My dentist recently retired and the new guy and his staff are so different. I am retired and on a very tight budget. Plus, I have always had good oral health. I’ve never even had a cavity in my life even though I’m 79 years old. At my last appointment the really pushed me into a vizilite treatment that was $65.00. Now they want to do a deep cleaning at my next appointment but I found out my dental insurance only covers regular cleanings. What should I do?
I can understand your concerns. Let’s start with the ViziLite. While it is an awesome cancer screening tool. There are other ways to screen for oral cancer that are not so expensive. Feel free to pass on that one. Without examining you, I couldn’t tell you whether the deep cleaning in necessary, but there are some red flags for me here.
You’ve always had excellent oral health and have never even had a cavity. If your previous dentist screened for gum disease, as he should have, and he never indicated you had any signs, then this tells me it is likely not necessary unless something has drastically changed.
As a patient, you are in a vulnerable position and really don’t have a way to gauge whether or not a treatment is absolutely necessary or not. Trust between dental and patient is imperative. while most dentists go into their field in order to help someone, there are some unethical ones out their who push profits over patients. You mentioned they were pushing these treatments on you. That is another red flag. A good dentist will just tell you what they think is going on, give you all your options and then leave the decision to you. There should be no pressure.
I would start looking for another dentist. Check their reviews to get an idea of what their patients like and don’t like about them. If you haven’t found one by the time of your next appointment, insist they only do the regular cleaning that your insurance covers. There are affordable dentists out there who will consider your budget and not pressure you to go beyond what you can.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.