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Stanwood WA Dentist, Dr. Rafoth, Addresses Negative Article About Dentists

My wife showed me an article the other day. It’s called “Your dentist may be ripping you off. Here’s how to avoid that.
I read it, and had a ton of opinions about the site, the author, and the quality of the journalism(?) that went beyond the topic. But I took a breath, and focused on the content so I could give my readers and patients actual facts about the issues presented.
There are a few statements in the article that actually have merit. You likely don’t need all your fillings ripped out. You should be careful of bait-and-switch offers presented at some dental offices. You should feel comfortable seeking second opinions. And dental insurance is sometimes a losing game for some patients.
But what you should really look to understand better are the following:

1) Your dentistry IS man-made. And it has a lifespan.

2) Metal fillings have been in popular use for almost 2 centuries, and there’s good reason for that. They fill a hole well. What they don’t do well is prevent teeth from cracking and splitting once the filling exists within the tooth. Metal fillings can act like wood-splitters. And that elevates the risk of breaking or even losing a tooth to stress and strain-related damage when chewing or clenching.

3) Now, about this Fluoride claim in the article: I’m seriously surprised to see this in print. This statement is straight-up muckraking. It’s insane to level a statement about fluoride being available in all water supplies for everyone. Heck, in my community, the water doesn’t contain it at all! You can go to a town 10 miles from here and find that one side of town has fluoridated drinking water. The other side doesn’t! But aside from whether or not it’s available in water, fluoride has immense value in modern public health. It has helped to prevent the tooth decay epidemic from becoming catastrophic in our society. There are patients out there who don’t need it, sure. But there are so many high-risk patients who need the effective tool of fluoride to increase their resistance to decay. We identify a number of risk factors for tooth decay, and recommend fluoride use for our patients based on those risks. You would think that I would be making a killing on shoveling fluoride into everyone’s mouths. But sadly, I don’t. I am actually trying to do less dentistry on teeth. Fluoride is cheaper than a filling, crown, or other procedures.

I appreciate the author/journalist/etc who wrote this article is trying to do something right by readers who need dental care. But there’s so much wrong with this article, that it really comes down to one thought everyone can take away from it: Please take time and thought to find your dental professional. And when you do, it’s probably a good sign if your dentist is willing to have a conversation about any questions or concerns in this or any other article.

Chris Rafoth is the owner of Lyons Creek Dental Care, providing medical dentistry, dental implants, and facial esthetics since 1998 for Shoreline and greater Seattle areas, as well as communities in King and Snohomish counties. Any questions or comments? Contact him at today!