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Drill and Fill abuse of the 70's - dentists


philwebs
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4 hours ago, philwebs said:

When you are getting your amalgam fillings repaired insist on the composite white fillings (the one which uses the blue uvb light to set it).  Really excellent. The old resin fillings only lasted a year for me. The composite fillings are standard now. Composite fillings bond to the residual enamel, as I understand.

Dentists these days like to push crowns for degraded teeth. Very expensive, say £250 each. I do not know how long they last. When offered a crown I decline and ask for a composite repair. They are tough, last for me, and are easy to repair.

Something to be aware of is, as I understand, that each amalgam filling fives off 15 micrograms of vapour every year. Multiply the number of you fillings by 15 and that is your annual mercury ingestion from fillings. Mercury is toxic. For your amusement look up the signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning, any look familiar?

Any dentist who did the drill and fill would take in mercury vapour every time an amalgam filling was done. Perhaps those who did this succumbed to neurological conditions such as dementia.

Why did the "Health Service" not stamp out this practice? Surely they had all the data on every dentist and paid out for the treatments. Usual story I suppose. It went on for perhaps 20 years.

My fillings stopped abruptly in 1982. I was puzzled so I asked. My teeth had hardened, allegedly, said with a smile. Since then minimal genuine fillings, mostly ongoing repairs to the amalgam fillings and breakages.

The only justice is perhaps the self poisoning by the drill-and-fill merchants. Hard to forgive.

 

 

 

Oh look.

Thread resurrection by the OP with little demonstrable regard to some previous factual and informative posts. 

As for the penultimate sentence, I feel zero schadenfreude towards the 1950/60/70s dentists who undoubtably saved me from a lifetime of denture wearing as suffered by my parents and many of my school friends.

They used amalgam which was virtually the only viable material at the time (apart from cast gold) and I sincerely thank them for their considerable skill and care in repairing a dentition significantly damaged through my own omission and negligence.

It's mighty easy to retrospectively pessimistically assess the use of amalgam now significantly better materials and techniques (both diagnostic and therapeutic) are available. 

In the 70s there was massive amounts of dental caries presenting without 'going looking for it' and I have no doubt there were some wrong 'uns amongst the vast majority of caring professionals just helping people. To suggest those wrong 'uns were the norm is however both specious and unwarranted.

I make no comment however on individual's anecdotal experience of which I have zero knowledge.

Fwiw .. surveying child dental disease here did not start until about 1993. When the results were first available and compared to UK surveys, the result demonstrated a provably considerably worse caries rate, in fact I think it was one of the worst in the British Isles. That is highly likely to have also been the case during the time under question.

 

 

Edited by ballaughbiker
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Pleased to hear you had a good dentist. I have had several good ones, and one very bad one.

Article from The Guardian in 2000 says:

"Britain's dentists are inflicting at least £200 million of unnecessary and even harmful treatment on patients each year, according to one of the UK's most respected dental experts. "

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2000/apr/16/futureofthenhs.health

The wrong 'uns were not dealt with when the payments made by the Health Board for excessive treatment should have been noticed.

 

 

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They were in the vast majority of valid cases.

That is one newspaper 'report' based on the musings of a very well known (in the profession) nutty professor who has never worked in general practice and has largely since been discredited on his general practice 'findings'.

Back in the 80s, for a short time, I was of a team that was a minor part of the investigative side of the organisation that paid NHS dentists. They sometimes referred stuff to our committe as a secondary system to their usual employed individual regional inspectors if treatment reports didn't look right in any way plus many were just picked out as a random check a bit like the tax man does. High earners were checked proportionately more.

We often found that under precription (aka 'supervised neglect') was the main problem plus a tiny proportion of erm 'accounting errors'. If there was any doubt, we could demand pre-treatment radiographs to check for caries and correlate those with the treatment intended or provided. In those days, a dentist had to sign a patient off as dentally fit on completion to get paid. Countless patients were sent back for further treatment for minor lesions that had been missed.

Nobody likes dental treatment and to purport that much was unnecessary is every journalist's dream. They have an instant interested audience who they have just made very angry. Perfect ..

Edited by ballaughbiker
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