If you don’t have dental insurance, you might avoid getting your teeth cleaned and examined because you hesitate to spend the money. Especially if your teeth feel fine, you might even convince yourself that going to the dentist is entirely unnecessarily. On the other hand, maybe you do have dental insurance but don’t want to pay your deductible because, well, a dollar saved is a dollar earned. But let’s stop and think for a moment. Are you really saving money by not going to the dentist?
The Cost of Neglect
Many dental problems begin to develop long before you’re aware of them. For example, a small cavity won’t cause you any pain because the decay hasn’t reached the point where it has exposed the sensitive inner layers of your teeth. However, the problem will get worse over time if you don’t get a filling. By the time you’re in pain, you could need a root canal or an extraction, both of which can be very costly.
Let’s take a look at some numbers. Prices vary from dentist to dentist, but at the most, you can expect to pay $300 – $400 dollars for a complete cleaning and exam that includes X-rays. If X-rays aren’t necessary, that cost might be significantly less. However, if you end up needing a root canal and crown, you’re probably looking at a price tag of thousands of dollars.
When you consider that your “dentist near me” could have stopped the decay or even prevented it long before it got to the point where you needed major work done, neglecting regular dental visits is an expensive habit.
A Word About Insurance
It’s true that the cost of regular dental visits can add up quickly if you don’t have insurance. Fortunately, though, many dental coverage plans aren’t very expensive, and they can save you significant money in the long run. Most policies even cover 100 percent of the cost of preventive care. Therefore, you could get your regular cleanings and exams for nothing more than the monthly cost of your premium and a bit of your time.
Insurance companies, like everyone else, are out to save money, which is why they’re so eager to pay for preventive care. They would rather cover your cleanings and exams than a major oral surgery or a custom-made crown. In fact, many policies only cover 50 to 80 percent of the cost of any basic or major dental procedure.
If you’re ever confused about your insurance policy, feel free to talk with the friendly folks in your dentist’s office. They will probably be willing to file claims and work with the insurance company on your behalf.
Want to save money and keep your smile healthy? Visit your dentist regularly for preventive care!
About the Dentist
Dr. Tim Stirneman is your friendly, experienced dentist in Lake in the Hills. He has expertise in many areas of dentistry, but he is also an advocate of regular, preventive care. If it has been a while since your last checkup, please contact our office at 847-854-7645.