Parenting Blog

Second Opinions

Funny how I thought what I was doing was merely fostering a bit of independence in my daughters.  Turns out, what I may have done instead or in addition to, is issue an open invitation for a possible health insurance billing scam.


The girls and I were at the dentist a couple of weeks ago, the only office we’d ever frequented for the kiddos.  Both had cleanings, their regularly scheduled 6-month scrubbings.  For the 5-year-old Mouse this was only her 2nd time climbing into the fancy, reclining examination chair, but her older sis is a seasoned pro.  I let them go in together and without me.  This was a first.

When they returned to the lobby 30 minutes later I was told that my Mouse had 4 cavities. Four! And here’s the curious part: the dental hygienist was a deer-in-headlights wreck talking to me to about the cavities, and I wasn’t even big angry ticked-off guy.  I was naive, teddy bear guy – it’s a role that I play from time to time, when I think it will yield the best results and most information.  It may come as no surprise that playing naive comes very easy to me.  But she was unbelievably skittish, 100% unsure of herself, and couldn’t explain anything to me.  She spoke in 3 word sentences.  It was hella awkward.  But still, I made an appointment, the first of two that I was told would be required for the four (4!) cavities to be filled.

Then the girls, both of them, when we got back home, told the Mrs and I that Mouse was never given those bite wing x-rays, or any x-rays for that matter.  The Bear remarked that she was the one in that examination chair, the one equipped with the x-ray camera, and that she never moved out of it.  The plot thickens.

The only thing we could think of to do at that point was find another dentist and get a 2nd opinion, which we did in short order. I canceled the fillings appointment at the 1st dentist and I took her in to the new one yesterday for a full exam and bite-wing x-rays.  I was with her the whole time and watch the proceedings like a strong papa hawk – not angry guy, but not exactly naive patsy either.

You’ll never, in a hundred million light years, guess the result.  No cavities. Not a single one.  No surface cavities, no between-teeth cavities, no super-bad-deep-down cavities.  Nada. Nil. Zilch. Zero. None.


Was the other place, our long-time dentist, trying to pull a fast one during a slow month?  Would they have actually put unnecessary fillings in my girl’s baby teeth over the course of two additional visits to milk extra cash from Delta Dental?  We may never know.  Although the Mrs. called the insurance provider and gave them the whole account of what transpired.  Our first missile into their suspect ship.

The lesson?  There are a couple here: Always get a 2nd opinion.  That seems obvious at this point.

Also, that a dynamic duo of young girls are indeed mature and independent and aware enough to go into the dentist alone and keep a mental checklist of what went down within.  Without their minute-by-minute recap, the Mouse may have, by now, had a shot of nitrous oxide (oh yeah, there would have been two doses of that, each billed separately) and a pair of fillings she never needed.

I’m as proud of my daughters as I am pissed off at the dentist. No second opinion needed for that.  Or for this: Hell hath no fury like a Bogle scorned, let alone four of them.

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