How to make dentistry a hobby!
As I walked into my small apartment kitchen, I found myself in a world that looked similar to a scene out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was surrounded by bubbles, practically floor to ceiling. In all my years (18 of them) of doing dishes I never knew there was a difference between dishwasher detergent and dish soap. I assumed they were one in the same. Au contraire! They most certainly are not one in the same. One product cleans dishes in a respectable manner. The other? Well, when dish soap is put inside a dishwasher it becomes a sudsy explosion of a mess. Quite alarming to come home too, even as an 18 year-old. But this soap mishap was an honest mistake and easily taken care of. Other mistakes I’ve made that weren’t so easy to fix? I’ve had those too. Take for example, the time when I was driving a delivery truck for a retail company. My job was to drive like 500 feet back and forth between the store and the warehouse just a few parking lots over. What’s the worst that could happen driving a 26 foot box truck 500 feet at a time? 1 totaled car, a drug test, and a demotion back to warehouse crew. Apparently the back gate of the truck is wider than the front of the truck and I drove a little too close to a parked car. “Allegedly,” the back gate caught the front end of a ‘96 Honda Accord, dragging it several parking spaces before ripping it off of the rest of the car, scattering fiber glass and metal the whole 500 feet across the parking.
So yeah, I guess you could say I’ve made some big mistakes in my relatively young life. But there is one mistake I’ve never made, and it’s something I’m proud to admit. I’ve never received dental work out of an unlicensed “dentist’s” home. Yeah, these places exist. I guess my intuition warns me against receiving route canals from “Steve” the car salesman. “Steve” might be a great guy but dentistry isn’t really a hobby you can pick up in your spare time, at least in my opinion. But for two people just outside Phoenix, AZ, it seemed like the perfect moonlighting operation. Luckily for the unsuspecting public, these two wannabe dentists were arrested and charged with practicing dentistry without a license, a felony. According to police reports, these wannabe dentists had uncleaned tools, unkempt work spaces, and anesthesia. ANETHSTESIA!
These fraudster “dentists” main clients were the undocumented, illegal, and uninsured. They were preying on and taking advantage of the marginalized populations in their community. Whether the decision to go to an unlicensed in-home “dentist” comes from a lack of information, a lack of common sense, or out of pure desperation, it’s wrong, and fake dentists need to be stopped immediately. But I wouldn’t be doing my justice if I didn’t take a moment to reflect and ask “why is there a market for this type of activity?” Two things come to mind: cost and desperation. What can we do in the dental community to eliminate this horrific market for illegal dental work?