5 dental scams that can put the bite on you

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You want to be able to trust your dentist, for the same reason you want to trust your car mechanic: Most of us don’t have the expertise to evaluate the diagnosis.

While most dentists are ethical, it’s smart to remember that the degree on the wall isn’t a guarantee of honesty. Dental scams sink their teeth into unsuspecting patients every year, says James Quiggle, a spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

“The most frequent dental scams are inflating claims, delivering worthless treatment that patients don’t need and billing insurers for phantom treatment that the dentist never delivered,” he says. “Added up, these cons can mean big dollars for a dentist’s bank account.”

If you don’t have dental coverage, the schemes can threaten your hard-earned savings.

The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates that Americans lose about $68 billion dollars each year to health care fraud — which can include these five dental scams.