More Reasons to Hate the Dentist

Nobody enjoys going to the dentist. But, generally speaking, we don’t question what’s done to us when we’re there. On Episode 33 of The Politics of Everything, Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene speak with Ferris Jabr and Daryl Austin, two journalists who have investigated dental over-treatment and fraud, about whether we should. It’s impossible to say exactly how widespread gratuitous treatment is—and it can even be difficult to know what constitutes necessary treatment. Because of a lack of reliable research into dentistry practices, because the field operates with minimal oversight and regulation, and because of high costs and dwindling insurance reimbursements, there may be a real incentive to “creatively diagnose,” as Jeffrey Camm memorably put it in an article for ADANews, the newspaper of the American Dental Association. In other words: Get a second opinion. Then get a third. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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