Staying healthy is a top priority for everyone now. And yet, many people are doing the one thing that is likely to land them a trip to the ER — putting off seeing your dentist.
At Exceptional Dentistry in Palmdale, CA, Dr. Powell and our experienced team understand that people are hesitant to step outside their comfort zones right now because of COVID-19.
But long term, avoiding your dental visit and exams, or worse, putting off needed dental care, can cause more problems you really don’t want to be dealing with right now — like an unexpected trip to the ER.
Your Smile Gets a Daily Workout
It’s not like you sporadically use your teeth, you rely on them multiple times a day every time you bite and chew your food. And you probably already know that problems are quicker to fix, least invasive and least costly when addressed early on for pretty much anything, especially dental care.
Your yearly dental checkups and hygiene visits keep your mouth looking and feeling great and functioning optimally so you don’t have to worry about your oral health being sidelined with preventable problems. Still, we know that a lot of folks put off or delay coming in for routine dental cleanings and treatments, and not just because of the national stresses we’re all dealing with right now.
Five Common Reasons People Delay Dental Treatment
1. “I can’t afford it.”
Budget is the top reason people put off going to the dentist. But the truth is, dentistry isn’t expensive, neglect is. The longer you put off seeing the dentist the more your condition will worsen, making your treatment needs more involved. But the good news is, taking good care of your teeth will help keep dental problems to a minimum! Your routine dental cleanings combined with your daily efforts – brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing – work together to avoid costly dental problems later. We’ve got financing options that can help you get the care you need when you need it.
2. “I’m afraid.”
We get it, some people are just plain scared of sitting in a dental chair. And even sounds or smells can be triggering. But all you have to do is let our team know you’re anxious and we will help you relax and stay comfortable throughout your treatment time with us! Our practice thrives on creating a spa-like experience to help you completely during your time in the chair, and we take that job seriously.
We’ve got a comfort menu with aromatherapy and other amenities for you during your visit. Thanks to advances in modern dentistry like dental lasers, dental visits – cleanings and treatments – are actually more comfortable and relaxing than ever before! There’s less noise, less discomfort and less time needing to be treated.
3. “If I ignore it, maybe it will go away.”
Not wanting to hear bad news about your oral health is another reason patients delay treatment. Ironically though, isn’t that actually counter-intuitive? It can’t be said enough: the sooner we spot and fix dental problems, the least amount of time, money, and energy you have to invest since dental problems only get worse as you ignore them.
4. “Why do I need this extra service?”
Trust is essential when it comes to your oral health, and knowing that you are being taken care of by a team who has advanced training can really put you at ease. Any services that are recommended to you are of course always your choice to have or not to have; however, it’s important that your personal values align with your dental team’s. At Exceptional Dentistry, we believe in a preventative approach, and we also don’t want you to ever have to suffer the repercussions of procrastinating treatment. So the treatments we recommend are always going to be based on your individual needs and we believe in delivering the high quality of care that you deserve.
5. “I don’t have time.”
Being too busy to come in is another reason patients put off dental treatment. But here’s the thing, we’re all creatures of habit. And since dental cleanings are spaced out every six months (unless you have an issue like gum disease where you might have to come in more often), it’s easy to just put dental cleanings out of sight and mind. That’s why our team expends a lot of energy sending out reminders to help you stay on track to get the care your smile deserves!
How to Avoid A Trip to The Emergency Room
Did you know that when the U.S. shut down during spring, dentists and dental schools were still allowed to treat their patients needing emergency dental care? That’s because there are serious consequences of avoiding necessary dental treatment.
If you keep putting off your dental care there are serious health repercussions, and in some cases they’re irreversible. We’re already seeing an increase in dental emergencies, gum pocket depths increasing, and consequently bone loss (aka fast track to tooth loss).
But even though dental pain is something that we wouldn’t want anyone to have to experience, and missing teeth comes with their own set of problems, the most dangerous thing is the impact of your oral health on your overall health.
Oral Disease & Overall Health
‘Periodontal disease’ may just sound like some fancy dental lingo, but it’s actually very serious because it’s an active infection in the gums.
Systemic inflammation has a long-term negative effect on your immune system.
Even before the virus, people were struggling with ongoing gum disease. And now that there has been a lapse in the frequency of needed dental visits, there’s real cause to be concerned. Your mouth impacts your body through the bloodstream which affects organs.
There are many serious health diseases that are impacted by your oral health or vice-versa. Here’s some of them:
- Endocarditis and heart disease
- Pregnancy and birth complications
- Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Eating disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain cancers
Avoiding regular dental care is bad for you all over! So if you notice anything going on in your mouth that shouldn’t be, we urge you to give our dental team a call to have it checked out. It’s just a fact of life that dental problems only tend to get worse without treatment instead of going away on their own.
Keeping You Safe During COVID So That You Can Get The Dental Care You Need
To help you feel safe coming in and being seen, like dentists all across the U.S., we have strict protocols in place to ensure the safety of our patients and team.
While we are taking extra care, most of what we do are simply extensions of our normal regimens. Dentists are highly trained in infection control and adopt the mindset that “everyone is infected.” — which means that we take sterilization and disinfection seriously.
And while much is remaining the same when it comes to sterilization and disinfection, there are some new protocols in place for extra precaution, such as:
- You can check-in for your visit while waiting in your car until we are ready to see you.
- Your temperature will be checked before being seated, and like us, you will be wearing a mask.
- You will also gargle with an anti-virus solution that helps deactivate coronavirus.
What’s more, both the CDC and the World Health Organization say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office so far. Michele Neuburger, a dental officer for the CDC’s Division of Oral Health and a member of the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Infection Prevention Control Team says that that includes follow-up by the CDC of news reports suggesting such infections.
Honestly? A dental office is probably one of the safest places outside your home that you could be in during this time!
To read more about our added safety protocols, go to our post, ” Going to The Dentist During The Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID19)“
3 Things To Remember Before You Put Off Dental Visits
While it’s true that you are going to have to make a choice that you feel most comfortable with, we just ask that you remember the following:
- Your mouth and body are intricately connected so what affects one area will impact the other. The best dental treatment is prevention and early treatment when it is still the least invasive and least costly dental option to resolve.
- When it comes to your safety, we’ve always had strict practices in place. But today we employ masks, social distancing, and the office areas are constantly monitored and disinfected. Increased safety equipment enhancements like face shields, HEPA filters, temperature checks, seeing fewer patients in the office, and lessening aerosols also help protect you.
- While it’s a bad idea to skip your dental visits, you can, however, cut down on dental visits by consolidating treatments so you take fewer trips to the office while making the most of your oral health care.
Making sure that you are coming in for your preventative and maintenance dental visits now means fewer dental issues and expensive treatments later. Additionally, seeing the dentist can help lower your overall health risks which consequently could keep you from an emergency room visit.
Get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have optimum oral health. Schedule your visit today (661) 349-7725 or request your next dental visit online.