Is there really a way to save money at the dentist? Yes, there is! Prevention!
Preventative Care not only involves routine professional cleanings, exams and x-rays in addition to your home health oral care, but treatment before a problem gets bigger: a sealant before a filling, filling before a crown, a crown before having to extract a tooth, etc.
We cannot say it enough! Brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss daily. Come in for regular dental cleanings (at least twice a year). Also, don't be embarrassed to call and make an appointment for any tooth or mouth related issues you might have. Sometimes, people wait to call because they don't want to "bother" us or they think the problem will "go away." That is what we are here for! No problem is too small. Better that we look at something and tell you it's normal or will resolve on it's own, than wait and find out there was an easier, less expensive fix if you had come in when it first started bothering you.
"Dental cleanings are expensive and I don't have dental insurance."
Patients that have good home health care, and come routinely for their hygiene visits have overall better dental health. If a tooth becomes a problem, it can usually be resolved when it is small and less expensive. Dr. Jones examines your teeth, tissue and jaw bone at each visit. At that time she will let you know if there is a tooth or condition that needs to be watched or treated. We recommend that once a tooth has had treatment planned, to get that treatment done as soon as possible. During your exam, you might hear Dr. Jones say something like, "Let me show you this tooth on the xray because I want you to be aware of this large filling so we can both monitor it and keep it on our radar." As much as possible, your hygienist and Dr. Jones will make you aware of any conditions that may need future treatment so that you are also involved, educated, and prepared for potential treatment recommendations. It's important for you to be invested in your own oral health as much as we are. This can really save you time and money in the long run.
There is nothing more disappointing than Dr. Jones having to tell someone that their tooth needs to be extracted. This is especially true when a patient was told in past appointments that the tooth had decay and needs a filling, or has a fracture or weakness and could be restored with a crown. We all have a little "wear and tear" as we get older, so naturally, we might need a little refresh, repair and restoration here and there. Follow through with necessary upkeep of your teeth and mouth and you will find that your valuable time and money spent is much less than someone who does not go to the dentist every 6 months and follow through with recommended treatment. You will have a much healthier, better looking smile too!
Just like you need to keep up with car maintenance to extend the life and efficiency of your car, routine maintenance needs to be done to extend the life and proper appearance and fucntion of your teeth. "Woulda, shoulda, coulda...." is no way to approach oral health care. Being proactive is much less expensive and time consuming than a reactive response to something that could have been treated with a more conservative approach. We will see you at your next check up!
Ali Jones, D.D.S. - Dentist