Do you have a lot of dental problems that seem really expensive to fix, whether it’s dental fillings, crowns, root canals, or dental implants? Do you feel like the dentist is just out for your money when you’re told you have cavities or gum disease, but nothing is hurting, so you think they’re just making it up? Do you write nasty comments (or even just agree with them) about greedy dentists on the news stories about them because you need a lot of work and can’t pay for it?
Put another way: I’m sick and tired of being the “bad guy,” when all I’m trying to do is help you get better. It’s not my fault you have cavities or gum disease!
Cavities and Gum Disease are Almost 100% Preventable
It’s a simple fact – while there are multiple factors that go into both cavities and gum disease, such as your immune system and environment – it is relatively easy to avoid getting either or both of them with some very simple actions:
How to NOT Spend Money at the Dentist
- Actually USE your toothbrush twice every day
- Actually USE dental floss at least a few times every week (once a day would be awesome, twice would be incredible!)
- Don’t eat a lot of candy
- Use SUGARLESS chewing gum, ideally with Xylitol sweetener, regularly
- Avoid all of the following (read my article on “There’s No Such Thing as Soft Teeth“):
- Energy Drinks like Monster, Red Bull, etc.
- Sports drinks like Powerade, Gatorade, etc.
- Actually visit the dentist for checkups and cleanings every 6 months like you should (even if you don’t have insurance)
- If you have acid reflux, aka heartburn, see your physician about treatment, because stomach acid is worse than soda
Let me tell you a simple but maybe painful truth: if you don’t take care of your teeth, you have no one to blame but yourself. Seriously.
Does your dentist make you drink 5 sodas per day? Or force you to eat all that candy? Or hand-feed you all that food with processed sugars? Has your hygienist ever taken the floss from your hand when you were trying to be good? Ummmmmmm…………………..yup, didn’t think so.
What Are Your Priorities? Smartphone or Dental Cleaning?
Oh yeah……I’m going there! You know how often there are stories in the news about lack of “access to care?” Let me offer a different perspective – the problem isn’t a lack of “access to care;” the problem is that people choose to spend their money on things besides dental care.
Here’s a comparison using my office fees (I’m not the cheapest in Charlotte, but not the most expensive either):
- 2 dental exams, 1 set of x-rays, and 2 dental cleanings/year = less than $350/year
- A typical Verizon family plan of 3 smartphones and data plans = $250/MONTH = $3,000/yr
- Change your oil every 5,000 miles at the cheap place = $30/quarter = $120/year
- Time Warner Cable phone/internet/cable = minimum $90/month = $1,080/year
- 1 Grande Starbucks drink 3 days/week @ $2.50 each = $7.5/wk = $30/mo = $360/year
- Average family car = $250/month = $3,000/year
Is dentistry REALLY that expensive, or are you just not budgeting for it?
One Dentist’s Rant
Yeah, I get it, I’m on a rant, and go ahead……challenge me! Tell me I’m wrong, and tell me why, and you know what? I’ll tell you all the reasons you have cavities, and guess what…..none of them are my fault!
Here’s the thing…..I TOTALLY understand that…..YES……dentistry is actually expensive. You should see it from my side. Have you ever bought a laser that treats gum disease? Or a CAD/CAM system that lets you make a porcelain crown in 1 visit instead of 2? Or microscopes to see really well and keep you from debilitating back pain so you can keep helping people? Or attended 260 hours of advanced training in just 1 year to stay on the leading edge of your field? I bet if you did, you would have a whole different perspective, and honestly, you’d probably be GLAD that your dentist does things like that, just so s/he can take the best possible care of you.
Or………..well, you have an alternative: go to the cheapo dentist and get what you pay for.
OK……lemme have it – my flame suit is on! LOL Share this on Facebook, give it a +1 on Google+, or wherever you want to let people know – you can save money at the dentist by taking personal responsibility for your teeth by getting regular checkups and cleanings, brushing and flossing regularly, avoiding sugary foods and drinks!