The Dental Cycle – What is it and why you want OUT!

You see the dentist for your bi-annual cleaning and check-up, and a cavity is €œdiscovered. You schedule an appointment, go in and get your cavity fixed, and then wait till your next cleaning and check-up appointment, at which point a new cavity is discovered and you schedule an appointment to get it fixed. Repeat this for the next foreseeable future you there you go; you are in the dental cycle.

Frequently this dental cycle is closely related to your insurance benefits. Meaning, you see the dental hygienist two times a year because your insurance pays for two visits a year. You get one exam per year because the dental insurance company pays for one exam per year. And you get a certain number of fillings per year because, you guessed it, that is what insurance companies pay for. Who is your doctor? The insurance company?

Dentists often get stuck in the dental cycle as well, drilling and filling so many teeth each day that they forget that people are attached to these teeth. It is a business, and unfortunately many dentists need to focus on the teeth to make a living, not the people. Time is money, and the cheaper the dental treatment is the less time a dentist can spend on the person. Quality is directly related to time, as dentistry is actually a quite demanding profession requiring concentration and skill, and of course time. Here is where the dilemma really begins. The payment that a dental insurance company gives a dentist who is in-network is directly related to the average cost of dental treatment in that dentists area. Kentucky has been ranked nearly dead last in oral health for many years now, and you guessed it, average dentistry here is cheap! Dentists keep trying to get more business by undercutting the competitions prices, further driving down their profit which requires the dentist to do more work on more teeth to make a living. Insurance companies constantly adjust the fees that these dentists have to subscribe to, reflecting the average cost of dentistry in their area. Quality just goes out the window. Who do you think looses in this scenario? You do. This is why you tend to get higher quality dentistry in areas such as Florida, California and New York, as even the average insurance dentist get paid enough from insurance companies to deliver better quality care.

This is the main reason most quality dental practices are out-of-network with insurance companies, especially in Kentucky. The quality practices focus on getting you out of the dental cycle, not just treating the resulting decay. For a dentist to be able to do this they need to have a good understanding of why you are getting decay in the first place. This mostly is due to acid from nutrition, medications, lack of saliva or neglect bacteria. Once the reason for the decay is discovered treatment can begin, not any sooner.  Each patient has a unique situation and a different approach is required.  This takes time, and as we learned from the previous paragraph, time is a luxury that does not exist in insurance driven practices.

The dental cycle is a downward spiral that takes is toll on your teeth and body. It starts with a small filling and can easily end up down the line with dentures/false teeth. Along this path your whole body is suffering and you are constantly visiting the dentist, not to mention the costs involved are astronomical. I strongly urge all patients to find a dentist that understands this dental cycle and focuses on them, not their insurance plan. Only then can you have a future free of constant dental worries and a smile you love!

If you are sick and tired of the dental cycle and are ready to take control of your health, then Ideal Dentistry is what you are looking for. Discover the underlying cause of your dental problems – remember, the mouth is a window to your body’s health. We can not treat one without the other.

Keep Smiling.

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