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Dentist Insulted My Bulimic Daughter

I need some advice. I’ve been with the same dentist for years. He’s always been a great family dentist. However, recently, my daughter has been suffering from bulimia. We’re aware of the situation and working with her, but the dentist noticed the damage and was a bit rude. He said, “You think purging will make you pretty, but how pretty will you be when all your teeth are destroyed?” While I know he’s trying to help, it didn’t and made my daughter feel even worse about herself. Plus, now I’m worried I won’t be able to get her to go back and she’ll need dental care now more than ever. What do I do?


Dear Pamela,

Woman smiling in the dental chair with her dentist behind her

Certain procedures require you find the best dentist.

First, I would tell your dentist exactly what you just told me. He needs to know this isn’t what will actually help a bulimic patient. It sounds like he cares, but is sort of a bull in a china shop when it comes to sensitive emotional issues.

I’m also going to say this won’t be the best dentist for your daughter during her recovery. She’s going to need a dentist experienced with this type of dental situation. In fact, if there’s already visible damage, she’ll need an artistic cosmetic dentist.

The damaged teeth will likely need porcelain crowns, depending on the severity of the damage, especially if she’s still purging. It will cover the back of her teeth which receives the brunt of the acid. Because it is often the front teeth which take a large amount of the impact, the skill of the cosmetic dentist is important.

Finding the Best Cosmetic Dentist

You want your daughter to feel good about herself. A beautiful smile can help do that. In your place, I’d go to the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend the top of the line cosmetic dentists in every area. You input your zip code along with the distance you’re willing to travel. They’ll then list expert cosmetic dentists in that radius.

Do a quick check of their reviews to make sure patient experience and satisfaction are good. Then, call the office and talk to them about the situation. Most cosmetic dentists are familiar with bulimia and have dealt with it before, but it never hurts to check.

Best of luck to both you and your daughter.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.