Tag Archives: Affordable dentist

Pain After Root Canal Treatment

I need some advice about my root canal treatment. I had one done in three sessions that was the most discomfort I have ever been in. Then, I remained in pain for quite some time. I went back to my dentist and he decided to refer me to a root canal specialist, which I am wondering if he should have done in the first place. The endodontist thought maybe I was in pain because a canal was missed and I opted for a retreatment. During the procedure, he did not find a missed canal but said that he gave the end of the root more of a seal than was there before. He did tell me it would hurt for a few days. The swelling is down, but I am on day five and still in quite a bit of pain. Is there something wrong or do I need to wait this out?

Drew

Dear Drew,

Man in pain holding his cheek

I am sorry you are in pain. The good news is there are some things to be optimistic about here. First, it looks like the original problem of the infected tooth was resolved during the root canal treatment. In some complicated cases, it is better to go to a root canal specialist, but for most normal root canal treatments, your general dentist is just fine.

It should be noted that the failure, in this case, was not because he missed a canal but could have done a better seal at the tip of the root, which your second treatment resolved.

You said the swelling has gone down. This is another positive sign. The question about healing after a root canal treatment is not as much “how long should you be in pain”? Rather, the question is, “Are you improving?”

In your case, it appears you are. Some patients are in pain for longer than others. I would ask your dentist or endodontist to give you something for the pain but make sure you taper off of it each day.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.
Click here to learn how she keeps prices affordable.

Premium Home Teeth Whitening

I keep receiving a Groupon order for Premium Home Teeth Whitening. Is this something worth investing in? I’ve always wanted to whiten my teeth but never really talked to my dentist about it.

Amy

Dear Amy,

teeth whitening trays
teeth bleaching trays

After looking this over, I can tell you that the whitening ingredient they use is legitimate. It will whiten your teeth. That is the good news. The only real bad news is it will not be as effective as you’d hope, even though they do have a good percentage of their active ingredient.

The reason for that is the whitening trays. Pictured above are the type of teeth whitening trays you would get with your dentist. These are custom fit to your bite. This serves to protect the whitening gel, as well as your gums.

The trays that come with this kit are not fit to your bite. It’s a DIY. This means that your saliva will leak into the trays, thereby weakening the gel. It also means some of the gel will leak out. This not only means less whitening potential for your teeth, but it can put your gums at risk. There have even been cases where patients ended up needing a root canal treatment from using an over-the-counter whitening kit.

My suggestion is you simply talk to your dentist about your desire to whiten your teeth. The cost of Premium Teeth Whitening is not that much less than what your dentist would charge you. Ask him or her if they would be willing to come down on their price a little or allow you to pay out the current cost. Most dentists are happy to find ways to help their patients afford dental work. I think you’ll end up much happier with your results that way.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

White Spots On Teeth

My daughter had braces. When they came off there were white spots on her teeth. Our dentist suggested we have teeth whitening done to even out the whitening, but that just seems to be making it worse. What do we do?

Carolyn

Dear Carolyn,

Teeth Bleaching Trays

Dear Carolyn,

Your dentist may mean well, but he or she doesn’t have a good understanding of how teeth whitening works. While a cost-effective way of helping stained teeth look younger, brighter, and more attractive, it is not useful for uneven color. This is because it will whiten your teeth evenly. Her teeth will be whiter, but so will her white spots.

The spots that developed are areas of decalcification. Those are cavities. They are pretty common after braces. Teenagers don’t always get between all those wires and brackets effectively.

One thing you can try is a product called Tooth Mousse. It is designed to help remineralize those spots. That would be my first go-to.

If that doesn’t work, then you can go to a cosmetic dentist and have both microabrasion and dental bonding done on those spots.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.
Click here to learn how Dr. Peck keeps dentistry affordable.

Should I Get Lumineers?

Hello,

I’ve always hated my smile, and am interested in getting veneers to fix it. I’m interested in Lumineers, but I’ve heard they may not be as durable as porcelain veneers. Which would be better? I’m currently saving up for the veneers, so cost is a factor. I want the longest-lasting veneers I can get.

