In February 2004, my "DENIED" article about the potential disasters of filing a disability claim with Massachusetts Mutual Insurance was published in Dental Economics (page 65). This letter is a big "thank you" to all of my dentist-colleagues who contacted me about their bad experiences with Mass Mutual (and other carriers).
Denied insurance claims? For those of you who did not know how to fight your carrier, there's good news. We are organizing a class action where all claims are collected into one lawsuit. There is great strength in numbers and we'll all save on legal fees. I've even had physicians contact me with the same kind of stories. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My office address is 515 Madison Ave., Suite 1710, New York, NY 10022. Phone: (212) 355-9298. There's no commitment. Please share your stories with us.
Dr. Brian E. Weiss
New York, N.Y.
Disputes letter to editor
I feel compelled to respond to a recent letter in Dental Economics written by Dr. Jeff Wilcox (Is modern dentistry really "painless"? May, page 20). Dr. Wilcox writes that patients are usually fearful because a dentist in their past has hurt them. Even if this is true for some patients, many more have not been to a dentist enough times for this to be true. Almost every day, a patient will arrive at my office in pain from dental neglect. Many of these patients go out of their way to not properly take care of their own oral hygiene, and are the root cause for the pain they experience in a dental setting.
Dr. Wilcox goes on to state that making the patients feel that their fears are irrational or childish is belittling and compounding the problem. I would like to ask him this — Is it is rational thinking on a patient's part to let a disease (caries or periodontal) progress to the point of severe acute pain before seeking treatment? And I can say that I have definitely seen my share of "childish" adults when it comes to injections!
We dentists know that the easiest patients to treat are patients who do not have dental caries or periodontal disease. I believe that every dentist or hygienist who encounters dental-phobic patients goes out of his or her way to accommodate them. Maybe we as dental professionals should be more forthcoming in letting our patients know that many times they are the source of their own pain when it comes to dentistry because of their neglectful habits.
Laurence D. Davis, DDS