I have no dental insurance so I can't go to the dentist!
Well I hear this line at least 2-3 times a month from either a new patient or an emergency patient and everytime I hear it, my blood just starts to boil. Why? It is just not true. This may be what the patient believes but they are Wrong!
The new patient maybe coming in after years of neglect but now he has dental insurance and now he can afford the dentistry. Many times he is about to be surprised. Most plans have yearly maximums and because of the neglect he is going to be way past that. His options may come down to extractions and dentures.
The emergency patient comes in with pain. By the time we do the exam, x-rays and treatment you can be sure he is leaving with a hefty bill. If he continues this way at the end of the day he will have no teeth.
So why am I angry? How do I know what someone can afford and what they can not?
Well here is the reality. Taking care of your teeth is not expensive. Excuses are very expensive.
When your teeth are healthy, a visit to the dentist from time to time is not expensive. If you are in financial distress cut the time period so that you are visiting less often but still visiting from time to time for a check up. In this situation, if you have a small filling or even a few fillings, they can be done while they are still small. You can do them once a week or once every two weeks or once a month or once every two or three months. Do it at your own pace by what you can afford and believe me, once you start you will finish and you will have a healthy mouth. Remember, a small cavity from time to time everyone can afford but a small cavity that has now become a root canal treatment and crown is ten times more expensive than the filling. Now you may not be able to afford it and if it is in multiple teeth you are in trouble.
Now we all know that when we drive our cars we need to change the oil from time to time and do some minor service or else we are going to have to kick in big bucks to change the engine.
Lesson to be learnt: YOU CAN STILL GET ALONG JUST FINE WITHOUT DENTAL INSURANCE - JUST TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH AND VISIT YOUR DENTIST FROM TIME TO TIME!
All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay
A dentist having fun in Hamilton Ontario
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