Category Archives: Affordable Dentistry

Finding a Trustworthy Affordable Dentist

I’ve had a cavity for quite some time. I knew I needed to visit a dentist and address it, but I couldn’t afford the expense. Within a matter of a few weeks, the tooth in which the cavity had developed began to cause me pain. So I started to look for a dentist that could help me. A crown was going to cost more money than I had, so I focused my search on a dentist who was affordable.

I landed on a dentist who was going to charge over $100 less than the others I’d consulted. That is a huge savings to me, so I moved forward with the appointment.

After examining my mouth, the dentist told me that my needs were greater than the amount he’d originally quoted me and that I needed a crown.

I feel like he lured me in with his low pricing in an unethical manner. Seeking a second opinion is what I should do, I know. However, I can’t afford the extra cost I will incur with another appointment if what this dentist is suggesting I need is accurate. I have no idea if he is being honest and sincere in his diagnosis. Is there a way I can tell without incurring the costs of another dentist?

Thank you,
Julie

Dear Julie,

Your budget constraints are understandable. However, when you approach the search by looking for the cheapest dental provider, you’re bound to run into some problems. A dentist who promotes him or herself by their cheap rates is a red flag. There are certainly ways to land on a quality dentist without breaking the bank if you keep a few points in mind.

Finding an Affordable Dentist

One of the first approaches to finding a quality affordable dentist to to look for someone who will customize your treatment plan. Seek out a dentist who will listen to you and your budgetary needs, in addition to your dental needs. Many times, there are multiple solutions at different price points.

Another option is to consider a dentist who offers payment plans. Typically, you won’t find an office who will offer an in-house payment plan, but many offices accept CareCredit. CareCredit is a payment service which usually has no finance charges for a specific period of time.

A dental office that offers discounts is also an option to consider. If you aren’t working with insurance and plan to pay for your services on your own, some offices will provide discounts for patients who are paying in cash up-front.

Seek a Second Opinion From a Trustworthy Dentist

Often times, when we have a gut instinct, it is right. You will likely kick yourself if you move forward with this treatment plan, without seeking a second opinion. One option for saving on the second appointment is to ask the original dentist for a copy of the x-ray to take with you to the next dentist.

It is important to find a dentist whom you trust. Ask questions, visit the office, read reviews. If you genuinely trust the provider, you won’t question the care you are receiving. You’ll be confident that you are being given the best care, and that they dentist is doing everything they can to give you quality service and treatment, and also keeping their work within your budget.

This article is sponsored by the office of Gilbert affordable dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper.

Affordable dentist practiced on me

I was in need of significant dental work, but my very tight budget prevented me from landing the procedures I desperately needed. I researched and stumbled upon an online ad from an affordable dentist. His promotion was that he was offering crowns at a lesser rate, as he practiced using a new in-office machine that makes crowns. I immediately reached out because I could afford his services and he was offering what I needed. This ended up being a terrible decision.

I was in his office for five hours. His machine kept giving him issues. In addition, the crowns were not fitting correctly. He made some changes to the tooth, then returned to the machine and was able to get them to fit. Now, in addition to my tooth being sore, my entire mouth is in pain. Is it possible that the dentist caused permanent damage? If so, am I responsible since he did, in fact, claim up front that he was offering the service and price because he was learning?

Sincerely,

Erica


Dear Erica,

I am sorry you went through this. It is a good idea for you to return to the dentist and let him know that you’re in pain. When teeth are bothered a lot, as yours were, they can become irritated. It sounds like you had repeated try-ons, and your teeth probably became very sensitive to this. For basic irritation, an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen, that is an anti-inflammatory, will help ease the pain and it should clear up in just a few days. However, the pain might not improve on its own. You mentioned earlier that you needed a crown, but held off getting one. It could be that decay has formed and your tooth is now in need of a root canal, but this may be difficult to prove.

Regardless, the dentist is responsible for the work he did, whether he promoted himself as an affordable dentist or said that he was offering the low cost because he was practicing. An ethical dentist will want to know that you’re in pain and experiencing problems, and he will want to fix them. But, if he gives you an problems or does not fix the issue, you will need to consult another dentist.

For future dental needs, it is important to focus your search on a dental provider who has quality services and experience, then consult with him or her about ways to work within your budget. Many providers offer affordable dentistry plans which allow patients to spread out the dental costs, or take advantage of insurance benefits. Financing your treatment or choosing from different treatment options at various price points may also be an option.

This blog is provided by Dr. Matthew Roper, an affordable dentist in Gilbert, AZ.

