My smile looks terrible, so I don't smile any more. I can't afford the dentistry. What can I do?
How many times do I get asked this question! Usually it is from a new patient who I have never seen before and they have come in to see what we can do about their smile.
So many people assume that it is just to expensive so they never come in and even ask the question. That is the worst situation because for many people the fix really isn't that bad or that expensive. You really need to ask the question so that you can get an answer.
Many people assume that things are terrible when the solutions are often small and simple.
There are of course cases that are more complicated and more expensive but let's go over some cases and see some solutions. Of course I can in no way cover all the possible scenarios but here are just a few easy ones.
"My teeth are yellow and they embarrass me". The solution is teeth whitening! From in office to buying whited strips at Walmart. Both work well and you can keep your cost low.
"Crooked teeth". I always wanted straight teeth but couldn't afford it. I refer to the orthodontist. The typical case is $6-7,000 dollars (CDN). The people I work with ask for a deposit then they put you on a payment plan for about 2 years so it works out to about $200 dollars a month after the deposit. Sometimes, if patients are hard up for the deposit then I will speak to the Orthodontist and sometimes I can get the deposit waved and get them more payments.
Now comes the tricky stuff where it is more difficult to give you an idea of cost without seeing the case.
Sometimes a patient needs all their teeth out and new dentures made. The cost of the extractions will depend on how many teeth are left and how difficult the extractions. Then the cost of new dentures. There are some extra costs, not really hidden as your dentist will discuss these with you before you start. No dentist likes to get into a situation of "I didn't know" or " you didn't tell me". These costs include things such as immediate denture cost (denture going in at time of extraction) and reline costs (to make the denture fit the gums after a few months). Also a possible remake of the denture if it still doesn't fit well because the gums need time to settle to their final shape after the extractions. If you can wait two to three months after the extraction to make the dentures you can save yourself a lot of these costs.
Of course not everyone needs dentures. Some people just need to replace there existing fillings and make them look good.
Of course I am cherry picking here. There are cases which are a lot more expensive but if you don't ask you won't know. Perhaps your solution is not as complicated as you thought it would be.
All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay
enjoying dentistry in Hamilton Ontario
If you have any questions, just send them as a comment to the blog and I will reply.