There are many different reasons why people refrain from going to the dentist. For some, it is dental anxiety or a busy schedule that doesn’t make it easy to book appointments. But for others, it is the fear of what the bill will look like at the end of the visit. The truth is that for every dollar you spend on preventive care, you will save an average of $50 on restorative care later on. Continue reading to learn about the different ways that regular dental cleanings and checkups save you money and how your dental insurance pays a role.
Prevent Tooth Decay
Even if you are the most diligent brusher and flosser in the whole world, you aren’t perfect. There are still going to be areas in your mouth that you will miss with your toothbrush. This is where your regular cleanings come into play. Your dental hygienist will remove buildups of plaque and tarter that has been left behind so it is less likely to lead to cavities. During your checkup, your dentist will look for existing tooth decay so it can be treated now before you require a more invasive and pricy procedure, like a root canal or extraction.
Catch Gum Disease Early
Gum disease can be highly destructive for your smile, yet it is easily preventable. That being said, half of the American population over the age of 30 is currently suffering from gum disease at one stage or another. The good news is that your dentist always looks for early signs of periodontal disease when you come in for a routine checkup. When caught early on, it is generally easy to treat and completely reversible. However, if you leave it to progress, you could end up with irreversible gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. This means that you will need to spend more money on restorations and additional gum disease treatment later on that may not be covered by insurance.
Part of your professional cleaning involves your hygienist using a substance called prophylaxis paste to polish your teeth. This gritty material works by breaking apart surface stains and leaves you smile with less discoloration. If you aren’t routinely getting this done, your teeth may begin to appear discolored and make you consider investing in cosmetic treatment later on in order to reverse discoloration. By going in for regular cleanings now, you can save money long term.
Detect Oral Cancer
At the beginning of all of your checkups, your dentist checks for signs of oral cancer. While this disease can be deadly, it is often treatable when it is caught early on. However, since it progresses so quickly, a simple treatment could turn into intensive chemotherapy in just one missed visit to the dentist. Going to the dentist will not only save your wallet, but it could save your life!
Now that the year is coming to a close, it is a great time to head to the dentist if you haven’t been in over six months. At the end of the calendar year, you are likely going to lose out on all of your unused benefits that you have through your dental insurance plan. Use it before you lose it!
About the Author
Dr. John Kuan earned his dental doctorate from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco and regularly attends continuing education courses to stay up to date on all of the latest innovations in dentistry. His practice is in-network with Delta Dental, Metlife, and Cigna, but also accepts many other dental insurance plans. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (469) 723-4000.