Readers Write: Intracranial Meningiomas in sheep

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Editor:

Intracranial Meningiomas means “brain tumors” and, for these purposes, “sheep” is people.

I’m new to Medicare, but being forced to pay good money from my Social Security check each month for health care it seemed logical to get my money’s worth. So I went to a dentist.

When I called to make the appointment, I made it very clear that there would be no X-rays taken. They booked me anyway. When I arrived and after completing all of the mandatory paperwork (Thursday) I was escorted to an examination  room.

After speaking with one seemingly confused attendant, the doctor was brought in. A short conversation ensued, then he informed me that without X-rays he would refuse to either examine or treat me. So I requested to bypass him and see the hygienist to at least get my teeth cleaned. She also refused to treat without X-rays. After driving 45 minutes to this appointment, I was ultimately escorted out without any treatment.

So, Friday morning, I filed a formal complaint with the insurance provider for the unprofessional rude and demeaning treatment I was subjected to in their office. But I was left to wonder, with the knowledge that these brain tumors are 40 to 90 times more likely with people who are exposed to regular dental X-rays versus the risks of a missed diagnosis from not having (dental) X-rays, the question in my mind wasn’t  “What’s worse?,” but rather “Doesn’t the patient have the right to make that important decision personally without being made to feel like an uniformed idiot?”

It took an extra day, and there will be some costs required, but in the end I was able to locate a holistic dentist in Temecula who has a mechanism (a simple signed waiver) that will allow me to be examined without X-rays and have my teeth cleaned with a hygienist, and at the end of the day, I can go home and sleep at night with the comfort of knowing I did everything in my power to minimize the risk of a brain tumor caused (potentially) by unwanted dental X-rays.

As a side note, I don’t go through airport scanners for the same reason.

In conclusion, we the “sheep-le” don’t have to go along with the herd, and it often pays to do your own research, and whatever your conclusions may be, they are your conclusions, and they should be valued and respected. Dentists provide a valuable service, but we should never assume that everything they do based on the “that’s what everyone else does” mindset is truly good for us and potentially, like X-rays, can be extremely harmful.

I, for one, am hoping to live on this blue marble for 100 years, and I’m trying to make decisions that will create that outcome. How about you? Care to join me in the quest for a long healthy life? I hope so.

Mark Dean

Pine Cove

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  1. Hey Mark,
    It was interesting reading about your dental encounter. I am a holistic dentist in NYC and I have many health conscious patients who also do not want the routine x-rays. In my office, a simple signed waiver will suffice to opt out. Just for future reference, when you do want x-rays, be sure to have a dentist who has a digital -ray system. Much less radiation than conventional.

    Reply

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