You go to the dentist for a routine cleaning. After some small talk, you may have X-rays taken, depending on the last time that was done, and then your hygienist will get to work scraping off plaque from the top of the gumline. Then you hear “You need some basic restorative work.” What’s that? You’re sure that you took good care of your teeth but something happened. Ask them to go into detail about what you need.
Dental terms can seem so technical. What is the line between basic restorative services and major restorative services?
If you’re having any kind of dental work done, you want anesthesia. It can be a topical one applied to your teeth and gums for your dental cleanings if you feel discomfort while they scrape your teeth to having your mouth fully numbed for the work that’s listed below. It’s such an integral part of the dental experience that nearly all of the insurance companies just include it in their basic packages. The only thing they may not cover is if you want to be fully sedated while having the work done. That can cost more. If they don’t, you might want to discuss financing options with your dentist because it can take a high pain threshold to have work done without anesthesia.
Cavities happen to everyone, regardless of their station in life. They could have had braces, which makes it hard for them to thoroughly clean their teeth. Perhaps they had too much sugar. It might even be genetic. Still, that cavity needs to be filled before the cavity grows larger and deeper, necessitating things like a root canal. The dentist usually uses a tooth-colored filling – the days of mercury-filled ones are long gone. It usually is done in a single visit and is largely painless.
When it comes to root canals, people tend to fear them. They may have heard horror stories about how painful they are. Instead, they tend to be remembering how much their teeth hurt before the canal. Also, new medicine makes it much easier. The dentist numbs the area and it’s no more painful than a filling. What happens is that he or she drills into the tooth and removes the root and the pulp. After that, since the tooth is dead, they cover it with a crown. It’s also a short procedure, lasting one visit, two at most. The crown may take a bit longer.
Now.. the cost. It depends on your insurance policy or the dental policies you have. Some put this in the same category as basic restorative work and cover the entire cost while some other insurers see it as a more advanced restoration and pay significantly less, putting the onus on you to pay the rest. It’s a preventative measure meant to ward off the possibility of gum disease and other oral health problems, so the vast majority of the dental plans lump it into the “basic” basket. Be sure to double-check first. Read all of the literature and ask questions before committing to that insurance.
That wasn’t that complicated, was it? Anything beyond this, like bridges, crowns, and dental implants are considered major restorative work and you will likely have to pay a larger share of the cost. Most of these things can be done in a single day and you will be back resuming normal everyday activities within a day or two, though you will have to follow any post-procedure instructions carefully.
The staff at VIP Dental Center, located in Palm Harbor, Florida, are well-versed at doing basic restorative work. They have an emergency room that is open 24/7 and they will work with you to get you back to your usual excellent oral health. Give them a call at 727-787-2424 to see how they can help you.