Sydnee, from Richmond, VA

Hi Sydnee,

Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneer, and porcelain in general is very strong. If a veneer cracks, it’s likely because of poor bonding, rather than the material itself.

Lumineers are thinner than your usual porcelain veneer, but require a skilled dentist to make and place. In the wrong hands, they can look fake. Since they are a no-prep veneer, they can also look bulky if not bonded properly. Be sure to check your cosmetic dentist’s smile gallery first, to see if you like the look of Lumineers.

Before and after photos of smile makeovers are a good way to gauge a potential cosmetic dentist’s skill. Most dentists like their work because they get to fix problems, rather than create beautiful pieces of art. A true cosmetic dentist can combine aesthetics with functionality.

Some cosmetic dentists do not do Lumineers. Apart from requiring high levels of skill to place, they also require a special lab for processing, so some dentists opt not to work with them.  If you go to a cosmetic dentist who does not do Lumineers, it’s best not to press the issue; pushing a dentist to work with a material outside their comfort zone can have disastrous results for your smile.

This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix Lumineers provider, Dr. Hillary Peck. Dr. Peck is a general dentist with years of training in cosmetic dentistry and experience placing Lumineers.

Is an Affordable Dentist Possible Without Dental Insurance?

I’m in my late thirties and have never been the best at taking care of my teeth. I have been without dental insurance for the last couple of years, and, therefore, haven’t had a checkup in well over that amount of time.

I am a contract employee, which means I don’t have dental insurance, and, recently, found myself without any work. The nature of my unemployment status has me under more stress than ever before and I’m discovering that I am grinding my teeth when I sleep. In fact, I think I may have a cracked tooth because of the grinding.

I am certain I have a myriad of other dental issues which need addressed, since I haven’t been seen for quite some time. I know that I can’t put dental care off any longer, but am concerned about the cost, since I don’t have dental insurance.

Is it even possible to find a cheap dentist who does quality work?

Thank you,
Erica

Dear Erica,

It sounds like you’ve been experiencing a run of bad luck. Unfortunately, searching for a cheap dentist will likely yield cheap care. If you seek dentists that are promoting the fact that they offer cheaper rates than their competitors, you will more than likely get what you pay for. Your treatment could be quick and rushed, the quality of care could be less, or you could be one of several patients being seen at the same time.

The best route to take is to try to focus your search on finding a quality dentist, who does a great job, yet is within your budget parameters. There are several considerations when doing this.

What to Consider When Looking for an Affordable Dentist

You mentioned not having dental insurance. One option to consider is getting dental insurance of your own. Many of the major insurance providers offer policies similar to what you would have through an employer. It just isn’t subsidized, as it would be with an employer. You would likely pay something in the range of $50 per month, maybe more, maybe less. If this is something to consider, don’t wait, as many policies require a specific waiting period.

Another consideration is looking into a practices that offers financial arrangements. Some offices offer discounts for cash paying customers who pay in full. Many offices offer financing options through programs such as CareCredit. CareCredit is a program which offers no interest payment plans for a specified period of time.

A third option to consider is arranging your dental procedures in an order which allows you to budget for them. Ask the dentist which procedures are priority and should be addressed soon, then stager the remaining procedures.

Finally, you are right to want to take care of the teeth grinding, before any major problems begin to occur. Grinding teeth can wear your teeth down greatly, causing a need for crowns and fillings. It can also cause teeth to break, or loosen, and can ultimately cause jaw issues. All of which will become worse if left untreated. If your grinding your teeth at night, be sure to address this with a dentist, as you could be fitted for a night guard.

If you are grinding your teeth during the day, due to stress-inducing clenching or grinding, this is different. Because it is impractical to leave a night guard in all day and night, there are other techniques that can help to prevent daytime grinding. Many people have good luck learning to practice techniques of mindfulness and relaxation. Therefore, if you find yourself beginning to clench your jaw, or grind your teeth during the waking hours, you could try to think of something that relaxes you, or meditate briefly.

Many of these considerations will allow you to address your dental needs with a quality, affordable dentist, which staying within your budget.

Good luck!

