Most patients come to the dentist when they are already in pain. This normally translates into more expensive and extensive dental treatments.
A regular check up appointment, or “cleaning” should include x-rays and a complete exam of all your teeth, soft and hard tissues to allow early detection of oral disease. At this appointment, the patient should also receive oral hygiene education and obtain information about his oral condition.
Most patients that have caries or periodontal disease are used to living with this conditions because of fear or because they can not afford the costs of dental treatment. It has been demonstrated that periodontal disease or gum disease adversely affects the body and the overall health. Researchers have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.
The costs of dental treatment could be easily reduced when the patient goes to the dentist for regular cleanings. The early detection of disease and conditions normally translates into savings because the treatment needed is less expensive and less invasive when detected early. Here are some examples of the costs of some dental procedures you so can understand my point better. (These prices are actual prices of my practice from December 2012, assuming no dental insurance). If you have a small cavity, and the tooth has to be restored with a small tooth colored filling, this may cost you between $120 and $170. If the cavity is bigger and the tooth needs a root canal and a crown, we are now talking about $ 950 -$1,200 for the root canal only, and additional $850 to $950 for the crown (for one tooth). If you decide to get your tooth extracted it is between $180 to $250. If you later want to get your lost tooth replaced with an implant, we are talking about $3,000 per tooth. In contrast, The cost of a regular cleaning (without periodontal disease present) is only $89!
As you can see, it is less expensive to prevent disease than to treat it. If you come regularly to your dental appointment you will be saving a lot of time and money in the long term. Not having dental insurance should not be a reason for you not to get your teeth cleaned. Many people spend more than $89 in a hair salon, nails and beauty, and they normally go more frequently to the salon than to the dentist.
I hope you find this article interesting and that it motivates you to go more regularly to the dentist. We invite you to visit out practice in Hollywood, Florida or visit us on the web at www.hollywoodsmilesfl.com. Dr. Newman can be reached at 954-983-3992.
Dr. Marcela Newman