I’ve neglected going to a dentist for many years, but I have always tried to take good care of my teeth. I finally decided that it was time to see one, but when I went to the appointment, he told me I needed a deep cleaning. I’m not sure it’s necessary and part of me is wondering if he just wants to get me in the chair again to pay for treatments that I don’t need. How can I be sure he is looking after my best interests and just doesn’t want my money? — Nicki
Going to the dentist can be stressful enough, let alone when your dentist finds a “problem” and suddenly you’re faced with unexpected and expensive follow-up appointments. Wondering whether or not a procedure is truly needed is certainly normal. While most of the dentists out there reputable, it’s good to be an informed consumer because it certainly is no fun to spend unnecessarily for over-treatment.
You have the right to ask questions… and you should! If you don’t understand the need for specific treatment, your dentist should take the time to plainly spell it out for you. If you get an answer similar to, “We do this for everybody,” it’s probably a tell-tale sign. Were you referred to this dentist by friends or family or was it just someone you found in the phone book or online?
Also, it really depends on what your dentist means by a deep cleaning. Regardless of how often you brush at home, you’re still going to have some plaque and tarter deposits. The additional time it takes for the hygienist could be what he means by a “deep cleaning.” Plus, if your last visit was more than year or two ago, or if you smoke or have other oral issues that could warrant “deep cleaning” similar to what is done for gum disease.
In the end, it’s best to rely on your gut instinct and decide if that dentist is the one for you. But, please don’t allow this situation to keep you from continuing to get regular dental check-ups. With a little time and research, you will find a dentist who not only puts patients first, but take pride in his skills, his staff and the care they give.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.