 

“Affordable” dentist wrongly charging me

I visited a dentist who claimed to be affordable, after one of my premolars was causing me a lot of grief. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of treatment at my regular dental office, so I came across an affordable dentist from an online search and got an appointment right away.

My experience was horrible. The root canal process took almost two hours. He continually jerked my head around and forced my mouth to stay open the entire time. He then mentioned that I needed a crown to treat the decay. When the dentist was removing the cavity, the tooth gave way and I was told it would need to be pulled. I agreed to the removal of the tooth, but was later billed for the extraction.

When I called the dental office, questioning this, I was told the dentist deserved to be compensated for his time on the extraction procedure. Can he do this? My tooth had to be extracted because of something that happened during a procedure. I should not have had to pay for the extraction, right?

Thank you,

Brandy

Dear Brandy,

You should not have been billed for both, and I am sure you are quite frustrated. Whether the extraction could have been prevented is unclear, and may always be. It is possible that the decay was extreme and could have been a cause. But, regardless, it sounds like you are not willing to pay for both procedures. While going the legal route may cause you unnecessary stress, you might consider talking to the dentist himself, if you can’t reach an agreement with the office manager. If this doesn’t work, you could connect with the Better Business Bureau, or your local dental board.

Wishing you luck in rectifying the issue!

This post is sponsored by the office of affordable dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper.

How can I find an affordable dentist for cosmetic work?

I am looking for an affordable dentist who can help me with some cosmetic teeth issues I have been battling my whole life. I have teeth in need of straightening, as well as a chipped front tooth. I consulted my family dentist, but was told the work I need done would cost over $20,000, an amount much higher than what I am able, and willing, to pay. I did inquire about less expensive options, but was made to feel like I offended the dentist. I’m not looking for a total makeover, just want some teeth straightened and a chipped tooth fixed. Any advice would be great!

Thank you,
April

Dear April,

Thanks for writing. First and foremost, your dentist should not have acted that way.

A couple of suggestions to help:

  1. Be cautious when looking for affordable  dentist who does cosmetic work. This is because anyone can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. There are currently no guidelines on training or skills. Therefore sometimes dentists who have more skill/training tend to charge more.
  2. It would be a good idea for you to find a dentist with a solid reputation. Then, have a consultation and express your financial concerns upfront. This will allow the dentist to offer suggestions which include cost-effective ways to address your dental needs, yet stay within your budget.
  3. Lastly, it is always a good idea to get more than one estimate. This will allow you to choose someone that is the best fit for your situation.

This article is sponsored by Gilbert affordable dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper.

Can’t Afford Pediatric Dentist; Are General Dentists Cheaper?

There are two pediatric clinics in our area. One has a great reputation but is expensive. The other is cheaper and where all the low-income families go (we’re low-income ourselves), but has a horrible reputation and I don’t know a child who likes it. I don’t want to send my son there. Would a general dentist be less expensive? Do they take children?

Bea C.

Dear Bea,

Four Smiling Children
Finding Affordable Pediatric Dental Care

We want the absolute best for our children. Few things are more discouraging than when we can’t afford it. However, being low-income doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable dental care, even pediatric care. Let me answer your two questions separately.

Are General Dentists More Affordable than Pediatric Dentists?

It depends. Each dentist determines his or her price independently. You may have some specialists which are significantly more expensive than your average general dentist. At the same time, you could have some who want to keep their prices down so affordable specialty care is available.

As you don’t have many options when it comes to pediatric care in your area, you have a couple of options. You may want to talk to the good pediatric clinic to see if they have affordable payment plans. Even if they don’t have in-office plans (like Dr. Roper does), many are willing to work with Care Credit, which is a medical card that offers low and even no-interest payment plans.

Do General Dentists See Children?

Again, it depends on the dentist. There are general dentists who enjoy working with children. They’re qualified to treat them and even had to do a pediatric rotation during their training. If ever something came up that required more of a specialist, they could give you a referral.

I’d start by talking to your dentist. It’s always convenient for the whole family to attend the same clinic together. There’s a medical advantage as well. The dentist will have a fuller picture of what your child’s genetic leanings will be when it comes to oral health.

If mom and dad are prone to decay even with good oral care, the dentist will know to keep a closer eye on the children’s teeth, which tend change quickly so they don’t end up with sudden large decay which could have been dealt with sooner.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Affordable Dentist for a Full-Mouth Reconstruction?

