Tag Archives: Scottsdale affordable dentist

Can’t Afford to Get Infected Tooth Removed


I think I have a dental emergency. One of my teeth is throbbing with pain. I think I need a root canal, however, I cannot afford one. Should I wait to see a dentist when I can, or go see an emergency dentist immediately? It is really painful, I’m not sure how much longer I can deal with the swelling.

Mallick, from Trenton, New Jersey


Hi Mallick,

If it is swelling that much, you need immediate assistance. If you cannot go see your dentist, you will need to see someone who can do your root canal. If you cannot afford this, you will need to go see an emergency dentist.

If you do not see an emergency dentist for the infection, you run the risk of the infection spreading. An oral infection can spread to the heart or brain, and once it does, it can cause severe consequences and even death.

Also, do not take antibiotics without a treatment plan. The overuse of antibiotics can cause side effects, such as leading to treatment-resistant infections. Once the infection can no longer be treated with antibiotics, it will become more dangerous and more difficult to eradicate.

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

What Dental Treatments Do I Need as an Adult?

Hi there,

I keep on top of my dental appointments, going every six months. However, every time I go, my dentist insists on giving me x-rays and bitewings each time I go. I was wondering how often I needed these? My dentist also wants me to get fluoride treatments, but I thought only kids needed those. Do I still need them? I’m on a tight budget and only want to get what is absolutely necessary.

Hannah, from Leeds, United Kingdom


Hi Hannah,

There is no negative affect for receiving fluoride treatments as an adult. However if you have had porcelain work done to your teeth, you should be wary of using acidulated fluoride. This strong type of fluoride can damage your veneers or crowns, and make your teeth more susceptible to staining. Be sure to inform your hygienist of any work you’ve had done prior to your cleaning.

Your dentist would recommend these treatments for you if your teeth are in an advanced state of decay. You are correct, mostly children receive fluoride treatments until the age of 14, but some continue longer.

The ADA guidelines recommend a full-mouth x-ray every that show the roots every one to five years. You need bitewings (a set of two to four x-rays taken while you bite down on some film) at least once a year.

Your dentist may have recommended additional x-rays if your teeth have advanced stages of decay. If not, then you can ask your dentist to follow the ADA guidelines. Receiving fewer x-rays will save you some money.

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

Dentist “Bait and Switched” Me with Prices

I had was diagnosed with a cavity two months ago. They said it was small enough we could just watch it for now because I told them I didn’t have much money. But, a few days ago it started hurting. Because I already knew the problem I just called around to a few dentists who advertised as affordable to see what their prices were. This one dentist was significantly cheaper than the rest so I booked with him. Then, when I get there he says the decay is too extensive and he’ll have to do a crown. That is way more money than I’d planned for. I left without having the work done. Should I get a second opinion? Do you think I’m being bait and switched?


Dear Bruce,

Dollar sign hatched from an egg
Cheap does not always equal affordable.

There are a few things going on here. First, is financial. You need an affordable dentist who’s willing to work with you on payments. But, you’re making a common mistake in equating affordable with cheap. There are good dentists who find ways to be affordable but probably aren’t the cheapest. Then, there are dentists who quote cheap prices, but end up costing you more money because either their skill or the quality of their materials are sub-par.

It’s also possible, the dentist wasn’t trying to pull one over on you. The original diagnosis was a couple of months ago. That, combined with the fact that the tooth starting hurting, tells me the decay has spread. Once decay gets to a certain point a filling isn’t enough and a crown becomes necessary. If it blows up into an infection, you’ll need a root canal treatment as well.

Get a Second Opinion from Another Affordable Dentist

It’s okay to trust your gut. If you truly feel like this guy was trying to pull one over on you then you should get a second opinion. You can bring your x-rays from your previous appointment for the second dentist to examine which will save you on additional x-rays.

Remember, cheap doesn’t mean affordable. Look for dentists who offer payment plans and phased treatment options. But, check their reviews to make sure they have a good reputation.

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

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.

Affordable Full-Mouth Reconstruction?

I never got to go to the dentist as a child. As a young adult, I couldn’t afford it. Now that I’m in my thirties, I decided to bite the bullet. I wasn’t surprised to be told I needed a lot of work. The dentist said he usually recommends a full-mouth reconstruction. He explained what it was, but the price was well out of my ability. It sounds like something that would really help me though. Is there some way to get an affordable full-mouth reconstruction?


Dear Elaine,

A smiling blonde with a beautiful smile

Even if you had the money for a full-mouth reconstruction, I’d recommend you get a second opinion. There may be a better way to repair your smile without crowning every tooth. That alone will give you more affordable dental care.

Go to another dentist and ask him to first list out all the work your mouth needs. It’s very likely you have teeth which don’t need work. You didn’t mention having any pain, so it doesn’t sound like you’re losing any teeth and need something like dental implants.

