Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Why does it cost so much to go to the Dentist?

Have just returned from a visit to a local dentist ... my first one here in South Australia, so had to have a full check and x-rays.

I lost a large filling out of a back molar a couple of weeks back, so knew that had to be replaced, and it all went well ... no pain and I was out of the chair in less than 20 minutes.

Then to reception to make an appointment for another filling (another replacement ... although much smaller than the one just done) and to see the hygienist for a clean before B Day.

Then she told me the cost for today $165.00 ... oh dear ... that was a shock! And guess who doesn't have medical insurance ... so my bank account is looking a bit sadder after that event.

The good news is that there were no other probs with my teeth and Dr Clegg congratulated me on my oral hygiene. He noted I had some bone loss but said I'd obviously got 'stuck in to sort it all out'. I came clean and told him I'd had a big scare after returning from Fiji and was told by a dentist I had periodontal disease and needed a full scale and other stuff ... where they clean up under the gums of all teeth. But since then I've been following a schedule every night of flossing and brushing a lot more carefully and longer ... and it must have paid off coz he said my gums looked great! Oh boy ... that made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

1 comment:

laura said...

They've started doing the full scale as an almost standard thing in the US, or at least in California. Several of my friends and I had it recommended pretty much all within the same year. It wasn't covered by insurance and it cost $150 or something so we were all pretty indignant. One friend was even told that if they didn't do the scaling, there was no point doing a normal cleaning.

We were all in our 20s, pretty early for gum disease, and we all thought we had pretty good teeth and gums, so it seemed like a rip-off to us. We did it though, and I got stuck in with the flossing, and I think it was actually beneficial after all. Haven't needed it again since, but they check my gums regularly now.

Perhaps they got stricter now that there's research about the chronic inflammation of gum disease increasing your risk of heart problems. Anyway, you were probably ahead of the curve with your scaling treatment.


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