Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: The Valley View Dental Consortium of Hudson, FL

My lowest rating: Avoid 

Are we supposed to address dentists as "Doctor" this or "Doctor" that. Probably not - they're just dentists. Anyway, my nightmare began when my previous dentist, an ex-marine who always treated me square, went out of business one day without notifying his patients and abruptly closed up his office. I was due for a cleaning so I called Valley View Dental. Oy vey!

To be honest, I've neglected my teeth most of my life and only for the last several years have I been taking care of them like I should have all along - brushing three times a day, flossing, rinsing with tartar control mouthwash. At 70, I can finally say "I'm on top of it."

No, these are not my teeth.

So, what I'm looking for from my dental consortium, unless I have an emergency of some kind, is a cleaning every 6 months, and a free toothbrush. Thank you very much. Cleaning my teeth isn't all that much work since my upkeep prevents much in the way of tartar buildup between visits. Candy, the girl at my previous dentist's office and Miranda at Valley View agreed on this. Unfortunately, dentist Wilson Maddoff of Valley View Dental wasn't happy with this arrangement. He decided it was necessary to improve my dental health - big time.

First, he decided the cleanings I was getting from Miranda were not sufficient. What I needed now was a deep cleaning. Cost? A slight difference, he said, but it would be well worth it. Later, his assistant informed me that the deep cleaning was going to cost me $1500. I went along with it.

Next, after that was all done he decided I needed some whitening. Really? You'll be amazed at the difference it makes, he said. Now, I've always been a realist when it came to my teeth. I do not have a Hollywood smile and my teeth, except for one souvenir of a long ago root canal which is brown, are hardly what you would call white. So, I went for it. $800. That's $2300 of dental improvement. I should have been feeling good but I didn't because, to tell you the truth, when I checked myself out in the mirror, my teeth looked exactly the same as they had when I was under the care of the ex-marine. Maybe, I thought, the benefits weren't readily visible. Yeah, that was probably it.

During my next visit, Miranda cleaned my teeth, told me how good everything looked, then took x-rays and called in Maddoff to check out my mouth. Things didn't look so good to him. Bone loss. Well, I'd been told about this before but my former dentist had been satisfied that it didn't seem to be getting any worse. Not so with Maddoff. I needed laser surgery, right away. $500. I left his office without enough for cab fare. Thank god I didn't need a cab.

By the next time I was due for a checkup, I was a little wary. Wilson Maddoff was into me for $2800 and my teeth didn't look any better. So, when Miranda finished with the x-rays and said she was going to fetch the dentist to have a look, I said, "Please, don't. Everytime he looks into my mouth it costs me money. I don't feel like another unneccessary treatment, today." Faithful to her employer, she reported what I had said and two days later I received a note in the mail advising me to find a new dentist. I don't believe my teeth were his primary concern - my money was.

I imagine if I told Wilson Maddoff that I only had 6 weeks to live, he'd try to talk me into some last minute dental treatments to make my dwindling time more enjoyable. No thanks.

There's a guy up in Spring Hill who offers free x-rays on the first visit for new patients. Next time, I think I'll try him.