey Norton, the lawsuit’s co-counsel, said.
The group’s lawsuit is one of the more extreme examples of this growing trend to focus on driving up profits at dental practices. Over-diagnoses can be as simple as telling a patient his or her dental condition needs to be treated with a special procedure when the issue can be managed or monitored non-surgically, MyFOXChicago.com reports, or giving a tooth a filling that it might not have needed.
With these corporate-minded and profit-prioritized dentist offices on the rise across the country, how can one find a dentist that will focus on patient’s dental health rather than getting more money?
When looking for a dentist, it’s usually a good idea to read dentist reviews online to get a clear, unbiased look at the clinic’s business practices.
And if your current dentist makes a diagnosis that doesn’t make sense to you, feel free to speak up or go to a different dentist office to seek out an alternate opinion.
Have you ever felt like your dentist over-diagnosed you during a dental cleaning or check-up? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.