If it turns out you do need a full-mouth reconstruction, you need to verify the training and credentials your dentist has. This is a serious procedure which is well beyond what a dentist learns in dental school. It requires an advanced knowledge of both aesthetics and reconstructive dentistry. If they don’t get the aesthetics right, your smile will look horrible. If they don’t get the reconstructive done properly, you’ll end up in pain for the rest of your life from a misplaced bite.

How to Afford Dental Care When You Need a Lot of Work

It’s hard when you haven’t been able to go to the dentist because of the amount of work you end up needing. It sounds like you’ve been fortunate and haven’t needed any emergency dental care. As I mentioned earlier, you want to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible.

When he lists out the work you need, have him list it from most urgent to least. A good dentist will also give you all your alternatives. So if you need a tooth replaced, which I hope you don’t, and the teeth on either side of it need crowns, it would make more sense to get a dental bridge instead of a dental implant. It’s like getting three procedures in one.

The reason for the list is to allow you to separate out your treatment into affordable bites. Make sure he tells you about any procedures you can double up on to save money.

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

Affordable Neighborhood Dentist? Where?

Why does where you live seem to determine how much you have to pay for the dentist? We stretched ourselves financially in order to live in a better neighborhood, but the dentist here is almost double what our old neighborhood dentist cost. I don’t want to have to drive across town into the heart of an area we felt was unsafe in order to get affordable dental care.


Dear Nora,

Dollar sign hatched from an egg

It would be nice if the quality of all dentists were reliably equal, but that isn’t the case. The cost of a dentist varies based on several factors, though it is possible to find highly skilled dentists which are affordable, even in better neighborhoods. First, I’ll go over some factors which affect cost.

Building Costs can Affect the Cost of Dentistry

You’ve heard the expression, “Location, location, location…” Often offices in better neighborhoods have to pay exorbitant rental costs on their building. It’s hard for them to stay afloat, so their prices are higher so they can stay in business in that area.

This is one of the reasons Dr. Peck chose a location just outside a more expensive area. This enabled him to keep his costs reasonable for people in more than one type of neighborhood.

Skill Can Affect the Affordability of Dentistry

While some dentists do not raise their prices simply because they have exceptional skills, some do. They’ve spent a great deal of money and time furthering both their education and their skills. They need to make up the cost of that education.

Affordable Dentistry versus Cheap Dentistry

On the other end of the spectrum, there are dentists who lower their prices significantly just to draw patients in, but the quality of their work isn’t up to snuff. They keep their profits up by purchasing lower quality materials.

Think of it this way. What’s more affordable, a crown that lasts fifteen years and costs $900.00 or a crown that lasts four years and costs $500.00? Obviously, the cheaper crown ends up costing you significantly more in the long run.

Ideally, you want to find a dentist who does quality work at a reasonable price. Most dentists will offer some type of payment plan option for work that has a higher cost because of the nature of the procedure.

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

Will an Affordable Dentist Help a Minor?

I have a problem. I’m a teenager (13) and still suck my thumb. I’m really embarrassed about it. I don’t want my parents to know but it is making my teeth stick out. The kids at school make fun of me about my teeth. Is there a dentist that won’t charge me too much and would let me come without my parents knowing? I need to find out what to do about my thumb sucking and my teeth. I can pay some. I’ve got a little business I do knitting scarves for people.


Dear Olivia,

Child with Pediatric Dentist

I’m so sorry the kids at school are giving you a hard time. I’m even more sorry you feel like you have to deal with this on your own. I wish you felt like you could talk to your parents. I don’t know your situation. Hopefully, there is some trusted adult in your life you feel safe with.

If you don’t feel safe, please tell a teacher or police officer. I also want to commend you on having a business at your age. You sound like a gal who’s going to change the world and I’m very proud of you.

Finding a dentist who’ll work with you financially isn’t a problem. Most would be happy to work with you. The biggest issue is the fact that you’re a minor. Legally, dentists cannot treat you without your parents there. They could lose their license. But, don’t get discouraged yet. I may have a way to help.

Affordable Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking

About any general pharmacy will have a type of clear nail polish designed to help people stop sucking your thumb. It’s not very expensive. You essentially just paint it on your thumb and the taste is so foul that it prevents you from sucking y our thumb.

This will deal with your thumb sucking problem but not your teeth. I’m guessing your parents don’t take you to the dentist regularly. I’d tell them your teeth are bothering you. When your teeth are out of alignment it can lead to migraines and even TMJ problems.

You may do some up front research ahead of time to look for affordable dentists in your area. At your age, you could go to either a pediatric dentist or a general dentist. Many work with Care Credit which is a medical card that can allow you to may payment plans for low and even no-interest.

