Regular dental visits are essential for maintaining your oral health. Not only that, but they are an excellent preventative measure, to catch problems early and treat them before they become worse. Avoiding dental check-ups can end up costing you far more in the long run than the cost of a simple check-up. Let’s explore the cost of avoiding regular visits to the dentist. 

Why Are Dental Visits Important? 

You may be thinking ‘I brush and floss my teeth daily, I don’t need to visit the dentist.’ However, this could not be further from the truth. On top of brushing and flossing your teeth 2-3 times a day, it is recommended that you visit the dentist bi-annually, or twice a year in order to maintain optimal oral health. 

Your trip to the dentist ensures your teeth and gums are healthy and free of costly problems. There are two key parts to your dental visit. The first involves thoroughly cleaning your teeth and the second is a detailed oral examination. During your dental visit, your dentist will clean your teeth and rid them of harmful plaques and tartar. This is called scaling and involves scraping the teeth gently to remove the build-up of plaque. 

This cannot be removed simply by brushing and flossing regularly and when left un-cleaned, they can build up and cause diseases such as gingivitis or gum disease. 

In the examination portion of your visit, your dentist will then check for cavities and they may also perform x-rays if cavities are suspected. Your tongue, gum tissue and the lymph nodes in and around your neck will also be examined in order to screen for infection, as well as oral cancer. 

Your dental visit will end with a fluoride treatment, which helps to keep your tooth enamel strong and healthy. 

The average dental check-up lasts no more than an hour. It is a quick and efficient check-in but the long-term benefits are remarkable. 

The Cost of Skipping Dental Visits

Often, patients avoid going to the dentist because of the cost involved. It may seem like an unnecessary expense when you are in good oral health, however, if you neglect your oral health care, you can end up spending much more on dental expenses later on. 

There are many health risks associated with not going to the dentist. It costs much more to avoid the dentist in the long run because poor oral health can affect the health of both your mouth and your entire body. 

Common health risks include: 

Losing Teeth

Whether it’s due to an infection or lack of care, tooth loss can occur when you do not frequently visit the dentist. Tooth loss can happen to anyone and it is not something to be ashamed of. Sometimes it cannot be prevented, for example, tooth loss due to an accident. However, many forms of tooth loss can be prevented with a simple visit to the dentist. The cost of replacing a tooth is far higher than the cost of a bi-annual cleaning.

Root Canals 

One of the most painful types of oral infections are root canals. Root canal infections occur when bacteria gets into the root of the tooth. They are often the result of untreated cavities and most often require emergency surgery to repair. 

Cavities 

Cavities or tooth decay occur when bacteria is able to attack your teeth and get past the protective outer layer of tooth enamel. Your mouth is filled with bacteria and when your teeth are not properly cleaned, bacteria stay on your teeth and weaken them. They produce certain acids which demineralize your teeth and cause holes to form, leaving them susceptible to decay. Cavities can be painful and they will require removal and fillings by a dental professional. When they are caught early, your tooth can be preserved. When left untreated, cavities will form root canals and can lead to tooth loss. 

Gum Disease 

Gum disease is a common side effect of poor oral health. It often starts as gingivitis and is most often caused by the buildup of harmful plaques and tartar around the teeth and gums. This irritates the gums, making them tender and inflamed. Gum disease is closely linked to heart disease, as bacteria from your mouth can infiltrate your gums and enter your bloodstream, going directly to your heart. Gum disease can be easily prevented by frequent visits to the dentist, it can also be treated fully when caught early. 

Oral Cancer 

During regular dental visits your dentist will screen your throat and gums for signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Often, early signs of oral cancer go undetected with no symptoms and they require an experienced professional to identify and diagnose the problem. 

Financing Your Dental Care 

Dental insurance plans are an excellent way to ensure the cost of your dental care is covered or partially covered. Most dental plans cover the cost of bi-annual cleanings, as well as some of the cost for additional procedures such as emergency care. 

At PoCo Dental we offer direct billing for insurance for your convenience. Each insurance plan offers different types of coverage so it’s important for you to understand what your coverage is. However, it’s likely your dental insurance will cover or partially cover the cost of preventative examinations and cleanings. This means it’s more cost-effective for you to visit your dentist for bi-annual appointments rather than risk the cost of long-term, serious health problems, caused by poor oral health. 

Visit PoCo Dental for a General Cleaning 

At PoCo Dental we offer affordable dental care for you and your family. Our friendly staff and welcoming clinic will put you at ease and make you feel comfortable, even if this is your first visit. Our team of qualified dentists and dental hygiene experts will thoroughly clean and examine your teeth. We will help to answer any questions you may have about your oral health needs. Contact us to book your appointment and take the first step to long-term oral health. 

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