10 Dental Scams Dentists Don’t Want You to Know About

Almost all dentists are professionals in work-related techniques, but that doesn’t mean they are automatically honest, according to Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

The abuse of power and authority leads to fraudulent actions, giving these specialists the perfect context to take advantage of their patients’ trust in order to obtain money.

We can help you protect your wallet and your bank account from these 10 dental scams!

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31 thoughts on “10 Dental Scams Dentists Don’t Want You to Know About”

    1. I had bad vibes as soon as I walk’d into idental’s office. I need’d to wait to be seen, look’d around & listen’d to other patients. I was suspicious because most of the patients in the waiting room were young & had been scheduled for prior appts. This Dentist ask’d a young male patient to “like” him on Facebook. Seem’d unethical to me… I believe this could be fraudulent, charging patients for unneeded procedures! My encounter occur’d with a Dentist at idental, address: 1320 Green Bay Rd in Racine, WI. This occur’d about 4 years ago. I still have the info & my next appt. card. I was told by Dr. Ken Antonoff that I need’d a deep cleaning: FMD, a full mouth debridement, & I had a cavity. I did not believe him, so I check’d with my regular Dentist, who did not accept Medicare patients. I had turned 66 in April. I was told the FMD is for people who have not been to a dentist in years. I have been seen every 6 mos. I ask’d about the cavity, that too, was NOT in evidence. Needless to say, I return’d to my dentist who I had seen since 1989.

    2. 3

      Actually, “silver” fillings are HALF mercury. They always leek. If you think that mercury isn’t bad for you… think again!

  1. 18

    Don’t worry, when at 2 am you have excruciating pain because you ignored the diagnosis, call or email the author of this article and see what he can do for you.

    1. 11

      Sure, call your dentist at 2 a.m. and he/she will be there waiting for you. You’re lucky if you get his/her answering service

    2. I had the same thing happen. It wAs strange I had 2 cavities abs it was those 2 teeth which needed the deep cleaning. All of the others were fine. Needless to say will not return there.

  2. Try buying supplemental Dental Insurance? Blue Cross said well if Met-life is paying were not? I paid $49 a month for supplemental Ins and it is worthless!

    1. 5

      I have had this problem with Humana and BC/BS. The office manager at my Dentist’s practice explained the situation and worked the solution: I supply a copy of the explanation of benefits as received from BC/BS; this form clearly shows that BC/BS, my primary insurance, did not pay anything for my dental procedures. After this proof, Humana will pay.

      This has happened at least twice, and though you may think in a technologically advanced society where computer systems likely have the capability of “flagging” a case so the problem does not constantly re-occur, that would be a false assumption. Apparently, I will need to go through this silliness every time my treatment is more complicated than routine cleanings.

      1. 14

        This article is very missleading. There are many, many patiencs who need periodontal (deep cleaning) treatment. This whole article missleads potential patients and causes them to mistrust perfectly qualified and ethical dentists.

        1. 17

          No this article is exactly true to the core ….
          I have been a victim of this and still is suffering the consequences of my stupidity by trusting these greedy dentists !!!

          1. 9

            Every profession has good and bad people in it. So sorry you had the opportunity to meet one of the “bad apples” in the dental field. They are not all like the ones you met. There are honest dentists out there- sometimes it takes a few bad ones before you meet the good one. Don’t lose all faith yet.

          2. 4

            So have I, even suggesting a fluoride treatment not covered by insurance right after I was told that most all of my teeth didn’t have any enamel left on them. Ok, but fluoride treatments can’t do anything for teeth without enamel, and it is a treatment that’s almost always just used for children ! That’s why most insurance does not cover it with adults.

          3. 7

            I have delt with many cases of dentists not honoring insurance contracts, upselling, manipulating, forcing their agendas, misbilling,etc. Many lack integrity and force you out if you ask questions.


  3. 5

    Thank you for this article. It has been very enlightening and has corroborated a number of issues I have been having with a number of dentists. One being referring me to a dentist that would charge me for services that the issuance would cover. Performing one service over another because it costs more. Liking taking stays and not completing a cleaning. Failing to diagnose a tooth infection but providing retainers. It has been an exhausting trying to get great dental service. Still haven’t found it yet.

