Pediatric Dentist Insists on Fluoride Even When Insurance Won’t Cover It

I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it to get a fluoride treatment every dental visit with our pediatric dentist. They always pressure me too even though our insurance only covers it once a year. Is it really necessary if we use fluoride toothpaste?

Cathy M.

Dear Cathy,

Child sitting in  Pediatric Dentist chair

It’s expensive raising children and I know how important it is to save every dime you can. Though, sometimes spending a little bit of money saves you a lot. Your pediatric dentist is correct, getting a fluoride treatment every time is one way you’ll not only save money, you’ll save them unnecessary dental work in the future.

I’m glad you use a fluoride toothpaste. Every bit helps. But toothpaste doesn’t contain much. The fluoride your dentist provides is much stronger and is painted on so your child doesn’t ingest it. Fluoride is known to protect against decay and even reverse early decay. That simple procedure is one of the most useful things you can invest in. I would also be sure you get dental sealants as well on their molars.

The last thing you want is to save $30 on fluoride only to have to spend $200 on a filling. Or, if the cavity grows quickly, needing a pulpotomy (a child’s version of a root canal treatment).

Preventative dental care is one of the best things you can do for your child.

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

Bulky Lumineers are Making it Hard to Talk

I had Lumineers placed almost two months ago. I got this brand because they’re supposed to be thinner than the others. I can’t imagine how bulky the other brands are. But, my reason for writing you is because I’m having difficulty speaking because of there bulk. My dentist said I’d adapt to it, but I haven’t. What should I do? I sound like a little girl with a lisp.

Lauren W.

Dear Lauren,

A porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Many inexperienced cosmetic dentists end up placing Lumineers because they’re heavily marketed to beginners as being easy to place. They are considered “easy” because they’re ultra-thin and the company says no tooth preparation is necessary. That’s not always true and varies more from case to case than most dentists imagine. As a result of this misconception, many Lumineers cases end up looking (and being) bulky on patients.

As you’ve discovered, it affects both your appearance and your speech. Many patients have described it as trying to talk with horse teeth.

If you haven’t adjusted in two months, I can’t imagine you will anytime soon.

Can Lumineers be Fixed?

Once any brand of porcelain veneers are bonded on they’re permanent and can’t be “fixed”. The only option you really have is to have them re-done. Because you can’t speak normally, I would think you’re a good candidate for a refund. At the least, you should be able to speak normally.

Go to your dentist and let them know you haven’t adjusted and still can’t speak. You’ll need a refund in order to have them re-done. He’ll likely offer to re-do them rather than refund your money. It’s up to you whether you’re willing to try that. But, if he doesn’t have the experience and doesn’t know how to prep teeth, you’re not likely to have any better result.

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

Do Dentists Ever Offer Affordable Porcelain Veneers?

Can you help a gal out? I’ve always been embarrassed about my smile. The two front teeth overlap one another, they’re stained, and two of them are chipped. I’ve been pricing porcelain veneers because I’ve been told they can fix all of those issues at once, but they cost a fortune. Are there dentists who will offer a desperate gal an affordable smile makeover?

Mindy L.

Dollar sign hatched from an egg

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” While it’s not always true, there are certain occasions where it bears more weight. Smile makeovers, especially with porcelain veneers, are one of them. The last thing you want is a slipshod smile. There have been countless smile makeover disasters and I don’t want yours to be one of them.

With that in mind, I want you to ask yourself if it’s more important to you that you improve your smile affordably or to get porcelain veneers affordably? Based on the issues you described, there is a much more affordable way to repair and improve your smile without the high cost of porcelain veneers.

Getting an Affordable Smile Makeover

While veneers are designed for a complete smile makeover, you can get a gorgeous smile without them. Here are three procedures I’m going to recommend to you that combined will still be more affordable for you than what you’re asking for.

  • Invisalign: This straightens your teeth without wire and metal, invisibly. No one will even know you’re wearing them.
  • Teeth whitening: This will take away all the stains that are bothering you. In fact, this alone makes patients look years younger.
  • Dental bonding: Those few chips you mentioned can be easily repaired with dental bonding.

One important thing to note. Make sure you get the teeth whitening done before getting the bonding placed on the chips. You want the bonding material to match your whiter teeth, not your current stained teeth. Also, any visible fillings you have will need to be replaced to match your whitened teeth as well.

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