Red Flags on Your Next Dental Visit

Perhaps the recent Halloween candy frenzy is sending you or your family on a dental visit?  There are things that the dental patient should beware when it comes to dental offices for safety and health.   A list has been compiled of twelve red flags that should make you just say no to some dental practices.  First, if it is a first trip to a particular dental office and no one asks about your prior dental records, this could be a red flag, especially regarding the number of x-ray radiation you have been exposed to.  Second, if you notice that the dental office continues to use old fashioned x-rays, rather than the new digital technologies, this could be another red flag.  Digital x-rays will give the dentist better diagnostics and the patients less radiation exposure.  Third, if the dental office you visit does not seem the most hygienic or germ conscious, another red flag has arisen.  The tools should be in sealed bags, heat sterilized, and the dentist and other staff should be changing their gloves every time they touch something besides the inside of your mouth.  Fourth, modern dentists are now aware that oral cancer screenings are important at dental visits, so if your dentist does not do this, another red flag is in front of you.  Your mouth, cheeks, gum tissue, throat, and neck should be inspected.

Next, there are a number of red flags that can hurt you most in the wallet, but also in the best interest of your dental health.  If the dental office you visit comes up with a whole laundry list of work that you need, they may be trying to cash in on insurance paid procedures that you may not really need.  Also, they may recommend procedures that are covered by insurance rather than things that would be better for your needs.  A sixth red flag is a dental office that is out there constantly advertising on radio, TV, and every which way.  This dental practice might be more concerned with the constant influx of new patients over taking care of the ones who are already patients.  A seventh red flag presents with dentists who are not willing to show patients any before and after photos or photos of their past work.  If they do not have any, has their past work in the area of cosmetic dentistry been lacking?  An eighth red flag can arise with dentists who attempt scare tactics that old fillings are toxic and must be removed and replaced.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that the old mercury/alloy/tin/copper fillings are not dangerous, but removing them can in fact be risky.  The ninth red flag at the dental office is the dentist selling you expensive caps and crowns, when modern dentistry has made it possible for dentists to utilize bonded restoration techniques when fifty percent of the tooth will be there to work with.  The tenth red flag makes it necessary for you as the consumer to ask the dentist whether products being used, including the caps and crowns, among other products, are made in the United States.  If they are not, they could come from other countries selling cut-rate products with lower quality. 

There are two more red flags that might come up with your next dental visit.  The eleventh is the dental office trying to see you extra items, such as dietary supplements, Botox, and dermal fillers.  If this comes up, this could signal that your dental office is more concerned with making money than providing service for your dental health and hygiene.  Finally, the 12th red flag presents when the dentist walks in and gets right to the business of having you open your mouth to get down to the procedural aspects of the visit without getting to know you or providing you with consultation, options, compassion, and explanations.   

At Inserra & Kelley Law Offices we strive to keep you informed of things to look out for out in the jungle of healthcare, services, and products impacting your everyday safety and best life. We will continue to update you on services, products, situations, and the like that should raise your red flags to possible dangers to your life being lived out fully and with good health.