I’m a little concerned about the costs of my dental care. I have just started going back to the dentist after years of avoiding it. I have dental insurance now, but my dentist is doing procedures the insurance doesn’t cover. Two things which are making the affordability a challenge is his doing x-rays every six months. My insurance only covers it once a year. The second thing is the fluoride. He’s doing fluoride treatments on me but my insurance is saying that is only for children.
Let’s start with the x-rays. Typically, patients are given bitewing x-rays once a year and panoramic x-rays once every five years. While these are the standard recommendations, there are exceptions.
One exception would be if you are monitoring decay or other dental problems that have cropped up. Some patients are more susceptible to decay than others. It is not always a hygiene or lifestyle issue. Sometimes they’ve just been handed bad dental genetics.
That being said, some dentists just require x-rays at every appointment. If it is a financial hardship for you, I recommend speaking to the dentist about that. A compassionate dentist will want to provide quality care their patients can afford. If they refuse to work with you on the issue, then it is time to switch practices.
Fluoride: Adults versus Children
Fluoride is usually a pediatric dental treatment. It’s not given to adults because once the teeth are fully formed, the benefits to the enamel are not that useful.
Another reason it is not generally given to adults is because they often have porcelain work in their mouths, such as dental crowns. Most dental offices use acidulated fluoride which will etch the porcelain crowns and cause them to pick up stains.
There are exceptions as with anything else. If an adult is undergoing a treatment which can damage their teeth, such as radiation or chemotherapy, fluoride will help prevent decay.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Family Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.