Can I Skip Unnecessary Treatment to Save Money?
I’ve been going to the same practice for years. Recently, my dentist retired and a new dentist took over. All the staff stayed and they really like her. My biggest problem is the cost of her visits. She does all these extras including fluoride and panoramic x-rays, plus some other things. These additions cost me an extra $200. Is there a way I’m allowed to ask her not to do these unnecessary procedures or should I just plan on finding a more affordable dentist?
There are a couple of things I’d do before looking at another practice, especially if you are otherwise happy there. The first thing I’d do is find out the dentists philosophy behind the additional procedures. There are times those procedures are warranted, so you want to make sure it wasn’t one of those circumstances.
For instance, if an adult is more subject to decay than most, fluoride treatments are useful. Another time I would always suggest additional fluoride treatments is when there is a patient undergoing cancer treatment. This is murder on teeth and so having that little bit of extra protection can go a long way.
Most offices will do a panoramic x-ray every three to five years. Though, again, there are exceptions such as someone with osteoporosis, or considering undergoing a special procedure such as dental implants or orthodontics. It may be there was something in her mind that made her think these were essential.
When to Search for a More Affordable Dentist
On the other hand, this could be just her practice philosophy. Each patient who walks into a dentist’s office has their own issues. For some, it is finances. For others, it is severe dental anxiety or PTSD. Good dentists treat their patients like individuals.
If these tests come standard with her check-ups, explain your financial situation. I’m sure you can find some type of middle ground where you’ll be happy with the cost and she’ll be confident she’s giving you the right care.
If a middle ground can’t be met, that is when it will be time to start looking for a more affordable dentist. This can happen with patients who suffer from dental anxiety as well. Some dentists are better than others at working with fearful patients. While some patients will be able to tolerate a certain practice, others may need to find a dentist who offers sedation options.
This blog is brought to you by the Akron Dentists of Angel Dental Care.