Finding the right healthcare provider is a challenge for us all, which is why it can be torturous to make the decision to seek out a new one when you’ve been going to the same place for so long. But the fact remains that sometimes, it’s the healthiest choice for you and your family. If you’re wondering whether you should reconsider your current dentist, here are three red flags to look out for.
Your dentist suggests that you replace older, silver fillings with new white ones
The FDA has been very clear on this issue: older, silver fillings (called dental amalgam fillings) do contain a mixture of metals including mercury, but they “have reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.” So, if you have older metal fillings and your dentist tries to convince you that you need to have them replaced for your safety, rest assured that he or she is incorrect… and get busy finding a new dentist!
Your dentist is insensitive to expressed dental anxieties
Dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias people experience. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons that people do not keep up with regular dental cleanings and visits. Despite the fact that dental procedures are more advanced than ever, the fear can be overwhelming for many! If you are braving this phobia and making it to the dentist despite it, the last thing you should put up with is a dental professional who reacts insensitively to you. Quality dental offices should offer you nothing but support when you’ve expressed a dental anxiety, from talking you through exactly what you can expect at any visit to allowing you to listen to music or a podcast during your procedure. If you feel like your dentist is reacting insensitively to your anxiety, then it’s time to move onto a care provider who understands.
Your dentist tries to upsell you
If you have generally good dental health, and all of the sudden your dentist is suggesting major dental procedures or expensive fixes, proceed with caution! A good dentist will always detail the least-invasive or most cost-effective approaches to fixing broken or decayed teeth, even if they discuss alternatives too. For example, bonded restoration is a good alternative to capping a tooth so long as enough of the original tooth (at least 50%) remains intact. The large majority of dental problems have more than one treatment option, so if your dentist is only presenting you with one expensive fix, it’s time to get a second opinion or maybe even move on to a new practice.
We hope these tips will help you make the right decision about your dental provider!