I’m so frustrated with our pediatric dentist right now. I’m wondering if we should continue seeing her. It seems every time we go she insists on things I feel are unnecessary AND our insurance doesn’t cover. I can’t keep paying for all this. I didn’t mind the dental sealants, though it was a bit of a financial burden. What really bugs me is 1. She insists on x-rays EVERY visit, even though the insurance only covers them once per year. 2. In order to get the sealants (which aren’t covered) she made us also use nitrous oxide (also not covered), and 3. the stupid sealants all fell off before the next check-up and now she wants me to pay for it all over again. Does this sound legitimate to you?
There are some red flags in the issues you brought up. First, I’ll cover the things that seem legitimate and then I’ll go into what bothers me about what you’ve listed.
Dental sealants are very important for children. The grooves in their molars are magnets for decay. This will save you a ton of money in the long run. I’m surprised your insurance doesn’t cover them. Many dental insurance policies cover them for children under a certain age, though that age varies. You may want to call the insurance company and double check.
The x-rays are a 50/50 proposition. Yes, insurance companies only cover them once per year, but there are occasions where it makes sense to have them twice a year. If you have a family history of decay or your child has decay they’re just watching instead of filling, then yes, get the x-rays at both check-ups. Other than that, you can tell them you only want to do them when covered.
Now, here’s what bothers me. The sealants shouldn’t have fallen off. One of them coming off I could maybe understand if your children tend to eat sticky things. But all of them? Something doesn’t sit right about that. The dentist should re-do them free of charge (in my opinion).
Also, the nitrous oxide is absolutely unnecessary and the dentist has no reason to insist on them. If your child were getting a filling and gets fearful about needles, then nitrous oxide might be useful. But for sealants? No. They’re completely pain-free. There’s nothing even remotely frightening about them. In fact, it would take more time to get the nitrous to work than it would to place the sealants without nitrous.
If you find this pediatric dentist isn’t willing to work with you in a reasonable way, you can easily switch dentists. Even if you’re in a small town that only has one pediatric dentist, there are options. Many family dentists enjoy treating children. This would allow your whole family to be seen by the same clinic.
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