Millions of people dread sitting in the dentist’s chair and most of them can’t bear the sound of the dentist’s drill grinding into their teeth. Now they can draw solace from this article which says that dentistry is “…much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.” The article uses American data and American examples to explain how dentists not only overcharge, they routinely make patients undergo procedures (root canals, crowns, bridges, etc) which are not required but which help the dentist boost his earnings. So why are dentists peculiarly well positioned to exploit their patients?
“In other medical contexts, such as a visit to a general practitioner or a cardiologist, we are fairly accustomed to seeking a second opinion before agreeing to surgery or an expensive regimen of pills with harsh side effects. But in the dentist’s office—perhaps because we both dread dental procedures and belittle their medical significance—the impulse is to comply without much consideration, to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible.”
Furthermore, credible scientific reviews – the article claims – show that most dental procedures actually confer no tangible benefit on the patient: “Fluoridation of drinking water seems to help reduce tooth decay in children, but there is insufficient evidence that it does the same for adults. Some data suggest that regular flossing, in addition to brushing, mitigates gum disease, but there is only “weak, very unreliable” evidence that it combats plaque. As for common but invasive dental procedures, an increasing number of dentists question the tradition of prophylactic wisdom-teeth removal; often, the safer choice is to monitor unproblematic teeth for any worrying developments. Little medical evidence justifies the substitution of tooth-colored resins for typical metal amalgams to fill cavities. And what limited data we have don’t clearly indicate whether it’s better to repair a root-canaled tooth with a crown or a filling.”
In America patients are litigating successfully against exploitative dentists and getting some recompense. In India, given the state of our courts, that is unlikely to work. Hence the next time you are in a dentist’s chair, it is worth being objective about what he’s recommending.
Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this email in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services and as an Investment Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Marcellus Investment Managers Pvt Ltd, All rights reserved.
If you want to read our other published material, please visit https://marcellus.in/blog/
Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.
Copyright © 2022 Marcellus Investment Managers Pvt Ltd, All rights reserved.