CHOOSING A DENTIST
CHOOSING A DENTIST
So how does one choose a dentist?
From personal experience, choosing a dentist is not easy. To start with, your choice of dentist is limited to those dentists you can see in your geographical area, this means that if you have an undersupply of dentists, the work may be hurried and rushed and your tooth made worse as a result; also, in line with supply and demand principles, the dentists may overcharge you enormously, because they know they have many other patients who are willing to pay.
If there is an oversupply of dentists, then the dentist may be inclined to overcharge to boost his income and he can do this also by doing unnecessary dental work, accounting fees and so on, but I think your teeth are more likely to be cared for better by such a dentist, as he wants you to come back and spend more. More than likely though, a dentist in an oversupply area is more likely to charge more reasonable prices.
If you are prepared to travel, then you may be able to choose a more suitable area to draw your dentist from.
How much can you save by going to a lower demand area for dentists? In our case, we live in a town of 25,000, but with only a small number of dentists, for example a scale and clean, including root planing, costs $250 to $300 from a general dentist. Travelling to a smaller town, 20 minutes away, with a better dentist to population ratio, the same procedure is $156 - well worth the travelling costs involved. We save heaps.
Sometimes a dental fund will allow you to choose any dentist you want, but then penalize you by paying the dentist you choose less, which means you pay more to see a "non-preferred" dentist. If money is tight, then your choice of dentist can become greatly curtailed at this point in time.
Now we get to choose the dentist, based on the characteristics of the dentist.
The things we look for in choosing a dentist:
Problem was in rushing the simple dental cavity the dentist drilled to deep and the tooth started bleeding, the dentist then packed the tooth with something to stop the bleeding and refilled the tooth.
Within a week or two, Ms. X was back at another dentist because of the pain and toothache. The second dentist drilled out the new filling, found the packing material, couldn't figure out what on earth it was, but then told Ms. X that the tooth had kept bleeding and the tooth was now so badly corroded inside by the blood, that the tooth would have to be extracted, which my wife can tell you was very painful for weeks after and may have been responsible for her having a mini-stroke (TIA).
So, because we chose the wrong dentist, what should have been a simple filling turned into a tooth extraction and a nightmare.
From my own experience in having my tooth worked on by a rough and fast dentist I chose once, the dentist cleaned my teeth in nothing flat, said there was nothing wrong and sent me home. Within a few weeks, one of my crowns developed problems, when I chose to go back to the same dentist again, he then said the crown wasn't fitting right and was allowing the germs to get in and wanted to know how old the crown was.
In my opinion, the dentist should have picked up on the gap between the crown and the gum - which exposes the tooth to germs - on the first visit. I chose to stop that dentist from working on my tooth at that point - I wont be going back to see that dentist again.
The second dentist thought I might loose the tooth, as the cavity had grown downward, rather than sideward and was very close to the nerve when she had to work on it.
Let's face it, we are not all Paris Hiltons on a million plus weekly - we have to decide how our money is best used and there does come a time when it may be better to pay for the removal of the tooth, rather than the repair of the tooth.
To give a brief idea, the dentist you choose may charge $300 to pull the tooth out, but $3,000 to fix the tooth leaving you with an out of pocket expense after insurance of perhaps $1,700.
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