I’m trying to find ways to make my dental visits more affordable. I have a new dentist whose recommendations are so different from my previous dentist. She asked me to schedule an appointment for a fluoride treatment and full-face x-rays. My check-up appointments now have out-of-pocket expenses that are over $150.
Can I refuse the services my dentist is recommending, or should I search for a dentist whose fees are lower? Thanks. Daphne
Daphne – Your patient rights allow you to refuse any dental service, but before you do, there are several factors to consider.
Speak to your dentist. Ask her why it’s important for you to have fluoride treatment and full-face x-rays. Adults who are at risk for decay or who have sensitive teeth still benefit from fluoride. Most dentists will do a full face x-ray (panoramic x-ray) every three to five years. But if you’re in a high-risk category, have bone loss, or have been considering orthodontics or dental implants, your dentist will request new x-rays before recommending treatment.
Avoid referring to the additional services as unnecessary. Listen carefully to your dentist’s explanation about why you need each treatment that she recommends. It could be that her philosophy on preventive care, although different from your previous dentist, is better for your oral health. Although the cost of care might be more expensive at her practice, you might have better long-term results.
Get a second opinion. You may have to switch to a dentist who thoroughly explains your treatment options and what you can expect from them. But don’t base your decisions about dental care on cost alone.
Canker sores (recurrent aphthous stomatitis) are small painful sores inside your mouth that occur frequently. They are not contagious. Although a sore will usually go away on its own, what if it doesn’t? And what can you do to treat it at home if you can’t afford a dentist?
What Causes a
Although the exact cause of a canker sore is unknown, a
variety of factors can trigger it, including:
Irritation in the mouth by things such as
aggressive brushing or dental work
Sensitivities to food or sodium lauryl sulfate
Stress and hormonal changes
Certain diseases, including celiac disease and
irritable bowel syndrome
What Are the
Symptoms and Signs?
If a canker sore is developing, you will feel oral pain or
burning. In a day or two, the sore will appear. The sore is a slight bump that
is round or oval. The center is usually yellowish gray, and the border is
What if you can’t afford a dentist? You can try
over-the-counter pastes such as Anbesol that contain benzocaine, which will
help speed the healing process and make the sore less painful.
What If Home
Treatment Doesn’t Work?
If your efforts to treat the sore don’t help—or if it’s getting worse—schedule an appointment with a dentist for an examination. You may need a prescription for oral or topical medication or mouth rinse. It is possible that the sore is not a canker sore, but your dentist can make that determination. If your budget is limited and you don’t have dental insurance, ask the office representative what can be done to make treatment affordable for you. This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Miranda Lacy, DDS.