“All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth | The Cost of Putting Off Dental Treatment”
During the holiday season, there is such a rush to get everything done. Christmas trees are purchased and decorated, shopping commences and thousands of cookies are baked long before December 25th. It is a fun and festive time of year that has everyone full of joy and excitement. We can hardly wait for the long four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be over!
If only we could get as excited about our dental care as we do Christmas! If only the tooth fairy was a plump man with a beard instead of a little pixie girl with wings! Oh, how wonderful that would be! Unfortunately, when someone hears the words “dental visit,” they tend to procrastinate (or completely avoid) instead of happily dashing into the dental office ready for their bi-annual gift of a teeth cleaning.
Why are people so anti-dentist? The top three reasons people say they do not want to go to the dentist are:
Well, we want to share a little fact with you: “The maximum total cost of preventive dental care is around $600 per year!” This breaks down to a slim $1.60 a day! That is less than the total cost of a cup of coffee (well, the good sugary coffee, like the peppermint mocha latte that is my fav!) or a large soda at your local fast food restaurant. Plus, this estimated total is the cost without insurance! Crazy, right?
Think of it this way, you will literally pay MORE per year to destroy your teeth than it would cost you to preserve them!
Preventative care normally includes your basic teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants. It can also include getting small fillings to prevent larger cavities from forming and fixing a cracked crown or tooth before they turn into a larger problem that eventually will lead to a root canal. These treatments are fairly quick and painless. The typical cleaning lasts less than an hour!
We recommend that everyone get a professional cleaning every six months. During your cleanings, you can receive fluoride treatments, x-rays and sealants. Fluoride and sealants protect the strength of the enamel and x-rays give a glimpse of what is going on inside the mouth, including the roots. If the dentist sees any problems, they will let you know your options for further treatment. It is very easy to see a small problem and think, “Oh, I need to use my money for something else, this can wait” or “This is not really hurting me right now, so I will wait until it causes me problems.” It may seem like the better option at the time, but in the long run, it will probably be the worst decision for you to make.
Save Yourself Time, Money and PAIN
Your teeth will continue to deteriorate until you have no other alternative but to seek treatment. In addition, the severity of your condition may need more extensive and invasive procedures that cost more and take a much longer time to complete. Taking the time and the money to keep your teeth healthy in the here and now will save you buckets full of money and time in the future.
More importantly, these preventative treatments do not hurt nearly as much as the procedures used to fix out-of-control problems. I mean, let’s just get this out in the open, root canals are not fun. They hurt, they are expensive and you have some downtime during recovery. Who wouldn’t want to do whatever they can do to avoid one? It is much easier to let a hygienist brush your teeth!
Check Insurance Benefits
If you have insurance, you may be waiting on the end of the year to use your benefits, just in case of an unexpected emergency. That is reasonable, but remember that preventative care is one of the best ways to keep an emergency from happening. If your teeth are strong, you won’t have to worry so much about crunching into that delicious caramel apple! Some insurances will pay 100% for cleanings, so check with your carrier to see what options are available for you.
If you are one of the people who just absolutely despise the dentist, it is time to make an effort to forge a bond with the enemy (we are not really your enemy after all!) Your teeth and your overall health will thank you!