Everyone knows that there are shady chiropractors, cut-rate plastic surgeons, and other purveyors of medical quackery (cough, Dr. Oz, cough) out there who are as willing as a three-card Monte dealer to deceive you out of your hard-earned cash. But, as a rule, we have faith that real professionals in the medical community are motivated more by altruism than they are by being able to afford a vacation home in Banff.
So it's especially disconcerting when you discover that there are some common healthcare practices that don't seem to fit the definition of "science-based medicine" at all, unless the "science" you're talking about is the study of used-car salesmanship.
Your Dentist Might Be Drilling For No Goddamn Reason
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Only the most deviant and self-loathing among us actually enjoy a trip to the dentist, but it's a necessity if you want to progress through life without being mistaken for a member of European royalty. While we've all heard the stories of laughing gas parties and sedation fondlers among practitioners of the bicuspid maintenance trade, the vast majority of DDS's and DMDs can be entrusted to conduct themselves in the most Hippocratic way possible as they keep our choppers in working order. But stocking the office with the latest hi-tech equipment can get expensive, to be sure, so can we really blame them when they aggressively bombard us with excessive, teeth-destroying procedures so that they can get a return on investment?
"Rinse and spit. Preferably not on the billing clerk, please."
We're not talking about the stories of rogue maniacs who look at every pulled tooth from a screaming child as a ticket to becoming a Medicaid millionaire. The fact remains, however, that even if the guy in the white coat with the tray of troublingly pointy implements is the most well-meaning doctor around, some aspects of modern dental practice might be confirming every 7-year-old in the world's deepest fears by doing you more harm than good. See, the old model for taking care of patients' teeth was the "drill and fill" approach, where the dentist would simply react to your affinity for taffy and phobic avoidance of floss. But, nowadays, they're taking a more preventative approach and using cutting-edge tools to address the potential pothole festival in your mouth while they're still known as incipient carious lesions, or microcavities. Trouble is, studies suggest that it's frequently completely fucking pointless.
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"Slight plaque buildup; guess we'll have to knock 'em all out and start over.
Your insurance covers gold and diamond grillz, right?"