A commitment to regular, routine dental care can help prevent a variety of problems. Unfortunately, even if you do everything right dental-wise, you can still develop oral health problems. But treating dental issues doesn’t have to break your budget. Here’s a look at four common dental problems and how you can you save money on their treatment.
A bright, white smile can often do wonders for your self-confidence. Practically every grocery and retail store offers a wide variety of low-cost tooth whitening options. Requiring no expensive dental appointment, are at-home whitening options the most economical choice?
Actually, not for most people. If you want to whiten your teeth, visiting a dentist is usually the most cost-effective option. Only a dentist can create custom whitening trays based on the shape of your mouth. Plus, a dentist can provide stronger bleaching gels and use special equipment such as whitening lasers. In-office whitening is almost always more even, better looking and longer lasting than retail treatments.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Located in the very back of your mouth, wisdom teeth are among the last teeth to fully develop. Although they can start to emerge during the teen years, some people are well into their 20s or 30s before their wisdom teeth are fully formed.
Having wisdom teeth pulled can seem like a complicated, expensive process. If your wisdom teeth don’t seem to be harming your oral health, is it easier (and less expensive) to simply leave them alone?
In many cases, dentists recommend removing all four wisdom teeth as early as possible. As they emerge, wisdom teeth can push into other teeth and shift the entire appearance of your smile. Plus, just because wisdom teeth don’t hurt now doesn’t mean they’ll be pain-free forever.
Removing all four at once usually makes the most financial sense. You’ll save by scheduling just one appointment, which lowers a variety of office and sedation fees.
Excess plaque buildup can create cavities, which are holes in the surface of your teeth. In fact, cavities are among the most common health problems in the world. But despite the potential damage they can cause, cavities are not always easy to detect. Cavities can develop with practically no external symptoms at all.
Your dentist will use x-rays, special dyes and other techniques to identify cavities of any size. But what should you do if a small cavity is discovered? Is a filling worth the expense if the cavity doesn’t hurt or seemingly impact your life at all? Should you wait until the cavity is actually a problem before paying for treatment?
Unfortunately, cavities don’t go away on their own. The sooner you can treat a cavity, the better. Small cavities are much easier and cheaper to treat than cavities which have been allowed to grow. Plus, cavities can spread from tooth to tooth. Delaying cavity treatment will only result in increased dental pain and a bigger bill.
Root Canals for Children
A root canal is a fairly complex procedure used to repair a tooth which has been severely damaged by dental decay. First, the nerve of the tooth is removed. The inside of the tooth is disinfected and then filled with a material to prevent future decay. Root canals fix serious dental damage while still allowing the patient to keep their tooth.
But are root canals necessary for children’s primary teeth? After all, primary teeth will fall out on their own and be replaced by permanent, adult teeth. If a primary tooth is infected, isn’t pulling the tooth an easier (and cheaper) solution?
Actually, no. Primary teeth need to stay in the mouth until they fall out naturally. Pulling a tooth too early will likely cause adult teeth to emerge improperly. The child’s entire smile can become misaligned and crowded. Plus, missing teeth increase the risk of cavities.
Root canals for children are slightly different than ones for adults. Permanent filling isn’t used, and the nerve of the tooth isn’t removed completely. However, the overall goal remains the same: Natural teeth are safely kept in place. Root canals for children help prevent future orthodontic work and treatments for dental decay.
Save with Dental Discount Plans
Another way to save at the dentist’s office is with a dental discount card. This is a membership card which provides access to dental savings of 15% to 60% on many common dental procedures, often including many of the conditions listed above. Simply present the card directly to any participating dentist for instant savings at the time of the procedure. Over 110,000 dentists nationwide accept discount dental plans so you can save big today no matter where you live.
Dental problems happen. Fortunately, when problems are identified early, treatment is often very reasonably priced. Don’t let fear of high costs impact your dental health. Saving money on common dental procedures is often easier than you may think.