Dentists and "root scaling"...do they push this on everyone now ?

December 7th, 2009, 10:02 PM
Just curious, I've had to find a new dentist recently as mine has decided to take months off to go ride his Harley everytime I need him :lol:

About 9 years ago I went to a new dentist because his office was next door to my work place and they took my insurance...first visit I was told you need deep root scaling done - so, ok...after 90 of unpleasant pain they told me to come back in a week for the second round - wtf ?! Then I get the bill after the insurance payment - ouch. So fast forward to last month, I find a local dentist (after my old dentist was again, riding thru the southwest on his Hog) and during the first visit I have xrays and I'm told I need this root scaling again and "we'll check to see if your insurance covers that"...so long, schedule your appoint at the desk" - no cleaning or exam, nothing.

I get the feeling this root scaling is a total scam and keeps those dental hygienists busy and billable....any one got the low down on this ?

December 7th, 2009, 10:21 PM
Hey, maybe the dentist is behind in his bike payments. :mrgreen:Root planeing or scaling can be long task. Its often done in steps, like 1/4 or 1/6 of the teeth at one time.

If you really need root scaling, you have a build up of scale below the gum line. This might indicate a more serious problem or a type of gum disease.

Get a second opinion....maybe see a perodonist.

Disclaimer: I am not an oral health professional...just married to one.

December 7th, 2009, 10:35 PM
I told my dentist right from the start that I have no insurance (little white lie) and that if he does anything that's not necessary he'd have to be willing to give me at least 120 days grace.

I have no problems with b/s procedures or charges from my dentist.

boris bubbanov
December 7th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Man, root scaling is great!! Got to do it!

How are we gonna keep Mr. Paul Reed Smith in business in ya'll keep bashing dentists!!


What is root scaling?

December 8th, 2009, 12:01 AM
I was afraid it was a scam the first time they blind-sided me, so I took off and didn't go back to a dentist for a couple of years. However, when talked to my wife about it, she said they measured her and then told her that she didn't need it. So if they're recommending it for some people, but not others (in the same family, with the same insurance) I tend to think it isn't a scam.

Fast forward a few years and I've moved and have a new friend...who happens to be a dentist. One night after a few beers I ask him about that. "Is that like the undercoating on my car?" He said that it's just a fairly new technique, and that a lot of dentists are just coming around to it, which is why it seems to be coming at you out of the blue.

Larry F
December 8th, 2009, 12:13 AM
After 10 years without a visit to a dentist, I'm sorry to say, I got a job with dental insurance and went in for a visit. The doc and I are old friends now, 15 years later. I did root scaling with her, and crowns. She is very good about laying out the options and timelines. For the root scaling, she sent me to a periodontist. I did four visits with her (really an assistant does the elbow work), one for the upper left teeth, upper right...These were numbed because they hurt so much.

December 8th, 2009, 12:26 AM
I had this pulled on me about 20 years ago. Dentist said I need it, I say OK. Two appointments. Then the bill and, uh oh...... insurance doesn't cover it. Dentist office manager (not dentist, he said he doesn't do the business end) said it's not her job to verify insurance. I said it is if you know something may not be covered. So I paid 1/4 and changed dentist.

From then on I don't go to any dentist that hides behind the "I don't talk $$" B.S. My guy now goes over exactly what he wants to do, what insurance should pay, and then gets pre-authorization before any work.

I have also talked to dentists that acknowledge general oral health is significantly better than 50 years ago; fluoride in water, better brushes and pastes. So their general dentistry business is way off. So they push the cosmetic and root planing.

December 8th, 2009, 02:19 AM
It is most certainly NOT a scam. My wife performs my dental treatments so all of mine are free. It would be quicker and cheaper for her office to skip it if I didn't need it, yet I have to suffer through it too. I didn't realize the importance of these dental procedure until I met my wife. Gum disease and periodontal disease lead to many other more serious health complications, as if losing your teeth isn't enough incentive.

That's not too say there aren't dentists out there that won't scam you, but when needed, root scaling is just as important as brushing and flossing.

December 8th, 2009, 05:09 AM
Never heard of root scaling but the last time I went to the dentist and mentioned insurance her eyes lit up. Spent two days in the chair and left worse than when I went in. Needless to say $$$.

Westerly Sunn
December 8th, 2009, 05:50 AM
A decade or so ago, a dental hygienist; referring to the state of plaque deposits in my gum line, threatened me with the possible need for "Quarter scraping" or a process referred to by some such term, if it got any worse. She didn't do it but made it sound as though it were unpleasant. :lol:

I get quarterly cleanings and just had one the other day. I was attended by a hygienist with whom I had been previously unacquainted. My gums hurt for two days! I felt; as I told my girlfriend, that the "Quarter scraping" threat had been met!

I wonder if this is the same thing...

December 8th, 2009, 12:46 PM
Man, if you've ever had gum grafts, then you would be religious like me to get the scaling done regularly. They have a topical numbing solution which helps a whole lot and is more preferable to me than shots of novacain. It's expensive but the alternative is a lot more $ and pain. If you have big gum pockets, then you probably need to have it done. After the scaling, they also shoot some stuff along the gumline to kill bacteria. That costs as well.