12 min read

Avoiding Dentist Scams and the 11 Unnecessary Dental Procedures

Avoiding Dentist Scams and the 11 Unnecessary Dental Procedures

Unnecessary dental procedures are by far the most common and most costly of all dental scams.

Any person who learns how to avoid unnecessary dental procedures will save more than 50% on dental costs over their lifetime!

Keeping clear of over-treatment not only saves you money but is also healthier for your teeth because dental work does not hold up as long as you own a natural tooth structure. Dental work leads to more dental work in the future!

Besides brushing and flossing, avoiding the dental scams of unneeded dental work is the next best strategy to improve your dental health.

This blog post is divided into 3 key sections:  

1) Do dentists perform unnecessary dental procedures, and is it a dental scam?

>>>> discusses why dental scams exist and how severe/ widespread it is

2) Warning signs of a bad dentist:

>>>> Choose a "doctor dentist" and avoid a “business dentist" 

>>>> learn the warning signs of a bad dentist

3) Avoiding Top 11 Unnecessary Dental Procedures:

>>>> A patient is at a disadvantage when discussing dental treatment with a business dentist (a type of a bad dentist) as the dentist knows more and makes it make sense. Even out the information gap!!! Ask better questions to make better choices about your dental health.

We will give you insider knowledge of how the dental profession works, allowing you to dodge unnecessary dental work. You should read all 3 sections to maximize your chances of avoiding the experience of falling for a dental scam

No matter where you live in the world, no matter who your dentist is. Having insider knowledge will save you money and improve your dental health. Less dental work means more dental health!


Do dentists perform unnecessary dental procedures, and is it a dentist scam? (Sadly, YES and YES 🙁😟😞)

Unnecessary Dental Procedures and Dentist Scams

If you do not participate in discussion with your dentist about what should be done and what should not be done, you will end up with a bigger dental bill and less dental health.

Let us explain how this happens:

You would never invite a general contractor to your home and say nothing about what you need and want because you would be giving up control to the general contractor to decide what will be done, and you will end up with a BIG bill.

If your roof or foundation is leaking, it NEEDS to be fixed because otherwise, it will lead to bigger problems that will cost you even more to fix. On the other hand, you may WANT to replace your old kitchen cabinets, which are still working well, but this is not needed.

Most people think they are going to an "honest dentist" and unknowingly allow the bad dentist to decide what will be done. In addition to getting dental work that SHOULD be done ( benefits dental health)😀 , they end up getting dental work that CAN be done ( treatment that harms dental health).

Unnecessary dental procedures are by far the biggest dental scams, and the problem is widespread.

In Jan. 2020, Dr. Adam Szymczak and Dr. Joanne Baldos conducted an in-depth analysis of 351 dental clinics across Canada involving over half a million patients. The results are shocking!

Average Dental Costs in Canada


Average dental costs in Canada differ

HUGELY between Different Dental Clinics!

  • Over 55% of dental clinics overcharge by doing unnecessary dental procedures. This bad dentist scam wastes patients' time and money and causes less dental health!
  • Dental costs vary HUGELY: from $193 to $1650 per patient per year!!!!!!!!!!!
  • If you are a patient at the "least expensive" dental clinic, you will pay $1,930 over 10 years for your dental care.
  • If you are a patient at the "most expensive" dental clinic, you will pay $16,500 over 10 years for your dental care.
  • That's more than an 8 times difference between the least and most expensive dental clinic!

The BIGGEST factor responsible for these vast differences in the average dental costs in Canada between dental clinics is that over 55% of dental clinics do unnecessary dental treatment!

Most people incorrectly think that different dental offices have different pricing, hence the reason for the variation. The truth is that the price of a specific dental procedure does not differ between dentists because almost all dentists follow the dental fee guide

In other words, the price of a specific dental procedure does not differ from dentist to dentist. However, the number and the extent of the procedures you will have done depend on your dentist: an honest dentist or a bad dentist?

The problem is widespread and getting worse as "corporate American" has been taking over the dental industry. There are regulations to ensure that only a dentist can own a dental office. However, sneaky lawyers and business people have figured a way around these laws designed to protect patients.


Warning signs of a bad dentist:

Choose a "doctor dentist" and avoid a “business dentist"!

Dentist Scams and Unnecessary Dental Treatment

Is a dentist after your dental health or wallet?

A business dentist will recommend and perform as much dental work as you allow them to, no matter what impact that has on your dental and overall health.

