Over the past 20 years I have been watching patients making the same mistakes over and over again to the detriment of their health and bank accounts. These errors in judgment are usually based in fear, misunderstanding or not knowing the true extent of their problems. Sadly the long-term consequences of poor dental health care decisions (or lack thereof) can be devastating and crippling both physically and emotionally.
By avoiding the three most common dental healthcare pitfalls you will not only have a much better chance of keeping you natural teeth for your lifetime, but you will significantly reduce the cost of your dental care as well as your pain and suffering and save you a lot of time and avoid inconvenient dental emergencies. (Which btw, always occur on the weekend or before an important event or when you or your dentist are on vacation)
1. Avoiding professional cleanings and exams.
Many people skip their professional dental cleaning and regular doctor exams because they are trying to save money or they "don't have dental insurance".
Here are the facts, the vast majority of extracted teeth, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures and large fillings all began with a teeny tiny cavity. Had this cavity been identified in its early stages using today' s modern and minimally invasive diagnostic technology. At L.I. Center for Healthier Dentistry it may have been reversed or healed using our combination of modern as well as ancient cavity healing protocols. Larger cavities could have been treated with a laser, ozone or minimally invasive and tooth conserving filling. Fast diagnosis these small early cavities is the key to avoiding major tooth destruction, terrible pain, life-threatening infection and expense in both money and time.
Did you know that nearly every tooth that has been extracted because of gum disease, bone loss, gum recession, gum abscess or underwent extensive and expensive gum disease treatment all began with stage I gum disease which is 100% reversible has it been identified early and treated painlessly and affordably!
Allowing your teeth, bone and gums to deteriorate because you are trying to save a few dollars during a cleaning is one of the worst health care decisions you can make. I have seen this all too common mistake lead to the destruction of countless teeth and waste tens of thousands of people's hard earned dollars.
You would not ignore cancer or let it just get worse would you? So why do you do this for your teeth?
If you are someone who hates going to the dentist due to awful past dental experiences, avoiding treatment is arguably the worst thing you can do!
In reality, what will actually happen is the exact thing you are trying to avoid: major tooth problems, pain, suffering, embarrassment, increased cost of treatment, more time in the dental chair and compounded anxiety. Sadly, I've seen this time and time again.
Coming in on a regular basis for cleanliness and check-ups actually helps to avoid the above-mentioned problems.
DENTAL TIP#1: preschedule your next dental cleaning before you leave the dental office!
2. Refusing dental x-rays.
I get it, cost and radiation!
Before we get in to that, it is important to understand that x-rays are still the best way to identify small cavities, which cannot be seen with the eye. There are also many other potential problems that dental x-rays show, that can be worthwhile knowing about, if keeping your teeth and staying healthy is one of your goals.
Radiation: Here are the facts: conventional dental x-rays are the lowest form of medical x-rays. But it gets better, because the worst digital dental x-rays are at least 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. And the best sensors not only show more detail, so the dentist makes better decision about your treatment but there are now digital x-rays that are 99% less radiation than conventional dental x-rays. And yes, those are the ones we use at our Centers for Healthier Dentistry. So find a modern dental practice, which used digital x-rays, hopefully one, which cares about its patients and because of that, is not cheap about investing in the best equipment for their patients' optimum health.
Cost: if you truly cannot afford dental x-rays, then instead of going to a private dental office, you should be going to a dental school or a residency program in your area. They serve the poor and you can get your dental care done for significantly less. Taking away the doctors ability to fully rule out tooth decay, gum disease, infections, tumors and a host of other problems will only hurt you more financially, dentally and help ruin your health in the process.
3. Dragging out dental treatment.
Most people do this primarily because they think they can't afford it. Not surprisingly fear is a close second. Conventional wisdom thinks that if you pace things out, you can afford it. while this may work when you are redoing a bathroom in your house, it is a disaster strategy when it comes to your dental health care.
Without rehashing the same reasons you just read, not having the proposed treatment done in as quick time as possible only leads to the same outcome as not knowing that you have a dental health problem in the first place. And as usual, pain, suffering, time spent, cost, stress, emotional anguish all go up.
So find a friendly, caring, compassionate, gentle dental office which will make the dentistry affordable through a variety of short term and long term payment plans, even if you have bad credit.
DENTAL TIP #2: Get your mouth healthy in the shortest time possible and move on with your life having one less problem to worry about.
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