I never got to go to the dentist as a child. I saved up for two years to go now that I’m in college, just to see what I’m dealing with. He said my mouth was in horrible shape and I needed something called a full mouth reconstruction. I knew there’d be some problems because I’d never been, but I was surprised with how dire my outlook was, especially since my teeth have never bothered me (except for how they look). The way he described the reconstruction sounded like I’d really benefit and my teeth would be pretty, but the price is way above anything I can afford. My roommate said I should ask about affordable dentists. She said that’s what her parents always used. They have less frills but you still get care. Can I get one of those for the reconstruction I need?

Mindy L.

Dear Mindy,

Dollar sgn hatching out of an egg

How admirable that you’ve made such an effort to see a dentist. I wish more older adults were as conscientious as you are. Before we get into a reconstruction I want to caution you. Something feels off about this to me.

While I’m sure there were some issues, if you’ve experienced no pain at all, I doubt you really even need a full mouth reconstruction. You should have been in massive pain. I’d love to hear more specifics of why he said you needed one. I don’t want to see you taken advantage of by someone disreputable.

I’d like you to get a second opinion from another dentist in the area. Some dentists will even give you a free second opinion.

Getting a Second Opinion for Affordable Dental Care

When you go in, don’t tell them who the first dentist was or what his diagnosis was. Just go in and tell him you’re looking for a second opinion on a diagnosis you received that seems questionable to you. Tell him you’ll be happy to tell them the dentist and diagnosis after they give their unbiased opinion.

If it turns out he misled you, please turn the dentist into the ethics board. Most dentists are honest and it’s the bad apples that make life harder for the rest of us.

However, if it turns out you do need a full-mouth reconstruction, that’s not something you price shop for. It is one of the most technically advanced procedures a dentist can do. You don’t want it to simply go to the lowest bidder. There are other ways of making this more affordable.

Instead, talk about ways of phasing out treatments. If planned correctly, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Get the work done on a schedule of most urgent to least. Also, be clear you want to save as much natural tooth structure as possible.

Fillings before crowns. Crowns before extractions. If you need an extraction, dental implants are the ideal replacement but are pricey. However, it’s worth it to get a temporary cheaper one while you save up the good one, especially as young as you are.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Does Affordable Dentistry Mean Slow Results?

I’m curious if affordable dentists take longer to get results than other dentists. I’ve always had bad teeth. I kept thinking I’d be able to afford more dental care as I got older. But, I’m 40 now and still have horrible teeth. Realizing it’s now or never, I searched for an affordable dentist so I could get started. I’ve been going monthly for almost two years and still see no difference in my teeth. My teeth are stained and crooked. Every time I bring up braces he just says, “Let’s get those teeth and gums healthy first.” I’m discouraged. After two years, I figured I’d see a difference. Am I being ripped off? Would it go faster with a more costly dentist?

Nell M.

Dear Nell,

Affordable Dentist

There are a few things going on here. But, first, I will say that an affordable dentist should work equally as effectively as the highest priced dentists. The two things you’re concerned about, the color and crookedness of your teeth are cosmetic issues. Generally, you get the teeth healthy, then start on the cosmetics. However, you should already be noticing a brighter smile. Your teeth are being regularly cleaned, so they should be at least a tad whiter.

If you do the cosmetics too soon it can be detrimental to your goals. For instance, if you have gum disease (and it sounds like you do), getting braces to straighten your teeth before your gums are healthy will cause your teeth to come loose and fall out. Then instead of straightening your teeth, you’re stuck replacing them.

Because you’re going to the dentist monthly instead of twice a year leads me to believe you have advanced gum disease. That’s your first priority. When that’s in check, there’s much more you can do cosmetically with your teeth.

One proactive step you can do on the cosmetic end, even while you have gum disease, is teeth whitening. I will warn you, the exposed areas where your gums have receded will be sensitive to the whitening gel. Though, with professional teeth whitening, it’s common for the dentist to custom design the trays to your bite. He can try to avoid those areas, while simultaneously making sure the coverage is such that you’ll have an even tooth color.

All of that being said, two years seem excessive with monthly visits. You should be able to spread them out more by now if he’s doing everything he can to help with your gum disease and you’re keeping up with your oral hygiene. You may consider getting a second opinion. Some dentists even give free second opinions so it may not even cost you anything.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Do Affordable Dentists Always Price Gouge?

I haven’t been to the dentist for about three years because of unemployment. I’m still unemployed, but just felt like it’d been too much time and I needed to at least get a cleaning. I specifically looked for an affordable dentist. Yet, when I went there I felt like they nickled and dimed me for everything. Not only did they do the more expensive “deep cleaning” but they charged me for a fluoride treatment, and dental sealants. They’ve also asked me to come back in two weeks. How can I possibly do that after being out so much money today? Is this what I can expect from “affordable” dentists?