A business dentist asks you to "Open wide," looks around and recommends all the things that "Can be done." So get ready to "Open wide" your wallet! These bad dentists are a scam.

That’s why business dentists’ dental costs are so high! You end up with many more dental procedures than you need.

In contrast, a doctor dentist attentively listens to your concerns, carefully examines your mouth and reviews your medical history. Then, a doctor dentist asks an entirely different question: "What should be done?". Carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of ALL options, including DOING NOTHING, which results in FEWER treatment recommendations.

A doctor dentist recommends and performs only needed dental treatment, the treatment that will benefit your dental and overall health. That's why a doctor dentists' dental costs to you are MUCH lower than from a business dentist.

A powerful strategy to avoid unnecessary dental procedures is to engage the dentist in an honest discussion about the benefits and risks of all the available options, including the possibility of doing nothing. If you have multiple dental issues, discuss with an honest dentist to prioritize treatment from most beneficial to least beneficial; this way, you can do the essential dental procedures first.

No matter where you live, this is an excellent strategy to avoid unneeded dentistry. Ask the right questions to prevent dentist scams.

If your dentist is unwilling or unable to have a meaningful discussion with you about how the proposed treatment benefits you, find another dentist.

READ MORE: Warning signs of a bad dentist.


Avoiding Top 11 Unnecessary Dental Procedures

Avoiding Top 10 Unnecessary Dental Treatments

Over 55% of dental clinics recommend and perform unnecessary dental treatment daily!

Unnecessary dental treatment wastes patients' time and money. Furthermore, it reduces dental health as NOTHING is healthier than a natural healthy tooth!

Unnecessary dental procedures are the worst dental procedures, you pay with time and money to reduce your well-being!

A patient is at a disadvantage when discussing dental treatment with a business dentist as the dentist knows more and makes it make sense. This "information asymmetry" between a patient and the bad dentist results in over 55% of patients having unnecessary dental treatment, a dentist scam.

Even out the information gap and understand why specific dental procedures should and should not be done. Here are the TOP 11 unnecessary Dental Procedures used in a dentist scam:

1) Teeth Veneers Strip Away Precious Natural Enamel

Dental veneers are a cosmetic dentist’s first choice in “improving” smiles. A business dentist promotes dental veneers as they are the most profitable type of dental treatment.

Patients are attracted to the before and after photos and the quick results; within 2 weeks, you can have a new smile:

the illusion and appeal of dental veneers

What a patient never sees is the DURING treatment photos with the enamel stripped away from the teeth:

Teeth Veneers Strip Away Precious Natural Enamel

A patient rarely gets told that veneered teeth have a higher chance of tooth decay, gum disease and fracturing/ chipping compared to natural teeth.

Business dentists talk about veneers as if they last forever, but the reality is that they need to be redone every 10-15 years! That's a HUGE cost over the lifetime of a patient! A 30-year-old patient that spends $10,000 on veneers will spend another $50,000 on average over their lifetime to repair and replace them.

Teeth veneers are purely a cosmetic procedure at the expense of your dental health!

Dental veneers are an honest dentist’s last choice in improving smiles. In most cases straightening and whitening your teeth is a much better option.

2) Unnecessary Crown: Dental Crowns Destroy Teeth

dental crown

Most dentists will tell you that a tooth with a large filling or defect like in the picture above needs to be crowned because the tooth is at risk of fracturing. Unfortunately, this thinking is outdated and comes from an era of silver fillings, but business dentists are not letting go of this money-making strategy.

Modern dental fillings bond to and re-enforce the remaining tooth structure making the tooth unlikely to fracture. However, if it does crack, another filling can be placed. No need for a crown!

In contrast, silver fillings sit inside the tooth by friction; they do not bond to the tooth and therefore make the remaining tooth structure prone to fracture hence the need for dental crowns.

In the era of bonded fillings, a dental crown should be done only if a tooth is at risk of fracturing IN SUCH A WAY THAT the tooth will have to be extracted. In practical terms, this means that only chewing teeth ( molars and premolars) with root canals should be crowned; these are the only teeth that receive great enough forces deep down into the roots to the point that they fracture in such a way that they will become unfixable. 

Front teeth, root canal or not, are not strengthened by crowning them: do NOT crown them!

Bad dentists have a tough time letting go of this outdated concept. In fact, it is getting worse, as business dentists have invested in $100,000 " Dental crowns same day machines." Guess who is paying for those machines through unnecessary dental crowns?

