Q: I recently moved to the area, and called a local dental office to see about getting my teeth cleaned. I asked how much a cleaning would cost and was told they couldn’t tell me until I had a complete dental exam. All I want is my teeth cleaned, is that asking too much?
A: I commend you for searching out a dentist so soon after you just moved. I must be honest; they were being very truthful with you. Until a thorough dental exam is done, the dental team has no way of knowing what type of dental cleaning you actually need, nor what it will cost.
There are actually close to 5 different types of “cleanings”. In addition, a full medical history needs to be taken before any treatment is started. Some patients for various reasons need to be pre-medicated with an antibiotic, before each dental appointment, even for a simple cleaning. The American Heart Association hands down these antibiotic regimens. Patients with prosthetic replacements such as hips, knees, etc. also need this pre-medication.
My advice to you is to always ask questions. I believe the dental office you called should have offered a better explanation to you. Communication is key to success. After your initial exam, make sure you sit down with the treatment coordinator to go through your treatment options, the cost of each, financial arrangements, and any other concerns you may have before you being.