Tag Archives: dental payment plans

One-Day Versus Traditional Crowns?

I need to get a dental crown but am a bit short on money. I’ve been looking at both traditional crowns and those one-day crowns. I’m hoping the one day crowns are less expensive because they only take one appointment, but it is for a front tooth, so I want to make sure the one-day crowns are just as good as the old-fashioned ones.


Dear Sara,

Dental crown being placed on a tooth

I’m glad you wrote. The truth is that both a traditional crown as well as a CEREC crown will cost about the same amount. Yes, it is true that the CEREC crown takes only one appointment as opposed to the traditional crown, however the CEREC machine costs a dentist about $150,000. That is a huge expense to cover, so dentists will generally spread that out in the cost of the crowns.

The quality of the crowns is about the same either way. However, because you are needing this crown on a front tooth, I highly recommend that you get a traditional crown. Same day crowns are milled out of a single block of porcelain. Our natural teeth have variations in their color and opacity. That is why with traditional crowns dentists use more than one block of porcelain so they can get all those subtle differences in there.

This doesn’t mean you still can’t get an affordable dental crown. The key, however, is not in the type of crown as much as the dentist that makes the difference in the price. If you are looking for an affordable dental crown, I would look for an affordable dentist. They are much more likely to have reasonable prices, as well as allow you to make payments instead of paying for everything up front. You can generally find them by doing an internet search for the term “affordable dentist”. I hope this helps.

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

Why Doesn’t My Crown Match?

Hello there,

I had a discolored front tooth, so my dentist made me a porcelain crown. It’s well made, but it’s an unnatural color.  I’m not happy with it, but it’s already cemented into my mouth. My dentist is willing to redo the crown, but should I go see my same dentist? Or try to find someone who specializes in crowns? I went to my family dentist because I thought it was most affordable, but I’m worried I should have gone to a cosmetic dentist in the first place.

Larry, from Rome, NY

Hello Larry,

If cost is that much of a factor, and you are willing to give your dentist another chance, stay with your current dentist. He sounds like he is willing to work with you so you can get a crown that matches your teeth. However, if you want a perfect-looking crown, you should look into starting over with a cosmetic dentist.

Your dentist sounds like he realizes he made a mistake with your crown, and is trying to make it right. Matching a crown to the front teeth takes a lot of skill. After each try-in, it must be sent back to the lab before a successful color match can be made. Even a skilled dentist or ceramist will take several tries before they can make a natural-looking match.

Your dentist was likely inexperienced in making natural-looking crowns. He may not have known how much time or effort it would take to make a crown for a front tooth.

A sign of an inexperienced dentist is when they ask to crown both front teeth, in order to ensure a color match. While this is one way to make sure the shades match, it does add an expense to the crown procedure .

One suggestion you can make to your dentist is to ask him to take photos of your smile using a high-tech intra-oral camera. This can help him get the most natural looking colors to match your future crown. Make sure the  pictures of your smile are taken under natural lighting can help your dentist match your crown to your natural tooth’s color. If he lacks the skill, the technology, or is unwilling to try, your best bet would be to go to a different cosmetic dentist and start over.

This blog post is brought to you by Scottsdale affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry





Should I Get Lumineers?


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.

Affordable Solutions for Teeth Falling Out

My mom is almost 87. She recently had to have a filling and then later that day when I went to check on her two teeth just fell out. Her dentist never even mentioned they were a problem. I can’t just leave her that way. She needs to replace them, but I don’t know if a bridge is a good idea at her age. Maybe her other teeth are too old? What would be an affordable solution for her?


Dear Bridgett,

I need to say up front it sounds like your mother needs a different dentist. If she has teeth just falling out from no obvious issue, it means she has an advanced periodontal disease. He should be checking her gums at her regular check-ups and warning her about the state of her gums. There are steps which can be taken to treat gum disease.

If I’m right and she has gum disease a dental bridge is out of the question. It will just pull out the remaining teeth it’s attached to. Ideally, you’d replace missing teeth with dental implants, but that’s also out of the question with gum disease. Plus, you asked for an affordable solution. Dental implants can cost upwards of $40,000.

An image of complete dentures

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend dentures because of their complications with bone resorption. However, your mother is 87. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for her. It usually takes between 10 and 20 years for it to become a problem. Now, if your family has a history of centenarians, you may reconsider. But most don’t.

