It’s that time again. Time for you to visit the dentist for your 6-month exam and dental cleaning. But time and money are both tight right now. You’re juggling things like work, time with family, and your child’s big game. To top it off, back-to-school and other expenses make you want to put dental visits on the back burner. Maybe you can put off your appointment by a month or two. There’s nothing wrong with that…or is there?
The BIG Downsides of Putting Off Dental Treatment
You may be surprised to learn that putting off dental treatment can actually cost you more time and money.
Here’s a great analogy: Most of us have cars, or at least have probably owned one at some point in time. So you probably know and understand that cars need some basic maintenance in order to keep running. Things like putting gas in it, getting your tires rotated, and having the oil changed in a timely manner are obviously important. But what would you suppose would happen if you put off or completely stopped changing your oil?
There might not be any noticeable symptoms at first, but under the hood, there would definitely be some serious damage being done to the engine. All the moving parts in the engine, without oil, would be headed to catastrophic engine failure. And just like that, a $75 oil change becomes a $2,000+ engine repair.
The same thing can happen with your teeth.
Putting off dental treatment can be hazardous, even if it’s a routine hygiene visit. Let’s bring it back to the analogy. Just like your car needs maintenance to stay “healthy,” your teeth also need maintenance in order for you to stay healthy.
Things like routine cleanings or periodontal maintenance, are imperative to keep bad bacteria at bay and remove the tartar that is impossible for you to clean at home. Putting this sort of dental visit off allows the advancement of bad bacteria— causing an active infection in your gums. This infection of the gums can result in severe bad breath, pain, tooth loss, and even general health complications (like heart disease).
The routine visit is about being proactive. Just as a yearly car inspection can catch things before they become a larger, more costly issue, Dr. James D. Powell performs a thorough examination of your teeth and gums at least once a year. These dental exams and X-rays allow Dr. James D. Powell to detect any dental issues, like cavities, early-on when they are still easy to treat.
And it isn’t just procrastination of routine visits that can cause detrimental outcomes—putting off recommended restorative treatments can cost you big time as well. When you procrastinate treatment, a once single-visit becomes multiple visits and sometimes even requires you to see specialists.
Procrastination is Problematic
Let’s take a look at some common issues that may occur because of procrastinated dental cleanings or treatments:
- Cavity Progression – Visiting our office regularly allows our dentist to detect cavities when they are still small. This means that less of your tooth has been damaged. Putting off exams or dental filling appointments gives the cavity time to grow larger. This could eventually lead to an infection that requires a more invasive (& costly) treatment.
- Infection in the Root Canals – When you allow decay to progress, the root canals of a tooth can become infected, you may experience swelling in the gums near the tooth or a pretty painful toothache. If damage in the tooth is allowed to progress this far, root canal therapy may be needed. And also, a dental crown will need to be placed to protect the remaining tooth structure. Root canal treatment can usually be avoided by attending your regularly scheduled dental visits, and by not skipping the Xrays and exam.
- Progression of Gum Disease – Another thing that’s checked during your preventative hygiene visit is gum disease. This infection in the gums causes the recession of the gums, and loss of bone that surround and support the teeth. Treating and managing gum disease is very important for the health of your smile. If this disease is allowed to progress because of neglected dental work, the end result could be tooth loss and advanced health problems.
Saving Time at the Dentist
We realize how busy you are and how precious your time is. Which is why, we have extended hours to accommodate your schedule. We’re even open on Saturdays, so you won’t have to take time off from work.
As if that’s not enough, we have our up-to-date dental technology that allows us to perform many dental treatments in a single visit! CEREC is a system that allows our dentist to design, create, and place dental restorations like crowns, veneers, and bridges in as little as 2 hours!
Making Your Dental Care Easier to Afford
If finding the extra cash to pay for needed dental treatments is a concern of yours, know that we have many financial options available to put less stress on your budget. CareCredit, LendingClub, and CareCap are financing companies that allow you to have your dental treatment when you need it, and then to make easy monthly payments.
While we don’t rely on insurance coverage as a way to diagnose dental problems, we do feel that insurance can be an added benefits in some cases. At Exceptional Dentistry, we also provide courtesy insurance billing in order to give your budget a little extra boost. Dr. Powell is a Delta Dental Premier provider and a United Concordia ELITE provider.
If you don’t have insurance, no problem! To further serve you, we have an in-office savings club. And we’d be happy to give you a complimentary consultation to map out your financial and dental needs.