My regular dentist retired. He sold his practice to another dentist who seems to do a lot more procedures regularly. My last appointment included a Fluoride treatment (something I haven’t had since I was a child), a lot of x-rays including a panoramic. My appointment cost me an extra $200. I don’t have that type of money. Am I allowed to refuse certain services to keep my dental care affordable?
Finding affordable dental care isn’t always easy, especially when your dentist seems to want to run every diagnostic in the book. One of the things I would ask before making a decision on how to move forward is why the new dentist ran those tests.
Panoramic x-rays are typically done every 3-5 years. Maybe it has been that long since your last one and that is why they required one. It’s also possible he or she saw something suspicious on your last set of x-rays and wanted to see if there was any progression.
The fluoride is unusual, but not unheard of for adults. For instance, if your previous dentist noted in his notes you are at high risk for decay or have tooth sensitivity, the new dentist will do this to help you.
Communication is always the key. Ask the reason behind the additional tests. If they say it is standard for them, explain it causes a financial hardship for you and ask if you could spread these additional tests out.
When You Need to Find a More Affordable Dentist
If they don’t agree, it may be time to find a new dentist. I’d start by doing an internet search using the term affordable dentist. These are usually dentists who either work to keep their fees slightly lower or a more willing to stage treatment. Some even accept payment plans.
Don’t confuse a cheap dentist with an affordable dentist. Some dentists are much less pricey than others because they can’t retain patients due to their incompetence. They need to keep their prices low in order to draw new patients in. A dentist like that will actually end up costing you more money.
One example would be with a dental crown. Let’s say one dentist does a crown for $400 but it lasts 12 years. Another dentist does porcelain crowns for half that price, but it only lasts three years and you have to keep replacing it. Which dentist was actually affordable then?
Be sure to check their reviews. This can give you an idea of how satisfied their patients are with their work.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Dentist Dr. Ryan Noah.