Happy New Year! Resolve to make this a year of healthy teeth!

by Sandi on January 8, 2011

As we get back in the swing of things for 2011, we find ourselves getting phone calls from people who have been away from the dentist for a long time and have resolved to make an appointment.  The magical date of January first seems to be a great motivator to make those long overdue appointments.  Many patients have anxiety about seeing the dentist (don’t worry we know that’s most of the population and we’re not offended) and some meant to schedule all last year and kept putting it off and are now embarrassed to call (trust us when we say that there’s no need to be embarrassed).   We’ve had many conversations this week with new patients who simply need some encouragement and we know that it sometimes takes a lot of effort to pick up the phone and make that call. 

So if you’re a few months (or a few years) overdue, here’s a few tips to make things a bit easier.

  1.  Unless you are having pain, schedule your first visit for a cleaning, exam and xrays to get caught up first.  One thing we always tell patients is that when you come in to be seen you will have an exam fee regardless of if the dentist looks at one tooth or your entire mouth.  Since you are making a trip and getting an exam anyway, get the biggest bang for your buck and get your overdue xrays done so he can do a complete exam while you’re already there.   That way if there are other problems, we can find them and plan your treatment at a pace that is manageable.  And if you are having pain, call quickly before complications arise.
  2. If you have severe anxiety about seeing the dentist, starting with a cleaning and check-up is another way to make your return visit less stressful.  Our hygienist, Michaela, has been with our office for years and is exceptionally gentle.   Ease your way back in with your dental cleaning (no shots involved!) and once you are in the door you will remember that it’s much easier than you remembered.
  3. Don’t delay due to insurance.  We can’t count the number of times we’ve seen patients delay necessary treatment because they are waiting on insurance to kick in, only to find out that the delay in treatment just maxxed out their benefits anyway.  Take a couple of two surface fillings that are diagnosed and left untreated.  While waiting for insurance, one turns into a root canal that then needs a crown.  All of a sudden, saving $400 on fillings while waiting for insurance to start turns into a $3,000 problem.  Most insurance plans have a $1,000-$1,500 yearly maximum so it is quickly used up when problems are compounded.  For more information about insurance click here.
  4. We realize that everyone has expenses and can’t always take care of all dental treatment needs at once.  We find that the fear of being hit with an overwhelming list of dental needs is what can often keep people from coming in before small problems turn into larger ones.  We are happy to treatment plan out any needs you have so that the most immediate areas of concern are prioritized and a plan created that is manageable.   For information about Care Credit, the easy way to finance your dental care with 6-24 months of no-interest payment plans click here.
  5. If you do have dental insurance, be sure you realize that benefits cannot be carried over from year to year.  Spreading out your treatment in manageable increments allows you to maximize your benefits and keep problems from becoming more costly.  Most plans have 100% coverage on preventive services (cleanings, x-rays & exams) so utilize all the benefits you are paying for!

For more information about any dental concerns, please call our office at 720-489-7333 and have a Great New Year!

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