Even if you do an excellent job at keeping up with your oral hygiene routine, regular dental visits are still a necessary step to achieve optimal oral health. However, many people put their routine dental visits on hold for a variety of different reasons. For some, it may be an effort to save some cash. The truth is that by seeing your dentist every six months, you can end up saving a lot of money in the long run. Here are some of the reasons why.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Even if you are an excellent brusher and flosser, there will always be places that you accidentally miss. This is where your routine dental cleanings come into play. During your visit, your hygienist will clear away buildups of plaque and tartar that can eventually lead to decay. Your dentist will check for existing decay so it can be treated sooner rather than later. By opting for a filling now, you may be able to avoid the need for root canal therapy or an extraction in the future. Both of these treatments are more invasive and have a higher out-of-pocket cost, even if you have dental insurance.
Ward Off Gum Disease
Every time you have a checkup, your dentist examines your smile for signs of gum disease. This condition is extremely common. Approximately half of American adults over the age of 30 are suffering from gum disease at one stage or another. Fortunately, this condition is very easy to prevent and can even be reversed in its early stages. However, when left without treatment, gum disease can cause gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. It has even been linked to other medical issues in the body, some being life-threatening – like heart disease and diabetes! By addressing gum disease with your dentist now and working on a solution, you can save money on future restorations and invasive gum disease treatments.
At the end of your dental cleaning, your hygienist polishes your teeth using a gritty material known as prophylaxis paste. This helps to break apart those surface stains that are caused by smoking, drinking coffee, and aging. By having this done regularly, you are less likely to feel the need to invest in cosmetic services to reverse discoloration in the future.
Early Detection of Oral Cancer
Your dentist checks for this deadly disease at the start of all of your checkups. When detected early on, it can often be easily treated, and patients can make a full recovery. However, since it progresses so quickly, missing a single dental visit could mean that you need intensive chemotherapy and other invasive, costly treatments. Remember that your dental visits not only save you money, but they can save your life!
If you haven’t had two dental checkups this year, now is the best time for you to schedule an appointment. By seeing your dentist before the year ends, you can get the most out of your dental insurance benefits!
About the Author
Dr. Thomas Neslund is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for more than 30 years. He earned his DMD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine before being commissioned by the Indian Health Service. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (717) 258-5455.