An old saying goes, “If you watch your pennies, you’ll never have to worry about your dollars.” As a money-smart individual, you might be watching your pennies by cutting back on things that you don’t view as necessary. But when you’re trimming your budget, please don’t cut out your preventive dental visits! Neglecting routine oral healthcare, like cleanings and exams, can actually take a big-time toll on your wallet.
The Cost of Preventive Care
For most people, dental insurance isn’t very expensive. Whether you purchase it yourself or get it through your employer, it’s probably an easily manageable cost. Most insurance plans cover 80 to 100 percent of the cost of preventive dental care, such as cleanings and exams. Therefore, visiting your dentist twice a year may cost you nothing more than your insurance premiums.
But what if you don’t have insurance? An exam that includes a professional cleaning, X-rays, and a personal sit-down with a dentist might cost a few hundred dollars at the most. Some dentists even have special introductory offers for new patients that allow you to get a comprehensive cleaning and exam for a very low price.
The Cost of Neglect
If, during your routine exam, your dentist notices an issue that needs further treatment, such as a cavity, it’s always best to get it taken care of before it becomes worse. After all, the cost of getting a small cavity filled is much less than the cost of a root canal combined with a crown — that’s a procedure that can easily cost thousands of dollars.
Let’s talk about another example that illustrates the cost of neglect. If a tooth becomes so badly decayed that it needs to be extracted, the extraction itself may not seem all that expensive. However, if you ever decide to get that tooth replaced, you may end up paying a substantial amount of money for a bridge or implant.
It’s also worth noting that dental insurance often only pays for 50 to 70 percent of the cost of restorative procedures. Really, then it makes a lot of practical sense to prevent oral health problems before they start.
Concerns about money should never become more important than your health. Neglecting dental visits, even if you think your teeth are fine, can have devastating emotional and physical consequences. If you have an undiscovered problem that goes on for a long time, such as oral cancer, you could end up facing extensive and painful treatment. Your life may even be put in jeopardy!
Dentistry and dental insurance may seem expensive, but they are actually quite affordable when you compare their costs against that of neglecting your oral health. When you take steps to safeguard your teeth and gums, your smile and your wallet will be happier!
About the Author
Dr. Raj Vekariya leads the team of talented professionals at Center One Dental. He is truly passionate about helping his patients enjoy all the benefits of a healthy smile. If it is time for your next checkup, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at 724-300-3700.