Luisa M.

Dear Luisa,

First, it’s impressive that you’re making such an effort to get dental care when you’ve been struggling with unemployment for so long. It shows you care about your oral hygiene. The deep cleaning can be typical, especially if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while. The fluoride treatment is useful, but optional. It helps kill bacteria. However, they should have asked.

One thing that puzzles me is the dental sealants. Those are usually placed on children. And, it is something they should definitely have asked about before placing them. In fact, generally an office goes through any procedure to make sure you understand the charges and agree to them before you start. I’d contest the sealants and fluoride because they didn’t ask.

In future, I’d suggest you still look for affordable dentists, but ahead of time discuss what their payment policy is. Also, be clear with them that you want to approve any extras along with their costs before hand. Be aware that many dentists will let you pay out any necessary expenses to get the treatment you deserve.

The upside to getting the dental sealants is you won’t have to worry about cavities getting into the grooves of your molars.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Cheap Versus Affordable Dentists

I’m worried this “affordable dentist” is going to kill my sister. My sister needed to replace a tooth. She’s a single mom and barely gets by financially. I wanted to help her, but she’s determined to do things on her own. I was relieved she decided on a dental implant instead of a removable partial denture. I knew enough to know she needed to preserve her bone structure, especially as young as she is. But, it turns out she just went to the dentist who charged the least. Since then, she’s had nothing but trouble. It’s been infected…twice. Now the post has broken, taking a chunk of bone with it. In order to get this repaired, she’s going to need expensive grafting. How could this happen?

Cassie H.

Cassie,

There’s a difference between cheap and affordable. Obviously, your sister got cheap. While a dentist can do everything right and a dental implant still fail, this sounds like the dentist cut some corners with the materials he used in order to keep his profits up while having lower prices to draw patients in. There’s nothing that can be done now to help your sister’s situation. She will need that bone grafting, but the infection will need to be dealt with first. In fact, if it’s affecting her bone and spreads it could be life threatening. Make sure she takes this seriously.

If she’s determined to see this through without help there’s not much you can do, but there are some helpful things you can suggest. The first would be another dentist. There are affordable dentists who don’t cut corners. Often they’ll offer some type of in-house dental plan, or they take payments for treatments through a service like Care Credit. This will get your sister the care she needs while allowing her to pay it out without accruing a ton of interest costs.

Another thing is preventative care. I don’t know why she lost a tooth so young. It could have been an accident, which isn’t necessarily preventable or it could have been because she avoided treatment because of costs. If it’s the latter, there are dentists who will work with patients in difficult financial situations, like your sister. Also, some cities have dental or hygiene schools in the area that give discount services. The care is good because they’re examined by a student and the teacher. They’ll do her x-rays, exam, and cleaning at a hygiene school. If there’s anything more serious they’ll send her to a clinic.

If she goes regularly, there’s much less of a chance of her needing such a serious procedure. When things are caught early they can be treated without invasive care.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Is This Affordable Dentist Legit?

I saw this dentist who advertised as an affordable dentist. I have a cavity. I was hopeful if I found an affordable dentist I’d be able to get a white filling, which my insurance won’t cover. I decided to go by the office and get a look first. Just to make sure it wasn’t like some backwater office that looks barely sanitary.  I walked in and the place was immaculate. Impeccably decorated, flat screen TVs.  How can the office look this wealthy and still be affordable?

Abigail W. – Arkansas.

Abigail,

It’s interesting that you went to peek at the office before scheduling. That may, in part, be the answer to your question. If you think about how families spend money, it will help, too. Let’s say you have two families which earn the same amount of money. One home can be immaculately decorated, but the family rarely travels. Another can keep their home neat, but frugally decorated. Instead, they use the money for travel.

This dentist has a certain amount of money to work with. He spends some on advertising (which would include the appearance of his lobby).  The rest he can use how he wants. This dentist may prefer a beautiful office, but keeps his prices low to help patients.  He may cut his profits. Or maybe he keeps a leaner staff than most.

Call and ask what his prices are for white fillings. That should give you some idea of if his prices are as affordable as you’d hoped. Whatever you do, don’t just leave the cavity. It will spread and will likely blow up into an infection, leaving you with a dental emergency.

Now, what could have been a simple filling will turn into an expensive dental crown or, worse, a complete tooth replacement such as a dental implant.

One thing to bear in mind is that you can get a white filling and your dentist will charge your insurance for the amalgam filling. You’ll only need to make up the difference, saving you some money right off the bat.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.