3) Unnecessary Cavity Filling: Teeth Cavities Can Reverse!

cavity can reverse

Every dental school in North America teaches that a tooth cavity in the first layer of the tooth ( in tooth enamel) can be reversed with improved oral hygiene and exposure to fluoride in toothpaste. Can cavities go away? YES!

Over 55% of dentists abandon what they learn in dental school and will drill and fill these areas of "incipient decay" (the technical term for the initial cavity formation). Unfortunately, this unnecessary filling condemns the tooth to be re-drilled every 10-15 years as fillings do not last as long as natural tooth structure.

"Incipient decay" that is reversed is more resistant to getting another cavity than the original tooth structure. As such, you will never need to have your tooth drilled! Reversing a cavity by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing is better for your current and future dental health than having unnecessary cavity filling.

A business dentist will drill teeth cavities that can reverse on their own.

A business dentist will drill discoloured areas of the tooth that used to be cavities, but will never be a problem.

People pay a bad dentist to damage teeth! This is why a business dentist's average dental costs are higher.

4) Unnecessary Filling Replacement

Replacing previous dental fillings is the most common treatment a dentist performs because once you get a filling in a tooth, you are MORE prone to get another cavity compared to an undrilled natural tooth!

Please brush and floss to prevent tooth decay. Only your natural teeth can last a lifetime.

A dental filling needs replacement IF the filling fell out, a cavity formed around the filling, or there are fractures within the tooth next to the filling. NO OTHER REASON!

A business dentist will replace dental fillings because they are: silver, old, discoloured, breaking down… None of those reasons benefit your health; in fact, it harms your teeth because drilling out a filling always results in removing healthy tooth structure as well.

Amalgam marginal breakdown


A business dentist will say the above fillings have "marginal breakdown" ( chipping at the amalgam/tooth interface) and need a replacement! The truth is that these silver fillings have another 5+ years in them due to dental amalgam's fantastic "self-sealing" property.

5) What’s with all the dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays should be taken only if it makes a difference in what will be done or how it will be done.

It is routine for a business dentist to take X-rays for reasons that have nothing to do with your dental health, such as "your insurance will cover it" OR "routine x-rays" OR "we need to take a closer look."

Another disturbing trend in dentistry is CT scans. Dental CT scans expose you to 100 times more radiation than a single dental X-ray. The technology is impressive, but always ask how getting a CT scan benefits you: Will it make a difference in what is done or how it will be done?

6) Dental Bridges Should NEVER be done!

A dental bridge is an ancient technique to replace missing teeth.

Installing a dental bridge requires grinding the surrounding teeth into stumps! Look at the stumps under the bridge:


Dental bridges will eventually cause the loss of the supporting teeth (the stumps) because of overload and the inability to keep the bridge clean.

If you are missing a tooth, the best option is a dental implant. The next best option is to do NOTHING. All other options, such as dental bridges and partial dentures, will SPEED UP the loss of your teeth!

7) Gum grafts are a Cosmetic Procedure.

gum recession

Patients often notice that their teeth look longer with age, resulting from gum recession. Unfortunately, almost all patients assume this is a sign of gum disease and should be corrected.

Gum recession on a tooth is like a wrinkle on the face; it is more common with age and is a cosmetic issue.

Gum recession is NOT a disease. Gum recession does NOT lead to tooth loss!

Gum grafts do NOT make your teeth healthier!

Business dentists will promote that you get a gum graft and make it sound that it will make your tooth/ gum healthier; your dental costs will be higher!

8) Wisdom Teeth Removal is NOT Needed.

Experts NOW say NOT to remove your wisdom teeth, but business dentists are refusing to listen because average dental costs to you will decrease. Read more:


When you need to remove Wisdom Teeth

When you need to remove Wisdom Teeth


9) Dental Implants are not the Best!

A dental implant is the next best thing to your natural tooth.

Natural teeth are better than dental implants! So save your tooth if you can.

When a dentist says, "your tooth is not fixable," they mean, "I can not save your tooth." Get a second opinion!

A business dentist is quick to get rid of your tooth, as replacing your tooth is the more expensive option than fixing your tooth.

10) Orthodontics is a Cosmetic Procedure

Getting your teeth straightened improves the way your smile looks.

Getting your teeth straightened does NOT make your teeth, gums or jaw joint healthier!

