Nobody particularly enjoys a trip to the dentist, but it’s certainly preferable than the alternative. Each year, millions of Americans experience painful dental problems due to inadequate dental care, often as a result of not having dental coverage on their insurance plans. In an attempt to save money, dental benefits are among the most commonly cut features of insurance plans offered by employers; even large corporations offer employees shockingly sub-par dental coverage.
As a consequence, many people skip dentist visits and put off treating smaller issues like cavities or gum inflammation, common even amongst those with good health habits. More often than not, these minor issues turn into major problems if left untreated, leading to expensive and painful procedures such as root canals, crowns, and extractions
Tooth issues that go untreated by a dentist for an extended period of time not only lead to a less attractive appearance and unwanted tooth pain, they can affect a person’s overall health and well-being. Bacteria on the teeth and gums can very rapidly cause infection that spreads to the bloodstream, affecting the sinus cavities, ears, throat, lungs, and even the heart.
An abscessed tooth, caused by an infection characterized by a buildup of pus surrounding the tooth and gum tissue, is often said to be one of the most painful common ailments a person can suffer.
Many abscessed teeth must be extracted, and the area treated with antibiotics. This extremely painful ailment can begin as something extremely simple, like an unfilled cavity or chipped tooth, and prevented by a much earlier and less expensive trip to the clinic.
The most important side effect of the care being less than affordable for many Americans is that children are not getting the attention from the doctor that’s needed early on in life, leading to bad or neglectful tooth care habits, and problems that form relatively early in life.
By the time that child is grown and in the work force, trips to the dentist can cost thousands of dollars, simply to correct the improper care experienced during childhood and adolescence. Regular cleanings, checkups, and fluoride treatments can save a person thousands of dollars down the road.
Fortunately, many dentists understand the financial burden, especially if there are problems that need to be addressed. Most are willing to work with patients on reasonable financing options, and there are loans available specifically for your tooth care. While a visit to the dentist may be expensive and inconvenient, sometimes even painful, it’s actually the least damaging option to your wallet—and your well-being.