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Over treatment
- Courtesy Periodontal discussion group


I found this post below on"hygientown" today. http://www.hygienetown.com/ I am interested in this topic and I plan on posting a reply because it relates to getting patients better and keeping them better. I also feel it is likely this patient is being cheated, assuming the poster's description is accurate.

Any comments. Just wondering if anyone is interested.- Larry Burnett
Message Follows:

"At the risk of sounding uneducated, I am going to ask this question. I am a general practice hygienist, so perhaps do not know the intricate details of how a Perio office operates. However, I want to make sure my Grandmother is not being overtreated or overcharged. She is, of course, a very involved perio patient. She visits the periodontist every three months faithfully. She told me today that her periodontist has told her that she needs "Deep scaling and root planing" for $1300! Please note: She also had this same procedure performed just ONE year ago. And if my memory serves me right, she also has had it performed several other times, probably one year apart.

My question is this: Is this a normal procedure in a perio office or could she be getting ripped off?

I would just assume that if she was getting proper perio maintenance visits then she would not continually need the actual "deep scaling and root planing" performed once a year. Now, I know she is an involved perio patient, but this just doesn't sound legit to me.

Can anyone give me any insight or opinions on this? Any patient who has ever had scaling and root planing done once generally only needs regular perio maintenance appointments, not yearly deep scaling and root planing. Please advise. Thanks very much


Well i just happened to go through your query and its a very valid question and its very nice to know your grandmother is being so aware of her oral hygiene.

In my opinion Deep scaling and root planing if done thoroughly once should require strict post operative home care and regular recall visits to periodontist who will reevaluate her oral hygiene status....on the contrary if the patient fails to maintain her oral hygiene properly there are chances that the procedure might have to be repeated....

I hope i have cleared your doubts larry....Rajesh


Larry Replies: I still have my doubts concerning over treating and over charging in this particular case. Do you have an opinion concerning the treatment of repeated scaling and root planning, perhaps on an annual basis?

Of course this is all assuming the hygienist's letter is accurate.

Thanking you in advance for your thoughts on this matter. The original letter of concern is posted below.- Larry Burnett, DDS

Message Follows:

"At the risk of sounding uneducated, I am going to ask this question. I am a general practice hygienist, so perhaps do not know the intricate details of how a Perio office operates. However, I want to make sure my Grandmother is not being over treated or overcharged. She is, of course, a very involved perio patient. She visits the periodontist every three months faithfully. She told me today that her periodontist has told her that she needs "Deep scaling and root planing" for $1300! Please note: She also had this same procedure performed just ONE year ago. And if my memory serves me right, she also has had it performed several other times, probably one year apart.

My question is this: Is this a normal procedure in a perio office or could she be getting ripped off?

I would just assume that if she was getting proper perio maintenance visits then she would not continually need the actual "deep scaling and root planing" performed once a year. Now, I know she is an involved perio patient, but this just doesn't sound legit to me.

Can anyone give me any insight or opinions on this? Any patient who has ever had scaling and root planing done once generally only needs regular perio maintenance appointments, not yearly deep scaling and root planing. Please advise. Thanks very much