This blog article is provided by the office of Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

 

 

Elderly Parent Losing Teeth

My elderly father recently had some teeth filled. He also has one partial tooth. All of which are in the same general area, in the lower part of his jaw. However, in the last couple of days, two of his front teeth fell out. Because his gums and remaining teeth are not in the best health, we are in need of affordable dental options to remedy the issue.

Thank you,
Mindi

Dear Mindi,

If your father’s teeth fell out, completely on their own, that is a case of advanced periodontal disease. If this is in fact the case, there are likely few to no solid teeth left. Therefore, you have a few options.

Options For Replacing Missing Teeth

The most ideal solution would be dental implants. However, your father would need a full-mouth reconstruction, which would likely cost over $20,000.

Another option to consider is removable dentures. One problem with removable dentures is they cause bone resorption. However, since your father is in his elderly years, this would not be an issue.

A third option is a partial denture. A partial is built like a complete denture, but has holes in it, allowing the existing teeth to poke through. This is a more stable option that allows holes to be closed up with artificial teeth should additional teeth fall out.

If you have not already done so, you should consult with your dentist, and let him know your father’s budget constraints up front. His dentist will likely share financial options with you, that will make the dental treatments more affordable.

This blog post was brought to you by Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

What should i do to find a good affordable dentist?

It seems there is a bit of irony in the phrase “affordable dentist.” As someone who is in need of several dental procedures, I have not been able to secure dental insurance until the last few months. The first dental provider I visited recommended treatment to the tune of almost $12,000. That is completely unrealistic for my budget, so I set out to find a dentist would could provide the services I need for a lesser cost. However, in my research, I’m concluding that the dental offices who showcase their low costs come with poor reviews. And, those which I have visited, feel like the dentist is running an assembly line, quickly moving through as many procedures as possible.

Because I am in need of a great deal of dental work, it is crucial that I find a dentist with whom I can connect with and feel comfortable around.

Is it possible to find a dentist who will provide quality work for a reasonable cost?

Thank you,
Will

Dear Will,
You ask wonderful questions. Rest assured, this situation is quite common. However, the remedy will require a different way of thinking.

Thought it may appear that, when comparing the services from various dentists, that they are the same, regardless of the procedures, the individual dentists have their own unique approaches. Try to consider the dentists’ perspective, as there are only so many ways costs can be reduced. A dentist could:

  1. Monitor and limit the time they are with patients (this sounds similar to the tactics you mentioned above).
  2. Select materials which are cheaper.
  3. Reduce the amenities they offer and/or the size of their team, or have team members with less experience.

Unfortunately, doing any of the above would reduce the quality of your experience and services you receive and you would want to steer clear of offices that do them. However, these are characteristics of cheap dentistry.

The solution is more about finding a good dentist who is affordable. There are several considerations when doing this.

  1. Look for an office who will separate your treatment plan into smaller sections. This will allow you to pay for the services as you receive them and your budget allows.
  2. Consider offices who offer financing options. Many offer this in-house through their office, or use services such as CareCredit.
  3. If you don’t currently have dental insurance, get it. Or, if you do have it, look into getting a secondary plan. You can get on a good PPO for under $50 a month, but be cognisant of wait periods, as some companies require waiting over a year for services.
  4. Prioritize and address the most pressing needs first, and as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the longer you go without fixing dental problems, the more expensive they become.
  5. Be sure you are getting the most out of your insurance benefits. Ask questions and find out as much about your benefits as you can. Determine if there are other options that will allow the insurance company to cover more, or be sure you use every dime of the amount they pay.

If you find an office that you connect with, be sure to let them know your budget. Ideally, the best practices will offer to find ways to help ensure you get the treatment you need, even if you have to start slow and go at the pace which your budget allows.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

An affordable dentist experimented on my tooth

I am embarrassed to admit that I answered an ad for an affordable dentist for a crown procedure at a reduced rate. The dentist claimed he recently got a machine that would make the crowns in-house. He wanted some patients with whom he could try out his machine. I’ve been in need of a crown procedure for quite some time, but couldn’t afford the cost I’d been quoted from other dentists. The low cost appealed to me and I answered the ad. During the five hours I was in his office the dentist had several issues with his machine, not to mention the crowns would not fit right. After he made some adjustments with my tooth, and the machine, the crown finally fit.

