Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

I’m going to honest and just admit I avoid the dentist. I had a filling fall out. I avoided the dentist. Then I needed a root canal treatment. I did get that, but it was rather traumatic. So, I didn’t go back for the crown. Now my tooth was hurting so badly that I had to go to a dentist again. Though I did go to a different dentist. He told me the tooth is too far gone and needs to be removed. However, he said it’s extensive enough that I may consider an oral surgeon because he’d have to cut through both gum and bone. I like the idea of it not costing as much going to the local dentist, but wonder if it’s not safe and that’s why he mentioned an oral surgeon.


Dear Patty,

Someone asleep from dental sedation

I hate it when dentists say stuff like this. It makes patients uneasy. They wonder if they’re being unsafe choosing the more financially feasible option for them. I don’t know if your dentist phrased it that way because he’s uncomfortable with the procedure and he was trying to steer you another direction or if he’s perfectly comfortable doing it and just giving you non-opinioned options.

I’d ask your dentist a few questions before making a decision:

  • How comfortable does he feel with the procedure?
  • Has he done this type of extraction before?
  • What type of sedation does he offer?
  • What are the roots like? Straight and tapered or twisted with knobs?

The Importance of a Sedation Dentist for You

Based on what you’ve described of your oral hygiene habits, you have dental anxiety. It’s not uncommon. However, it wreaks havoc on your oral health, as you’ve discovered. If you were comfortable going to the dentist when your filling first came out, you wouldn’t be facing this difficult extraction and then facing pricey tooth replacement options.

Dental Sedation will change your life. However, at your level of anxiety (and especially for your extraction procedure), you will need something stronger than just nitrous oxide. You will need oral conscious sedation. This is strong enough to allow you to sleep through the procedure.

You will be able to have stress-free dental appointments from now on and even get all your teeth back in shape.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt 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.