Tooth Tips for Later Life

Two ways to lower the cost of your dental bills

Certain types of dental treatments can be very costly. Here are two things you can do to keep your dental bills as low as possible.

Never skip a check-up

One of the best ways to avoid having to pay for costly complex dental treatments is to make sure that you always attend your routine check-up appointments.

During this appointment, a dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of disease, decay and damage. This will enable them to identify and address the early warning signs of dental health issues before they evolve into serious (and costly) problems.

For example, if, during your check-up, the dentist notices that your gums are very red, swollen and inflamed, they may then diagnose you with gingivitis (the first stage of periodontal disease). If the disease is diagnosed at this point, it is very simple and inexpensive to treat it and to halt its progression; all you would have to do is use a medicated mouthwash for a few weeks and improve your oral hygiene.

However, if you fail to attend this routine check-up and the disease, therefore, continues to progress, you could end up suffering from advanced periodontitis; at this point, the disease cannot be reversed and is likely to result in the loss of several teeth. In this situation, you would have to pay for both the extraction of these loosened teeth and for the creation of either a set of dentures or several dental implants. These treatments could end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Go to the dentist as soon as you start to feel pain in your tooth

Many people make the mistake of ignoring minor tooth pain. However, if you are determined to keep your dental bills as low as possible, you should make an appointment with your dentist the moment you begin to experience this type of pain.

The reason for this is as follows; tooth pain is usually caused by a cavity (that is, a hole in the tooth which occurs when bacterial plaque eats away at the enamel). If you have a cavity that is relatively small, your dentist can treat it with a filling. This is a very straightforward dental treatment and as such, does not tend to cost very much. 

However, if you ignore this pain, the cavity will continue to grow in size. If the hole grows too large, your dentist will not be able to fix it with a simple filling; instead, they will have to make a crown to cover the gap. Getting a crown fitted costs considerably more than having a filling done.

Additionally, an untreated cavity can increase your risk of developing an abscess, as the hole can leave your tooth root exposed. This can lead to bacteria entering the tooth and causing an infection. In addition to being incredibly painful, an abscess is also expensive to treat. In most cases, people with this dental problem need to have root canal therapy and take a course of antibiotics.