I’ve had to find a new dentist due to several issues with the previous dental practice where I was a patient. I’m 65+ with limited income and feel that my new dentist is trying to upsell me. How can I handle my pushy new dentist? I have all my natural teeth and never had a cavity. I agreed to an oral cancer screening during my exam and cleaning, which I paid for out of pocket.
After the exam, the dentist recommended deep cleaning and filling two teeth with small cavities. I talked to the dentist about my surprise with two cavities, and she said they are tiny but need to be filled right away before they grow. I also asked why I needed a deep cleaning, and the dentist said she recommends it every few years to prevent gum disease. Then she said that if I am hesitant because I have dental anxiety, she can do the work with sedation. I am not hesitant about dental appointments, but I am suspicious about this dentist. How do I know if this extra work is necessary? – Thank you. Angelina
Thank you for your question.
Your concerns are valid. You’ve switched dentists, and now the new provider seems pushy about adding more treatment that you probably do not need.
Although screening for oral cancer is a reasonable precaution, a deep cleaning when you do not have periodontal (gum) disease makes us suspicious, too. And if you have tiny cavities, your dentist can use fluoride treatments or preventive resin sealants to repair them rather than placing dental fillings. Then, your dentist recommended sedation if you are anxious—another red flag for treatment that works well for dental anxiety, but you are not nervous about dental appointments.
What Can You Do If Your Dentist Is Pushy?
If your dentist is pushy and you do not trust them, we recommend looking for another dentist. As a patient, you cannot verify everything your dentist is telling you. But you can look for another dentist and get a second opinion. Ask acquaintances or family members for recommendations on a trustworthy dentist, but please do not continue with a dental practice that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Dr. Siny Thomas of Sugarland, Texas, sponsors this post.