I struggle to pay for dental care for my children, but I do get them to the dentist. They don’t seem to care that it’s hard for me to pay for just the normal stuff and keep adding things. X-rays every six months, sealants, and then they told me she’d have to have nitrous oxide to do the sealants. I know none of those things are extremely expensive, but added up it means I can barely afford food this month. Then three of the sealants fall off between appointments and they tell me we have to re-do it at OUR cost. Shouldn’t they help with this seeing as their sealants fell off?
There are a few things I’d like you to ask about, which could help your situation with your pediatric dentist. First, is x-rays. Though many dentists do them every six months, the standard is once a year. Unless there’s a clinical reason for doing them more often, which there sometimes is, then requesting just once a year is reasonable. If your daughter is at high risk for cavities because of genetics or a certain type of medication she’s on or if they’re keeping an eye on some cavities then doing them twice a year is probably necessary. Catching things early will save you money and your daughter unnecessary and painful procedures.
Next is the nitrous oxide. That is completely unnecessary for dental sealants. It’s useful in procedures that can be high stress for children, such as getting a filling, but sealants are basically just painted on. It’s completely pain-free. You are allowed to refuse the nitrous. It seems unnecessary to me to add that cost.
Next is the sealants themselves. They are actually very useful and will save your daughter from getting cavities on vulnerable teeth, especially her molars which have deep grooves and pits in them. But, they shouldn’t be falling off. The exception would be if she eats a lot of sticky candy and food. They could pull up young sealants.
If you’re having trouble getting explanations and cooperation you don’t have to take your daughter to a pediatric dentist. There are plenty of general dentists who love and are equipped to treat children. You could check with them as possibilities. Talk to your dentist first explaining our concerns. At the least, they should offer to do the sealants without charge the second time.
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