Cu-Sil partial denture

If you go to another dentist who thinks he can save quite a bit of her teeth, please do that. You don’t have to lose all your teeth to get dentures. There is something called a Cu-Sil partial (pictured directly above). It will leave holes for her healthy teeth. It uses little rubber rings to keep it secure to her teeth. It actually makes it more stable. Then, if the tooth is lost in the future, it’s simply a matter of closing up the hole and adding another false tooth.

Affordable Dentists Will Work with You

Most patients, especially elderly ones, don’t have the funds to just pay for large procedures outright. However, most dentists are willing to work with patients giving them payment plans. If you can’t find a dentist like that. Sign your mother up for Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card of sorts, which will allow her to pay off her treatments slowly. In fact, depending on the state of her credit, she can even get 0% interest as she pays it off. They also have no penalty for early repayment, so it’s a win-win situation.

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

Is There Affordable Dentistry for the Unemployed?

My dad was laid off, after 30+ years with the same company. Can you believe that? It’s so annoying. Now he has a toothache he’s hiding, but I’ve noticed. He’s a proud man and won’t accept help from me. I know him enough to know that he’s trying to wait it out until he finds employment again. I’m worried whatever the problem is will grow and spread. Is there a way to get him affordable dentistry?

Abigail L. – Delaware


I love that you’re looking out for your father. I also like he’s a man who likes to stand on his own two feet. However, you’re right. He needs to get this treated. It can blow up into an infection and infections spread. Even in the 21st century, people die from tooth infections. He has a couple of options, though.

First, he could just go to his normal dentist. Even if he’s not what you’d normally consider an “affordable dentist“, if your father’s been a long time patient, he’ll almost certainly work with him on payments.

If your father’s dentist is inflexible and doesn’t do payment plans, it’s perfectly acceptable for him to see another dentist in emergency situations. This definitely qualifies as a dental emergency. Many emergency dentists also have payment plans. They do that because they realize people end up with tooth infections when they avoid the dentist because of cost. They’ll either have in-office payment plans or use Care Credit.

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

Why Don’t Affordable Dentists Seem to Care?

I’m self-employed and don’t have dental insurance. I keep looking for affordable dentists. I find them, but end up hating the care. They always seem to rush me through and have little time or patience for any questions or concerns I have. Am I doomed to this type of care?

Annie W. – Alabama


I’m very sorry you have had such negative experiences with dentists. It is true that many dentists who advertise has having lower fees will often try to make up for the low fees by volume. That ends up with a conveyor belt type of care for patients.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a difference between affordable care and cheap care. You want affordable care. I would start by searching not by fees, but by patient satisfaction. Find dentists people are happy with. Make a list.

Then go down the list and call them. Ask about their fees. Then ask about payment plans and other options they have for patients without insurance. You will be much more likely to find a dentist you will be happy with that way.

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

Need a dentist I can afford

I’ve never gone to a dentist. I’ve never really had problems with my teeth either, but now that I’m an adult i’d like to go.  I just finished college. I have a job, but it doesn’t provide dental and I’ve go loads of student loans.  I don’t know where to start in finding a dentist. I don’t even know how much it is supposed to be.

Daniel – Ft. Smith, AR


Congratulations for graduating college AND getting a job.  Those are two things that rarely happen together these days.  It’s scary getting started on adult life, but it is great that you are taking your oral health seriously. Don’t worry, there are affordable dentists.

To find out the norm for pricing in your area, I would call about 5 or 6 dentists at random and ask their prices for cleanings, filling, and crowns. That sampling should give you a reasonable range of what to expect.

After that, see what kind of reviews the ones that are closest to you get. Check to see if the ones you’re interested in have payment options that work with your budget. Their website should give you some indication of how they handle payments.

When you’ve done your legwork, you’re ready to schedule an appointment with your first choice and see how you like him or her.

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


No insurance-need affordable dental care

If you don’t have insurance, how do you know if a dentist is affordable?

Melinda G.- Baton  Rouge, LA


You could do a search for dentists in your area and then call around to get their prices.  Many dentists also have a payment plan option.  Most have low and even no-interest payment plans. Dentists who don’t mind working with patients often advertise as an affordable dentist on their website.

Beware of just going with the cheapest price.  Often that means the quality isn’t as good. That could mean a failed procedure that ends up costing you way more than if you’d just gone to a better dentist to begin with.

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