There are all sorts of reasons why some patients don’t see their dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. For some it is dental anxiety, and for others, it’s a busy schedule. Some people skip their dental visits simply as an effort to save money. However, the truth is that for every dollar that you spend on preventive care, you can save $50 on restorative care later on. Here are just some of the ways that regular dental visits help you save.
Prevent Decay and Oral Infection
Even if you are an excellent brusher and flosser at home, you are still going to miss certain areas in your mouth. This is where your professional cleaning helps. Your hygienist will remove plaque buildups that are left behind before they cause oral health issues over time. During your regular exam, your dentist will look for existing tooth decay so it can be treated before leading to an infection. Having a filling placed now can save you from needing a more invasive and expensive procedure, like a root canal or extraction, later on.
Catch Gum Disease
Gum disease is very easy to prevent, but still very common. Nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 are suffering from it. When you go in for your regular checkups, your dentist will look for early signs of the condition. This way, it can be treated early on. When left to progress, you could be dealing with gum recession, loose teeth, or tooth loss. This means spending more money in the future on restorations and gum disease treatment that may not be covered by insurance.
Whenever you visit your dentist for a professional cleaning, they will wrap up the visit by polishing your teeth using a gritty substance called prophylaxis paste. This works by breaking apart surface stains caused from drinking coffee, red wine, and other stain-causing foods and beverages. If you skip your appointments, you are more likely to feel the need to invest in cosmetic treatment later on to brighten up your smile. This will be more expensive and won’t be covered by your dental insurance.
Detect Oral Cancer
At the beginning of every checkup, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening. They inspect your neck, mouth, throat, and other oral tissues for abnormalities and signs of this deadly disease. Since it progresses so quickly, missing a single appointment can be the difference between an easy treatment and intensive chemotherapy. Having your regular oral cancer screening can save you tons of money and even your life in the long run.
The end of the year is nearly here, so don’t forget about seeing your dentist. For most dental insurance plans, benefits reset at the beginning of the calendar year. By maximizing your benefits now, your wallet will thank you!
About the Author
Dr. Danny Hayes earned his dental doctorate from Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA and is committed to continuing education to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. Currently, he is affiliated with numerous professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and Chicago Dental Society. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Portage, visit his website or call (219) 763-6878.