Is my Dentist cheating on me?


Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 22, 2024

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 22, 2024

By now, all of us agree that Dentophobia is real. We talked a bit about a few recurrent themes of what constitutes this deadly fear. You can read more about it here: (Why are we scared of Dentists?)

We also talked about how our bad dental experiences just add more fuel to the fire. If you missed out on that blog, you can read it here: (The burden of Bad Dental Experiences)

Another critical factor is that we often have a notion dentists may be cheating us. You have mild pain in your tooth. You visit a dentist hoping to get a tablet to reduce the pain. The dentist examines and wonders if there is a deeper infection. You are asked to get an X-ray, and your alarm bell starts ringing. In no time, you are being suggested an extraction or a root canal. You are told about the estimated cost. You were expecting a magic pill, and instead, you got surgery planned!

No wonder you think your dentist is cheating on you.

Your fear is natural, it is a human tendency. How difficult do we find trusting strangers anyway? But is the cost of the treatment the only factor behind this, seemingly irrational fear? Or are there any other factors which we have completely ignored, as usual?

Let’s explore.

When talking with your Dentist


Multiple opinions by different dentists

Second opinion consult as many dentists as you can in the nearby areas to give you the best treatment in the lowest range possible. However different dentists have a different approaches to dental treatments. Of course, it would differ in the treatment costs. Surely you assumed the dentist charging the higher price for a particular treatment is cheating you.

Dentists bad mouthing other dentists

Bad mouthing the dentists that have previously treated your dental concerns is a sign your dentist is probably cheating you.

Communication gaps/miscommunication with your dentist

Often you think you’ve been told two different things before and after the treatment. At times the dentist is not able to explain certain things. There could be clashes between what you have understood and what the dentist is trying to tell you. This could be a reason for you to feel your dentist is cheating you.

Dentist rushing into treatments

Some dentists rush into dental treatments. This does not give you your own space and time to think about it. This naturally instills a sense of hesitation to trust your dentist.

When going through your treatments


Teeth cleaning did not make your teeth white

You went for a teeth cleaning procedure, but your teeth don’t look white. Does it make you feel your dentist is cheating you? Your dentist should have cleared your doubts regarding teeth cleaning and whitening. Both are completely different treatment procedures altogether.

Teeth cleaning will not make your teeth white. Had he promised teeth cleaning will make your teeth white, or promised a teeth whitening and did teeth cleaning instead then he is cheating you? But if they’re your expectations then your dentist probably did not.

Promised a tooth filling but ended up with a root canal

Have you ended up in this situation where you were advised a tooth filling but ended up doing a root canal. But you should know there are many cases where the dentist feels the tooth may go for a root canal treatment but ends up doing a filling and saves your tooth from a root canal procedure. The prediction may go wrong at times. That’s because sometimes a dentist cannot depend on the investigations alone. Only when the tooth is opened up, he can see the case for what it really is. Your dentist is probably not cheating.

Treating a tooth that does not hurt


Often you may feel the tooth that is hurting you is the culprit of your dental issues. Your dentist can see something beyond your knowledge. Your dentist may also sense other teeth may need treatments in order to achieve successful treatment outcomes. Your dentist is not cheating you.

Sudden treatment changes

At times sudden treatment changes make you feel your dentist just wants to make more money out of you. Sometimes it so happens to achieve the best results sudden treatment changes are bound to take place. What’s the point if the dentist is not able to achieve the desired results with the initial plan? Your dentist is probably not cheating you.

Braces did not give you the desired results as expected

If someone is to be blamed for an Orthodontic relapse it is mostly the patient. After your braces, if you did not get the desired results it’s probably because you failed to wear your retainers sincerely. Wearing your retainers is the most important thing after your treatment is complete. Your dentist is probably not cheating you.



Overcharging and making more profits

This is a debatable one. Dentists do not have a fixed price for any particular treatment. It may bound to happen the dentist can overcharge you and make more profits. This often makes you wonder why are dental treatments so expensive?

however, there surely is a reasonable price range within which the dentist can charge you. Some dentists may include the lab charges some may not include it. That totally depends on the dentist and his practice.

No warranty -guarantee of the treatments

With every heavy investment that you make, you do want to know the guarantee of how long will things last. The same goes for dental treatments. If anything goes wrong you do want to feel safe. but dental treatments do not come with any guarantee nor warranty as it totally depends on various patient factors. So if your dentist is not able to give you any guarantee or warranty it does not mean your dentist is cheating you.

Gone for one returned with many

Don’t you always have this in your mind? You went to just get teeth cleaning but the dentist recommended you to go for a filling after the procedure? Is the dentist just trying to make more money from you?

Sometimes after the cleaning procedure when everything seems more clear, that’s when a few cavities can be discovered. Your dentist is just making you aware of the cavity which needs a filing now but later may need a root canal treatment. Isn’t it better to get it treated at the earliest?

Your dentist is probably not cheating you.

Using different brand materials to treat your teeth

you often want your dentist to do a treatment at a lesser cost. What if your dentist is using a cheaper material to make profits or to make it feasible for himself without your notice. Yes that could happen. In this scenario your dentist is probably cheating you. Your dentist cannot promise you to use higher brand materials and use cheaper ones.

The bottom line is:

Not all dentists want to cheat you. We, dentists, do know what is it like to be a patient. We do understand the hesitancy to trust your dentist. But, If you got a free dental consultation, free treatment planned by dentists, free oral health scan, know the types of materials going to used, know exactly in detail about the treatment plans well in advance, talk freely to the dentist about your concerns, would you now trust your dentist?


  • Most people have this notion their dentist is cheating them.
  • You may feel cheated because of certain bad dental experiences too.
  • Not all dentists want to cheat you.
  • Feel safe to talk to a dentist and get answers to all your dental queries by talking to a dentist or simply by scanning your teeth absolutely free.
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Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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