A business dentist will talk about your bite and teeth as if you had some disease that needs correcting: they will say that you have a "deep bite" and/ or "over-jet" and/or "cross-bite" as if they were a disease, convincing you that you NEED the teeth straightened.

Orthodontics is a cosmetic procedure, not a health procedure. So if you are getting your teeth straightened, make sure you understand the only reason for it: COSMETICS.

Save on dental costs and don’t get your teeth straightened if you think you are doing it to improve your dental health.

11) Root Canal Scam

A root canal is a filling inside the root of a tooth.

When bacteria have found their way inside the tooth's root, most commonly because of tooth decay (cavity), a root canal is needed because otherwise, the bacteria will spread into the bone, gum and face.

Do not feel pressured into getting a root canal. Remember that when a dentist recommends a root canal, you always have the option of removing the tooth.

It is common for a bad dentist to recommend a root canal before doing a crown. That's a double dental scam: an unnecessary crown and root canal scam. That's about $2,500 that you are paying to:

  • make your tooth less healthy
  • make your tooth weaker
  • decrease the longevity of the tooth

You are paying the bad dentist to destroy your teeth! CRAZY. Read:

Root Canal Cost: Save Money, Time and Frustrations


CONCLUSION: Avoid the Dental Scam of Unnecessary Dental Procedures

In Canada, there is a 55% chance that your dental costs are excessive because you are getting unnecessary dental procedures by business dentists, which is the most common bad dentist scam. 

The problem in the USA is even worse where business dentists and corporate dental clinics are the norm. For example:

  1. An investigative reporter for Reader's Digest visits 50 different dentists: 75% of dentists recommended significantly more treatment than what is taught in dental school
  2. Kool Smiles Performed “Unnecessary” Procedures on Children
  3. Dental Chain Violated New York Law: overcharging by unnecessary dental procedures
  4. Small Smiles, performing unnecessary dental treatments on children

Avoiding business dentists and their number one dentist scam of unnecessary dental work is the best way to reduce your dental costs and improve your dental health simultaneously.

Find a doctor dentist and avoid a business dentist. A doctor dentist is the best dentist for your health.

Learn more about the dental work recommended to you to ensure you are not getting unnecessary dental work, the worst dental procedures, as it destroys your oral health.

Your average dental costs can be lower; find a doctor dentist- a dentist that has your best interests in mind.


FAQ: Dental Scams and Unnecessary Dental Procedures

Do dentists lie about cavities?

Business dentists fix all cavities. However, not all cavities need to be fixed. When a cavity is in the first layer of the tooth, the enamel, it can be completely reversed by brushing and flossing. A cavity that reverses by remineralization creates new tooth structure that is stronger than the original tooth structure. 

How to get rid of cavities?

When a cavity is in the tooth enamel, the first of three layers of the tooth, a cavity can be reversed by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing. When a cavity makes its way into the second layer of the tooth, the dentin, it can not reverse as such a filling is needed. When a cavity gets into the pulp, the third layer of the tooth, the only options to get rid of the cavity is to do a root canal or pull out the tooth.

Can cavities go away?

YES! Cavities can be reversed on their own if they are in the first layer of the tooth, the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body. It contains the highest percentage of minerals, 96%, of any other body part. You can increase the chances that cavities will go away if you use fluoride toothpaste, brush twice a day, and floss daily using the proper techniques.

Do dentists lie?

There is a massive difference between which dental work needs to be done and which dental work can be done. The dental work that needs to be done is the dental work that has an overall positive effect on your health. Dental work that can be done has a positive impact on the dentist's bank account but a negative effect on your health. Business dentists will perform as much dentistry as patients allow them, no matter the impact on their dental and overall health.

Is my dentist lying about cavities?

Ask the dentist if cavities can go away. Every dental school in North America teaches that a tooth cavity in the first layer of the tooth ( in tooth enamel) can be reversed with improved oral hygiene and exposure to fluoride in toothpaste. If your dentist says cavities can not go away on their own, they are lying. Ask the dentist to show you how your cavity is beyond the first layer of the tooth; then and only then should a cavity be fixed.

Do dentists lie about root canals?

A root canal is never your only option; you can always have the tooth removed. Also, a root canal is not needed just because you get a crown. The only time you need a root canal is when bacteria has made its way into the root; ask the dentist for proof that this has happened.


More information on this topic:

DENTIST PRICES and DENTAL COSTS: Finding Affordable Dental Care


In the best interest of your health and well-being,

Dr. Joanne Baldos and Dr. Adam Szymczak

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