There are all kinds of questions you can and should ask your dentist. Your oral health is important, and you should be informed about the decisions that your dentist makes concerning your health. That said, there are some questions that it does not help to ask. These questions sabotage the trust relationship between the dentist and their patient, and can make it difficult to handle future problems as they arise.
“Can’t I just do…instead?”
When your dentist recommends a procedure to you, chances are they have a very good reason for doing so. Dentists go to school for years to get a full understanding of their craft, and they have a good idea of the things that can and do go wrong with oral health. Discussing alternatives is fine – if your dentist says you need braces, discussing new invisible braces is a good idea. But if your dentist tells you a particular procedure is necessary, they have a reason for it.
“Can’t you give me a discount?”
Dentists understand that medical care of any sort can hit a budget hard. But expenses incurred in treating a patient can be steep as well. Your dentist will usually be willing to negotiate with you about levels of care and treatment, and help you pick out one that fits your budget. Asking for a price break on the flat cost of a routine visit, on the other hand, is pushing into the realm of rudeness. Your dentist sets their prices as they do based on their needs, the cost of treatment and equipment, and other factors. Feel free to negotiate, but be understanding about it.
“Can’t you fit me in?”
Given that most dentists have a hard enough time convincing their patients to keep their twice-yearly appointments, they need to treat their schedules very carefully. A dental visit can take upwards of an hour depending on the treatments and discussions needed for a particular patient, and patients with special care needs can take longer. Trying to force your way into the schedule is not fair to the doctor, or to the other patients.