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

Is There Such a Thing as an Affordable Smile Makeover?

I don’t make a lot of money. In fact, I’m pretty close to the poverty line, thankfully on the plus side of it though. I’ve wanted to improve the appearance of my smile for years. Everything I read says smile makeovers need porcelain veneers, which are way out of my budget. Is there such a thing as an affordable smile makeover?

Mary Anne L.

Dear Mary Anne,

Scottsdale Affordable Dentist

It’s admirable that you’re working toward improving your smile despite financial challenges. Your smile is an investment. A beautiful smile exudes confidence, which in turn helps you to be more successful in dealing with peers.

If you were getting a top of the line smile makeover, then yes, porcelain veneers are the way to go.  There are affordable dentists who might be willing to let you pay out your smile makeover, but each dentist has their own policy in regards to what they’ll accept payments on. If they don’t take payments on cosmetic procedures, Care Credit is always an option.

Also, there are other cosmetic procedures that don’t include porcelain veneers which can make a huge difference in your smile. One of the most affordable things you can do is get your teeth whitened. It’s cost effective while taking years off your appearance. It’s also simple to do and can fit into almost anyone’s schedule.

Of course, a lot of what would help depends on what you perceive is wrong with your teeth. If you have chips or gaps, dental bonding is an affordable way to close those.

I hope this helps you. Talk to your dentist about specific issues. He or she may have some remarkably creative solutions.

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

Is it Possible to Save Time AND Money at the Dentist?

ThereI have a large family. It’s nearly impossible for me to pay for everyone to get their dental work done twice a year and afford it without spreading it out throughout the year. What that boils down to is we’re at the dentist EVERY month; more if someone needs a filling or crown. What I’m looking for is a dentist who will let us all come on the same day, but pay it out throughout the six months. Is that possible?

Sandy B.

Dear Sandy,

Yes, that’s possible but it depends on the dentist. Your best bet is to look for someone who calls himself an affordable dentist. They’re generally more willing to work with patients, especially those in your situation.

The other thing to look for if you want your family to all get treatment is to find a dentist who treats both adults and children. There are many general dentists who are happy to treat children.

However, don’t just jump at the first dentist you see who meets these two criteria. Check their reviews. You want to make sure they’re skilled and thoughtful with patients. You don’t want a dentist who is going to cause your children to dread the dentist.

In fact, if you find a great dentist who works with whole families, does great work, and is good with patients, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to afford to go. There’s a medical “credit card” of sorts called Care Credit. The best thing about this is you can set your terms. Depending on your credit, you can even get zero interest payment plans and there’s no penalty for paying it off early.

I hope this helps you get the dental care you need without feeling like you have to live at the dentist’s office.

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

Are All Dentists Judgmental?

I’ll admit I don’t get to the dentist as often as is recommended. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just I can’t afford it. Not only do I not have dental insurance, so everything must be paid for out of pocket, but I lose income by going. I’m paid by the hour and dentists only seem to be open during normal working hours. I have to miss work to go. Essentially, I’m charged twice if you think about it. Even though I don’t go very often, I do try to go every two years. I rarely have a problem with my teeth, but I get a lecture every single time. I’ve switched dentists every couple of years for that very reason, but no matter who I go to, there’s still that lecture. Why are they so judgmental? Why can’t they seem to understand it’s a sacrifice for many people to get to the dentist?

Avery L.

Dear Avery,

I can understand your frustration. Here you are trying your best, making sacrifices to even get to the dentist and when you do, they treat you like someone who doesn’t take care of things. First, I want you to know that not all dentists will lecture you. In fact, some dentists will just be grateful you came and tell you so. Both sets, judgemental and non-judgmental, likely have the same mindset behind their response. They care and want you to get the proper care for your teeth. They go about it different ways, some more productive than others, but they mean well.

It sounds to me like you want dental care, but you need an affordable dentist. There are dentists who work to keep their fees down. They may even work with your schedule, so you don’t lose income. Explain your work situation. It may not be that they hold regular Saturday or evening hours, but would be willing to meet with you twice a year at less than peak times so you don’t lose income to get your teeth cleaned. They wouldn’t want you to advertise they’re doing that, but would be willing to help.

Another option is to consider using a program such as Care Credit. It’s a medical “credit card” of sorts. It allows you to go ahead with treatment and then slowly pay out the bill for the services you receive. Depending on what type of credit you have, you may even be able to get zero interest payments.

Something patients don’t generally consider is how much going to the dentist regularly saves them money, health, and time. If you get your teeth cleaned regularly you’re less likely to develop a cavity. If you do happen to develop one anyway, they’re often caught so early that a simple, small filling will be enough. When things are left to progress without early intervention you end up with a more invasive (and costly) procedure, such as a root canal treatment, or worse, an extraction and the need to get a tooth replacement.

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