Affordable Dentist for White Fillings

I’m in need of help. You may think I’m just being vain, but I can’t get my dental insurance to cover white fillings. I need one on a front tooth. My insurance will only give me a silver filling. That’s just too humiliating to consider. Is there a way to find an affordable dentist who’ll let me get a white filling at a reasonable price without my insurance?


Dear Cienna,

Phoenix Affordable Dentist

William Somerset Maugham once said, “Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” It’s frustrating when you don’t have money to do things that are actually important and good for you. Dental insurance companies are renowned for only covering the most basic of care, even if another procedure is better for you. That is true of how most of them handle fillings as well.

It’s not vain to want your teeth to be all the same color. Plus, there’s the added worry about the high mercury content in silver fillings. While many dentists demand payment upfront, there are some affordable dentists who’ll be willing to work with you.

Some do payment plans. Others will give you the white filling while billing your dental insurance for the amalgam filling and letting you pay the difference.

In your place, I’d find a dentist you trust and explain your situation. Dentists want you to have a smile you’re proud to share. It reflects on them as well. I’d be willing to bet most will work with you.

Affording White Fillings and Teeth Whitening

I know affordability is an issue for you, but I just want to be sure you know once the fillings are made, the color cannot be changed. Because you said it will be on a visible tooth, make sure your teeth are the color you want. You can whiten them now, before getting your filling so they’ll match.

Or, if you need to save up because of costs, you can get your fillings then when you’re ready to whiten, you’ll just have to re-do them.

You may want to talk to your dentist about Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card that will allow you to get both procedures and pay them out in reasonable bits. Depending on your credit, you can even get zero interest terms.

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

Why Are My Gums Gray After Dental Implants?

I need some advice. I’ve been looking forward to getting dental implants for a long time. But, now that I have them, the gums look gray. I don’t know what to do. Why is this happening? Did I get faulty materials?

Lisa A.

Dear Lisa,

Phoenix Dentists who do Dental Implants

It is not a matter of faulty material. An important consideration when implants are placed is the thickness of the surrounding gum tissue. That is especially important when you’re putting implants on front teeth. If they are not ideally placed, you end up with a situation like yours because the posts are made of metal and will show through. These days, we have zirconia and ceramic implants which are metal-free and don’t have that same issue.

In your place, I’d go see a dentist with some expertise in dental implants to get a second opinion. He’ll be able to give you solid solutions. Without an examination, it would dangerous for me to tell you what to do. If it’s determined that your dentist poorly placed the implants, you could get your money back. That may mean doing the procedure over, but you’d end up with solid teeth AND a beautiful smile.

Make sure you DO NOT tell the second opinion dentist who your original dentist was. If they’re pals, he might hesitate to say he did something wrong.

Making Your Smile More Beautiful with Dental Implants

I’m a firm believer in making something positive out of a negative. If it turns out you have to start over, use this as an excuse to give yourself a cosmetic treat. Once your implant crowns are made, their color can’t be changed. This would be the time to get your teeth whitened. Then, your new implant crowns can be made the same beautiful color.

Now, not only do you have stable new teeth, they’re also gorgeous and take years off your appearance.

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

My Sister Says I’m Ruining My Baby’s Teeth

I’m trying not to panic. Normally, I ignore my sister’s criticism because she tends to be really condescending to me. However, I don’t want to let my pride harm my child. She said that bottle feeding is damaging to my baby’s teeth and I need to get him to the dentist even while he’s an infant. She said breastfeeding children don’t need a dentist until they’re using baby or table food. Is she right?

Anne B.

Dear Anne,

Phoenix Pediatric Dentist and Breastfeeding

Welcome to the lifelong struggle of worrying you’re ruining your child. It will never end. Even when you’re doing everything right, you’ll be sure you’re wrong. And sometimes, you want to do the perfect thing, but can’t. That’s okay too. A friend of mine wanted to breastfeed her baby desperately because she knew it was the better food option. But, she developed cancer. The medicine’s she had to take precluded her from breastfeeding. It broke her heart. She cried every time she had to put a bottle in his mouth. Then a friend reminded her that formula wasn’t poison and as long as she’s doing the best she can, that’s all that matters.

Pediatric Dental Benefits of Breastfeeding

  • Innoculation Against Cavities: Though we’re not sure why, there are more and more studies showing that children who are mostly breastfed have some form of inoculation against cavities. It could be the properties in the breastmilk or possibly the anti-cavity minerals the mother passes to the child from her own immune system.
  • The Mechanics: The way the breast is designed and causes the milk to shoot to the back of the baby’s mouth, kicks in their sucking reflex. Bottle feeding just drops the formula in the baby’s mouth and it often pools around their teeth.

All that being said, that doesn’t mean breastfed babies don’t need to see a dentist. Genetics is a large factor in how healthy your teeth stay. So parents with a high number of cavities are likely to have children prone to cavities. Also, moms who breastfeed their babies to sleep don’t realize that milk will pool because the baby stops sucking but milk still shoots out for a moment after he falls asleep. Pooled milk (or formula) causes cavities.

Preventing Pediatric Dental Problems

Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed it’s important you go to a pediatric dentist. How you feed the baby has no effect on developmental abnormalities in tooth development. Baby’s teeth are developing while they’re still in the womb. If for some reason there is an abnormality, it’s much better to catch it early when something may be able to be done about it.

Also, the worst thing you can do is wait, assuming everything is fine, until there is a dental emergency. Then, your child’s first experience with the dentist will be a painful experience. That’s how they’ll view the dentist from now on.

It’s much better for them to get to know the dentist early, when everything is fine with their teeth. The dentist and staff will just show them the instruments, let them sit in the chair, examine their teeth, do a fun, gentle cleaning, and check that everything is normal and healthy. When that happens, they’ll love the dentist… or at least not fear him or her.

Also, don’t forget to brush, even when they just have a couple of teeth. Teach them good habits from the beginning so it becomes just that— a habit.

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