Should My Preschooler See A Pediatric Dentist for Teeth Grinding?

I planned on waiting until my daughter was in elementary school to bring her to the dentist. She is a little (lot) on the hyperactive side and I didn’t want to drive a dentist batty. However, I’m worried I need a change of plans. I went into her bedroom the other night to put some of her clothes away. She was sound asleep, but was grinding her teeth like crazy. Is this normal?

Adrianne L – Oregon


I have a mixed message for you. First, this is perfectly normal. Many children grind their teeth and many children outgrow it. But, here’s the mixed message. I still think you need to change your plan and take your daughter to a dentist.

I realize she’s an active child, but dentists who enjoy working with children are perfectly comfortable with that. They have means of helping children with their wiggles.

You want your daughter’s first experience with the dentist to be a pleasant one. If you wait until her elementary years (and here you’re assuming/wishing her hyperactive side will just fade away), she’s likely to develop a cavity and her first experience with the dentist will be much more scary than it needs to be.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Is My Dentist Cutting Corners by Not Using Lumineers?

I went to my dentist to discuss getting a smile makeover. I want a movie star smile and told him I wanted to get Lumineers. He told me he doesn’t do Lumineers, but uses something similar. He says they’re better, but I’m worried he’s just trying to cut corners to have a bigger profit.  Will these off-brands give me as good a smile?

Rebekah S. – Albany, NY


Did your dentist tell you they were an off-brand or are you just worried they are?  I realize that Lumineers have a lot of name recognition, but they’re only one brand of porcelain veneers. Many of the other brands are equally good.

It may be your dentist is more experienced with working with one brand over another. Or, he may like the aesthetics of a certain brand over Lumineers.

The important thing to remember about a smile makeover, is not what brand you use, but the skill of the dentist.  Just make sure he is willing to place them with a temporary paste first and make any changes you want before permanently bonding them on.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

An Affordable Dentist With Fancy Ammenities?

I went through the phone book and chose an office that touted itself as an “affordable dentist,” but now I’m starting to wonder if I made a mistake. The office was really nice inside. The guy had TVs in every room, nice furniture, and a bunch of other amenities. I kind of feel like I got duped. He is offering a fair price for my work, but if he is really an affordable dentist, how is it that he can install all these expensive things? And if he can do all this while undercutting the other guys, is he skimping somewhere else or is every other office ripping people off?

-Darcy P. – Little Rock, AR

Dear Darcy,

This is probably one of the oldest arguments in any kind of medicine. Where’s the right balance between finding an affordable dentist and only paying for what you need, versus getting all the bells and whistles? Each dentist has his own budget and allots finances for different things. Some things are truly an investment, because when you take good care of your patients, they tend to stay. Every office has some kind of marketing budget, so it’s possible the affordable dentist you saw has taken that marketing budget and funneled it into things that will help him with patent retention instead. As the old saying goes, it’s a lot less expensive to keep a customer happy than it is to find a new one.

If you’re receiving good care at a rate you can afford, then kudos to the office. It sounds like they’ve found the perfect balance. In the dental industry, you’ll often find professionals who are fantastic at repairing teeth, but they may not be business savvy. Unlike doctors, who often group together in one place of businesses, and can therefore afford an experienced business manager to handle budgets, marketing, purchases, and strategy, dentists often go it alone, and are totally responsible for every aspect of their business. So, you will find some that funnel their budgets into things that patients enjoy, simply because they know that it will help them retain their existing patients.

The bottom line is whether you’re paying too much or not. Again, this comes down to whether you’re receiving good care or not. If the doctor had put that money into mailing postcards to people who aren’t his patients, you probably never would have known. Instead, he provided a better atmosphere, and you can see it. Ultimately, if his rates are fair and he treats you well, you have found the equivalent of dental gold.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.