Here's what pisses me off: dentists... and mechanics!

This happened recently, and I’m pretty sure it’s not an isolated incident. Tell me if this sounds familiar… My husband went to the dentist for a check-up and was informed that he needed $1300 of work, mostly involving fillings that needed replacing because they were ‘in danger of cracking his teeth’.

While $1300 could be considered as getting off lightly, we had a hunch this might have been a tad excessive. A trip to another dental surgery was booked and, sure enough, the dentist there told us that only one tooth needed work. As for the rest, the dentist told us there was no point meddling until they became a problem. In other words, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

The quote dropped dramatically to a couple of hundred dollars.

Quite frankly, this drives me mad. Dentists, like mechanics, have us completely over a barrel when it comes to knowing what’s going on ‘under the hood’. I mean, I wouldn’t recognise decay or the need for a root canal. Instead, we have to place our trust in the dentist and hope that he has our best interests in mind, and not a new dental chair.

I appreciate that surgeries cost a lot to run and that there are many scrupulous dentists out there who don’t see you as a walking wallet. But it’s not the first time I’ve overpaid for treatments and services, and I have no way of knowing whether they were necessary.

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A little while ago, a man came to my door selling services to a new mechanic that had opened up in our neighbourhood. He was completely stunned when I told him I’d never cheat on my mechanic. I’ve been with the same auto-shop for a decade, and I found him in much the same way I’ve found my new dentist – from being over quoted on unnecessary services.

I may be unable to spot a leaky exhaust manifold or the first signs of decay, but that doesn’t make me a fool.

Has this happened to you? Do you trust your dentist blindly and do what you’re told?