  4. 12

    I was fortunate to recognize a scam when I saw it. Aspen dental set me up with what they call a consultant that advised me that I needed a series of deep cleanings that involved me purchasing a $300.00 power toothbrush. When I informed them that I would think about it, I was shown the door. I ran for the door and found an excellent dental facility. That deep cleaning that Aspen wanted for $3000.00 was never required.

    1. 2

      Went to dentist without checking teeth cleaning and trusting. What a mistake. Teeth were clean as regular 6 months allowed by insurance and have 5 minutes visit by dentist. To my surprice I got bill at home for $325 for this service. They lost 2 customers.

  5. 7

    I am disappointed with the dentists here in Cape Coral. How about they offer X-rays exam and cleaning for $50.TheDr appears and says you will need this,this and this. This reminds me of bait and switch.

  6. 6

    I was told that I needed a crown replaced because of leaking near the gum. I didn’t have it done. The next year, the DDS said all was fine! Saved me $900!

  7. 9

    My Dentist wants me to pay a$25 PPE fee because he says he’s paying $250 for a box of gloves. Give me $20 & I’ll get a box & keep the change for my trouble. 16 bil was part of the CARES act I believe which made $$$ available to medical professionals & businesses to apply for. Who’s giving me extra China virus $$$ so I can meet the somewhat illegal fees some shady businesses want to impose the consumer. Like my trash company. Paid my yearly fee only to have them call me the next day to tell me I owe them another $50 because they are losing business due to the China Virus. Times that by the residents on the trash route & I think they will have a good Christmas. Gotta pay or they don’t take your trash. Talk about a shake down. Are you kidding me?

  8. 3

    If you are unsure of treatment, always ask that the treatment be “pre-authorized” by your insurance. This will tell you exactly what is to be done and how much you will owe. As long as Dentist sticks to the pre-determined treatment. State issued dental insurance is the worst for patients, it pays severely low and dentists that accept it, make up the difference by doing unnecessary/unneeded treatment.

  9. 3

    I see a number of businesses and professions could be included in this conversation. A case in point will be high end watch service. I went to a prominent watch dealer in New York City some years back with an Omega day date watch for cleaning and service of the swiss movement. It came back after a month or so after my paying about 600 plus dollars for the service, with a one year warranty. Watch worked erratically , and eventually even stopped working after three months of my complaining. They took it back and called me within two weeks to tell my that the watch warranty needed to be voided, because it was wet with water! I yelled and told told the person, that I would hear none of the hogwash and vowed to fight it all the way. It was a classic Omega and being a watch fan, I would never bring water near it. they eventually folded and did a satisfactory job and turned it back to me.

  10. 9

    Went to local dentist. Said I needed crown. Got second opinion. All the tooth needed was a small repair.
    $1500 for a crown versus $100 repair. Scam isn’t the word. Beware everyone. Get second opinions. Terrible that you can’t trust dentists or anyone anymore.

  11. 7

    Went to a dentist and he told me I had a lot of cavities . I had to go back for many weeks while he drilled and filled. He also put a crown on a tooth and told me if I had any problems to come back in. I had some discomfort about a week later. When he came in he didn’t ask why I was there he looked in my mouth and said you have a lot of cavities that need to be filled. I said ok, I will make an appointment to get the work started because I don’t have time today. I never went back. I found another dentist and he looked in my mouth and asked why I had a crown on a wisdom tooth.

  12. 2

    I have been going to this dentist for a few years now but I have my suspicions .My plan calls for free cleaning every 6 months but I am always told that I need a deep cleaning and the free cleaning is for almost a cosmetic cleaning.

  13. 1

    I’ve been a dentist now for 40 years. Here is my opinion. Are there some unethical dentists out there? Of course, every profession has some bad apples. I would recommend that you make sure you get an explanation for everything being proposed and make sure you understand the rational for said treatment. If you don’t understand the explanation say so and don’t proceed until you get one.
    Use your common sense too. Do you feel comfortable with the dental office in general?
    Don’t be rushed to make a decision. You can always get a second opinion somewhere else.
    Don’t let your insurance benefits limit your treatment. Just because something isn’t a covered benefit doesn’t mean you don’t need it. If you want top quality care sometimes you have to pay a little more.


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