With the economy stagnating, many people fore go dental examinations and professional cleanings to save money. The truth is it will cost you more in time, money, and discomfort in the long run. Preventive medicine, or rather preventive dentistry is better for our health, and finances.
What Can Happen Without Preventive Dentistry?
If you skip regular preventive dental visits
-Periodontal Disease – In its earliest stages, periodontal disease is curable. This stage is called gingivitis. After periodontal disease progresses to an advanced stage (called periodontitis), it is only possible to manage the symptoms and keep it from progressing further. Regular dental care will help you prevent gingivitis from occurring so that you will not have to deal with periodontal disease progressing and causing a number of more costly procedures to manage it. Periodontal disease is very preventable with regular dental care. This is why regular dental care can save you money over the long haul. It is far cheaper, and less risky to your overall health to prevent periodontal disease than to treat it.
-Tooth Decay/Root Canal Therapy – Tooth decay like periodontal disease is far easier to manage when diagnosed at the beginning stages. Once tooth decay progresses deep into the underlying layers of a tooth, it becomes much more difficult and costly to treat. If the tooth decay progresses far enough it will enter the pulp chamber and essentially create a dental infection inside the tooth. The only way to save the tooth at this point is to perform root canal therapy.
-Tooth Loss – Not receiving regular dental care can lead to tooth loss. Replacing lost teeth with dental implants, bridges, or even dentures can be quite costly. Maintaining the teeth we have is far less costly than having them replaced by your dentist. Tooth loss also makes it difficult to chew healthy foods, and may make you opt for predominantly soft, high carb, low nutrition foods.
Average Cost of Dental Care
National Average for a routine dental visit – $80
National Average for a one surface dental filling – $135
National Average for a Molar Root Canal Therapy – $675
National Average for a PFM (porcelain fused to metal) Crown – $850
As you can see it is far cheaper to visit the dentist every 6 months than to sporadically visit waiting for issues to arise. Visiting the dentist is not just about having a pretty smile, it is about maintaining both oral and systemic health. People who do not make brushing and flossing part of their daily routine end up in tons of pain later in life, have major dental work that needs to be done, and compromised health. Imagine what regular dentist visits could have done earlier on,to save them money, time, and discomfort.
A professional dental cleaning is a must because it is the only way to effectively remove tartar. Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is not enough. Tartar is an irritant , causes periodontal disease progression, is cosmetically unappealing, tartar also contains bacteria. Preventive dental care can significantly decrease the need for a mouthful of dental work. That can easily add up to thousands saved in the long run.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to invest in regular dental exams and cleanings is that it has a positive impact on your overall health. Research has shown that there is a correlation between periodontal disease and systemic disease. These include heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimer’s disease. When the periodontal disease is present you are more likely to have other systemic effects develop over time.
For example, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease can have a domino effect on your health. The bacteria caused by periodontal disease can enter into your bloodstream and attach to your heart’s blood vessels, causing dangerous blood clots. Another scenario is, that the plaque buildup caused by periodontal disease can cause the heart’s blood vessels to swell.
Our health habits need to become a routine part of our lives. The cumulative effect of these habits increases the quality of our lives and keeps us healthy. Regular dental visits just like regular medical visits are an investment in our current and future health. Pass up the chances now and you will pay for it decades from now.
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