Monday 13 June 2011

Dear Melbourne Dentists

Wherefore art thou?

Well the normal ones anyway.

The fact my last blog post was about chocolate and this one is about dentists is purely co-incidental and not in any way connected.

Although, if I'm to be perfectly honest, the frustrations felt over one might be driving me to do the other..... in some kind of dentist enraged excess.

As you know when you move cities you have to find new hairdressers, shoe shops, chocolate shops, gyms, doctors and dentists pretty much in that order. Yes, that order.

I am still working on the last one. Finding a good dentist.

It shouldn't be hard in a city of 4 million. Right?

Well the fact is, there is something seriously wrong with dentists these days. I am just going to put that out there hanging in the breeze.

And this is coming from someone whose last dentist Heidi, was a little on the unusual side given she is a plastic surgery junkie. You can read about her here and here because bless her, she is well worth discovering.

My search for a new dentist started in my local neighbourhood.

I made an appointment, filled out the 24 page questionnaire and 40 minutes later was sitting in the dentist's chair. I cannot tell you what the dentist looked like as his 24-carot ultra white smile blinded me.

All I know is, apart from his perfect pearly whites, everything in his office was the palest of blue. Walls, chairs, uniform, eyes and even possibly his hair. One hour later, I felt like I had just been a part of "the fast food shuffle". No, he didn’t offer me fries but ol' blue eyes sure was keen to upsell, cross sell and oversell in order to get me to commit to a full mouth makeover.

What's more, he promised to give me "a winning grin". Is everyone morphing into Charlie Sheen? Winning?

There was nothing wrong with my teeth before I visited him but I came out with my hand clasped over my mouth, full of shame. A broken smile.  A psychologist has now been added to the bottom of my list.

All I wanted was a check up and clean. If I had wanted to look like the woman above I would have asked.

I then found an Holistic Dentist. Very promising I thought.

That find resulted in a dental consultation in which I never even had to open my mouth. The dentist talked at me the whole time and my mouth remained closed. A most unlikely scenario for anyone visiting a dentist and, as you know by now, hell nigh impossible for me to achieve.

He told me I needed $1500 of tests to determine what might be impacting on my dental health and when he had the test results he would look at my teeth. Why I needed to get x-rays and other assorted tests for every part of my body supposedly linked to my teeth is beyond me.

Right. $99 without opening my mouth. Holistic dentists are now crossed off the list.

I realise that dentists have had to drastically change their business plans over the years because people have far less cavities and have far more interest in looking 'perfect'. However, it's gone a few steps too far.

I don’t need to use my teeth to see in the dark or to grace the pages of any fashion magazines. I just want to be healthy. Healthy teeth, healthy gums, happy smile.

In fact, I really just need strong teeth to chew 'real food' but, if this keeps up, I will be using them to BITE… some poor unsuspecting professional in a white coat.

Very. Very. Hard.

Is it really too much to ask for??


  1. I was just at the dentist last week for a regular cleaning. A Canadian relative took a trip to India with her husband to get crowns and assorted dental work. That is a long commute for your tooth. I'm happy with my dentist and hope he stays at it. He is probably old enough to retire. He gave up on trying to get me to fix my chipped tooth. Maybe I can thank a doctor way back in my youth (he was not a witch doctor) that told me my slightly broken nose looked better that way.

  2. @ Lisleman - mmm, I need to find a near retired dentist. And I would like to go visit Ugich (blogger) in India so maybe I could combine the two lol.

  3. good luck on your quest, Lilly, word of mouth or referrals can work sometimes. My dentist is my cousin, he's ok but says he's going to early retire soon. But I'll just use my daughter's new dentist. It looks like a well run organization.

  4. @ Christine - not sure I would trust any of my cousins anywhere near my teeth, lol1

  5. So now you have a really good excuse to visit Los Angeles on a regular basis ;-) I found a terrific dentist, who-- compared to the ones above, are VERY normal and don't oversell anything.

    xoxo jj

  6. I have just paid £204 for a new crown and that was on the NHS!

  7. Not sure if you tried albert square dental. Normal dentist (ask for dr John) sth Melbourne

    I love it there xxoo

  8. Wow thank you anonymous. Good to know. Fancy having to write a blog post to get some word of mouth referrals, lol!! Appreciate it.

  9. Hi Lilly!!!! Am trying to catch up on my blog reading and wanted to stop by and say hi and hope you are well!

  10. I con really relate to your dilemma. Having spent over $2000 with my dentist and his anaesthetist, as I got put under by choice to have wisdom teeth removed and other work carried out, I was most surprised by his suggestion to get braces to straighten my one slightly angled tooth.
    Walking past his Aston Martin in the car park added to the unpleasantness of the experience.

  11. @ Chapter Forty - oh that made me laugh. I can only imagine. Its a bit like going to a dermatologist about your skin and they suggest you are in urgent need of plastic surgery or something. A bit offputting.

  12. Yup! I can sympathise with all that...

    Of course, the dentists are really only protecting themselves. If you had all the "work" done that they'd like to sell you, then there's no way you'd be even tempted to bite your dentist - and THAT'S because the "false" ones are often way too weak for real biting and they've cost you so darned much anyway you wouldn't DARE to jeopardise them - LOL

  13. My dentist is a traditional Scot. Phil MaCavity...

  14. I grew up too poor to have dental work done and remain too poor to afford some of the procedures I need (and want) as a result I don't smile and show my teeth a lot. Everyone I know who has reasonably well-cared for teeth, faces escalation of services to make their teeth unnaturally white and perfect. As usual your post has made me laugh and acknowledge its wisdom.

  15. Would just love a dentist who doesn't want you to open your mouth. At one visit my dentist was so insistent that i did open my mouth that I leapt from the chair and ran home (true )

  16. I agree that finding a good dentist is miserable. I had one dentist who was the pits. She did things to my teeth that were really probably more cosmetic and unnecessary. I wish you good luck with finding a perfect dentist.

    Hmm... which reminds me... most of my dentists lately have been women. That's interesting.

  17. Stew McGregor8 May 2012 at 03:10

    Well to be fair, the "best" dentist should be anybody's dentist, otherwise he/she will not be their dentist, make sense? There are a lot of factors to take to say that your dentist is the best--of course there's the cost, the proximity, the credentials, the client-base and all, but at the end of the day, he/she whoever gives you the best smile is the best. And you don't want to find that by trial and error, trust me. I'm just glad I have my dentists melbourne who is beyond best, in every way possible.

  18. rebeccamiller34518 May 2012 at 16:06

    I know exactly what you mean. Finding a great dentist that jives with you can be difficult these days. I'm so glad I found an awesome dentist at our local studio city cosmetic dentistry. I would have been lost (dentally, anyway) without her.

  19. I read and search over the internet so that I'd know which dentist to choose, especially now that there are so many dentist like you mentioned.

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Thanks for your comments.