Prevention Over Cure

I agree oral healthcare is essential.  However, not based on stimulating the economy, but on the premise of it being essential to overall health.  It grinds my gears whenever I hear someone say dental treatment is a privilege.  Why does the world continue to separate the oral cavity from the body? The health of one’s mouth influences total body health. So, yes, dental healthcare is an essential entity that everyone one should have.

Preventive dentistry helps you keep a healthy mouth.  Preventive services such as dental hygiene care helps you maintain the health of your teeth and decreases your need for additional dental treatment.  Tooth cavities and gum disease are two common oral diseases that cause tooth loss.  Preventing these conditions increases your chance of having your teeth for a lifetime.

Ultimately, oral health starts with you! By brushing and flossing at least two times a day, you protect your mouth from a sticky group of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is the culprit that causes tooth cavities and gum disease. Without your basic at home routine you greatly increase your chances for developing expensive dental problems.  Along with regular at home care, visiting your dental health care provider for regular checkups is needed to prevent dental problems.  Regular dental checkups give your dental health care provider the opportunity to detect problems early and provide prompt treatment if necessary. 

According to the CDC, nearly half of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with a chronic illness.  The medical community has classified these conditions as preventable illnesses.  The most prevalent chronic oral disease in the U.S. is untreated tooth decay. The decay forms when plaque is left on your teeth and converts sugars from food and drink into an acid that burns through your teeth over time.  Continuous consumption of sugar and inadequate removal through proper brushing and flossing leads to cavities and more advanced oral diseases that can lead to pain, infection, and potential tooth loss. Once you pass needing preventive dental services such as oral hygiene visits and dental exams, the cost of more complicated dental procedures increases.  I personally would rather spend a minimal fee for preventive dental care as opposed to high fees for conditions that could have been prevented.

What can you do to keep more money in your pockets? I would suggest being proactive rather than reactive? Proactively addressing your dental care needs includes approaching your dental health with longevity in mind.  This requires a daily maintenance oral care routine committed to focusing on a lifetime of healthy smiles.  This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes.
  • Cleaning between your teeth with floss, proxy brushes, or floss picks daily.
  • Having professional dental hygiene care and dental evaluations completed at least two times a year.
  • Consuming a diet that is low in added sugar and packed with healthy nutrients!
Me having proactive dental care completed.

In a nutshell, proactive dental treatment is cost efficient and more effective than reactive care. 

I would say prophylactic hygiene care and dental examination, which sometimes includes diagnostic x-rays, costs between $150-$300. If the need for simple restorative treatment such as a filling is necessary, this type of procedure averages around $100-$400.  These are all dental treatments that are within the realm of proactive care.  Just imagine only seeking dental care only when you have a problem or experiencing pain.  Most times the need for emergency dental care is indicative to someone needing more advanced dental treatment.  Untreated tooth decay can result into one needing crowns, extractions, implants, or dentures.  The following are price ranges for some reactive dental care procedures:

  • $800-$2,500 per Crown
  • $100-$1,100 per tooth Extraction
  • $3500-$6,700 per Implant
  • $1000-$3500 Dentures

With regular dental checkups, oral diseases can be caught early and treated quickly.  However, if a person constantly put off getting treated, the disease can develop into an issue that is more expensive or lead to extensive damage to a tooth that can not be saved. This type of reactive care is detrimental to both the oral and systemic health of a person. Proactive dental care is more superior to reactive care.  Someone who has regular check ups and keeps the longevity mindset not only has a more affordable smile, but they have a smile that will last longer. Prevention is key. Always take the proactive approach of caring for your smile!

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