This procedure took place two days ago and my entire mouth is in pain, in particular, my tooth. Is it possible that the dentist caused permanent damage? If so, will I have to eat the cost, since he disclosed that this was a learning procedure up front?

Thank you,
Jason

Dear Jason,

You’ve had quite the experience. Regardless, you should be sure the dentist knows you are in pain. When teeth are manipulated as much as yours were, they experience irritation. If it’s just a basic irritation, the pain should subside in a few days. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, should help you with the pain.

If the pain does not subside and improve on its own, it could mean the decay grew, in which case you would need a root canal as soon as possible. This could also be the case if your tooth experienced trauma during the procedure.

Regardless of the dentist claiming to be an affordable dentist, or saying that he was using the procedure to learn, he is responsible. If he is an ethical dental professional, he will want to be aware of the problems you are experiencing and fix them. If he refuses to fix the situation, you will need to see another dental professional about the issues you are having.

For future dental procedures, you may want to seek out dentists who provide quality care, and then look for financing options that fit into your budget, like spreading out treatment costs, utilizing insurance benefits, or financing treatment.

Good luck to you!

This blog post is provided by Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

Do I Need a Mercury-free Dentist to Remove One Filling?

I have a silver filling I want to get rid of. I asked my dentist and he said the panic about silver fillings is overblown and I’m safer leaving them in. I don’t want to leave it in. Do I need to switch dentists or is he right about it being unsafe to remove?

Megan

Dear Megan,

Left: silver amalgam filling Right: mercury-free composite filling

If a dentist doesn’t know how to do a sanitary amalgam removal, then yes, you’re better off leaving them in. However, you don’t have to if you truly don’t want to. Especially if they’re getting old, you’re much better off removing it before it starts to leak.

There are dentists who will know how to remove them safely. I’d look for a mercury-free dentist in your place. They’ll know how to keep you from inhaling any mercury vapors or swallowing any bits of mercury. Aside from a stopper dam, they’ll need a fan and cold water to keep the mercury from melting.

Once you remove the silver fillings, you can replace them with white composite fillings. These are actually better for your teeth than their silver predecessor anyway.

If you’re happy with your dentist, you can just go to another one for this removal and replacement. However, if you and your dentist tend to disagree in treatment philosophy, you could use this as an opportunity to find another dentist.

Look at the website of some local dentists. Make sure they’re mercury-free. It’s also good to see if they offer other services you may be interested in. For instance, if you’re looking for services such as teeth whitening, make sure you can get that as well.

Then, when you have a list of possibilities, be certain to check out their reviews. Many people leave reviews on sites such as Google or Yelp!

This will tell you if they do quality work and whether or not they have a good chairside manner and patients enjoy working with them.

Best of luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Affordable Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Groupon for Lumineers? Likely a Bad Idea

I’ve become a Groupon addict. We can get things we’ve never been able to afford through this marvelous group innovation. Today I saw a Groupon for Lumineers. The price is fantastic! I’ve always wanted to get my teeth more attractive and this looks like an ideal way to do it. I just wanted to check with a dentist first to get a professional opinion.

Lacey L.

Dear Lacey,

There are a few things to consider before you hit that “Deal” button. First, have you had a consultation to make sure you are a candidate for porcelain veneers? Not everyone is a candidate. If you purchase that deal and it turns out you can’t get them, there are no refunds.

Second, what do you know about the dentist who will do the work? Not all cosmetic dentists are created equal. Lumineers are a bit notorious for being marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. This can lead to a poorly done smile makeover.

You’ll really want to research their ability to give a beautiful smile makeover. Ask to view some of their before and after photos of cases they’ve performed. They should have some type of smile gallery. This is generally examples of their absolute best work, so if you’re not thrilled with what you see, I certainly wouldn’t move forward.

Something else to consider is that Lumineers are just a brand of porcelain veneers. It may be that a different brand would produce better results for your particular smile.

While there are some areas of dentistry where it’s okay to just look for the most affordable dentist, cosmetic work isn’t one of them. You want to find the dentist who can give you the best smile possible. Groupon will limit you to this dentist offering the deal. So, do your due diligence to be sure you won’t end up with a lemon of a smile makeover.

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