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Good read: How do you feel about being called a "pushy dentist"?

May 21, 2021
An article about industry fraud digs into what many people think, and fear, about dentists. Read both the piece and commentary on what dentists and patients should take to heart.

Enjoy this “good read,” an excerpt from an article or other online source related to dentistry curated and shared with DentistryIQ readers.

The vast majority of dentists do honest and ethical work. But those who commit outright fraud damage the profession—and, according to a 2021 article on Kaiser Health News, the temptation to do so became "more intense" since the pandemic reduced business in many offices.

The article, “Why your dentist might seem pushy,” cites several other sources and says as much as $13 billion of the $136 billion Americans spend annually on dental care is lost to dental fraud; it also calls Medicaid fraud “the most lucrative business model in U.S. dentistry today.” It notes as examples of fraudulent practices “wide differences” in the pricing of certain services, including teeth whitening, and unnecessary procedures such as SRP when a standard prophy would be sufficient and appropriate.

But while the article did point out unequivocal examples of industry fraud, Dr. Chris Salierno, former chief editor of Dental Economics, found it a fair, if cautionary, piece for both dentists and patients.

"Aside from the alarmist title, this article was objectively written and presented dentists as largely being ethical. The author was correct to point out that some practices, including DSOs, can pressure patients into treatment and ultimately betray the dentist-patient trust,” he said. “Patients would do well to look out for red flags, such as heavy scripting or a reluctance to allow second opinions."

Access KHN's article, Why your dentist might seem pushy, by Daryl Austin