The American Dental Association recommends that adults and children visit their dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning. However, many people feel that these biannual visits aren’t really necessary. They’ve convinced themselves that by skipping these appointments, they’re saving time, money, and pain — but in fact, the opposite is true! Neglecting routine visits to your dentist in Coeur d’Alene can damage your mouth, your wallet, and your schedule.
A routine dental exam is painless. You might feel the dentist or hygienist’s movements as they use tools to examine and clean your teeth, but this should never cause you extreme discomfort. Furthermore, these checkups allow your dentist to identify oral health problems in their early stages — before they announce their presence to you in the form of a toothache or other painful symptoms. The procedures used to treat such issues before they become serious are usually fast and fairly comfortable.
However, if you neglect dental checkups and allow an oral health problem to progress, you could end up in a world of hurt. Furthermore, if you require a major restorative treatment to get your dental health back on track, you may be sore for days or weeks after the procedure.
Most dental insurance policies cover 100 percent of the cost of preventive care — for just the price of your premium, you could receive an annual set of X-rays and two annual cleanings and exams. Really, it would be a waste of money not to take advantage of your dental benefits.
If you skip dental checkups and end up with a major oral health concern because of it, the cost of your treatment could have a huge impact on your budget. Insurance typically covers restorative care at a rate of only 50 – 70 percent, and many plans have a yearly maximum of $1,000. Therefore, if your treatment costs well over that amount, you could end up responsible for paying for most of it out of your own pocket.
A dental exam and cleaning may last about an hour or so. If you factor in the time it takes to travel to and from your dentist’s office and to fill out necessary paperwork, the entire experience shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours out of your schedule. Once your appointment concludes, you can leave the office and jump straight back into your normal routine.
Major dental work, such as an extraction or root canal therapy, may require that you set aside a few hours for your treatment. Then, you might have to stay at home for a several days afterward to recover.
Clearly, skipping routine dental visits is a bad idea! Such neglect can cause you pain and cost you a significant amount of time and money.
About the Author
Dr. Filip Orban is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He places a strong emphasis on preventive care and wants all of his patients to enjoy problem-free smiles. To schedule your next routine dental exam, contact our office at 208-667-1546.