One of the biggest excuses that we have for not attending dental check-ups is "it is too expensive".
We also have the perception that if there is no pain, then everything is OK. However, dental disease is like cancer - it is totally painless in its early stages.
I am about to tell you what you can do to avoid paying for the high cost of dental treatment.
In New Zealand when we own a car that is over 3 years old, we have to take it for 6 monthly WOF check-ups. Now we might not use a car every day, but we do use our mouth every day - for talking and for chewing our food. That's a lot of mileage going on in our mouths. So it would be reasonable to take our mouths along to our dentist for a regular six and in most cases, twelve month check-up. Right?
Unfortunately, I am seeing quite a few young people who are in their late 20's, and early 30's who have not been coming in for regular dental check-ups. They seem to think that once they finish high school, they no longer need dental check-ups! This is a disaster. Instead of the dentist finding and treating any problems while they are small or the dentist advising on home oral care, the young people end up having big and expensive problems that could have been avoided. No wonder people think dental visits are expensive!
Here is a list of things that your dentist will check with you while you are lying back in the dental chair:
1) Ask you a few questions to determine how happy you are with the state of your mouth
2) Examine your teeth with a hand mirror
3) Take a digital X-ray that can then be displayed on a computer screen so that you and the dentist can discuss any problems that may be apparent. The dentist may also use an intra-oral camera to display your mouth onto a computer screen. This way, you can see what the dentist sees which gives you a greater understanding of any problems that may be there.
4) If the problem is small, fix it straight away. For instance:
a) if decay is found while it is micro - the dentist can remove the decay with air abrasion or dental water laser and then fill using a tooth-coloured composite filling material
b) if a tooth is broken and cannot be fixed with filling material then an "instant" porcelain crown can be made and placed within one appointment
c) if there is evidence of gum disease and/or tooth decay, then "bad" bacteria levels can be checked and a program put into place to reduce the "bad" bacteria (which has the potential to lessen disease and decay in your mouth - leading to a reduction in remedial dentistry).
5) If the problem is big, then a treatment plan can take into account your financial situation as well as your dental health priorities.
6) And you may have no problems, in which case you may just opt for a clean and polish!
So how do you avoid paying the high cost of dental treatment? Don't put off your dental visit - regular check-ups save you money and needless pain.
About the Author
Simon Wenley is a dentist in Auckland, New Zealand. He strives to educate people to make regular visits to his office to reduce the cost of dental care and to avoid pain. His office is mercury-free and mercury-safe. Simon recommends that you find a dentist who uses intra-oral cameras and digital x-rays so that you can become involved with your oral health. For more articles and videos visit http://www.simonwenley.com