Citing the rising costs of dental insurance today, more people are choosing to put off seeing their dentist for minor toothaches and mouth pain. The decision to avoid seeing a dentist might save a little money in the immediate future, but in the long run, it could end up costing you more than money.
Underlying Tooth Damage
Whenever a toothache occurs, it usually involves some level of damage to the tooth enamel. This can be caused by some type of mouth or tooth injury. This damage can move deeper into the tooth and surrounding tissues.
Tooth and Gum Abscesses
An abscess is a pocket of infection between the tooth and the gum or near the roots of the tooth. It is characterized by intense pain, swelling of the face, jaw, or neck, a low-grade fever, and extremely sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure. Left untreated, the infection can spread deeper into the body. If the infection reaches the brain or the heart, it becomes a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. A dentist can drain the abscess, relieve the pain, and treat the underlying infection.
Another problem that occurs as a consequence of not seeing a dentist is cavities. Most cavities can be easily filled if they are treated early. Delaying treatment can lead to tooth loss.
Root Canal Surgery
Performing root canal surgery to removing the nerve inside of the damaged tooth is another way to alleviate pain and repair the tooth. Root canal surgery is more expensive than having a cavity filled.
Dental crowns are used to repair and strengthen a damaged tooth. The crown is placed on top of the damaged tooth and sealed into position with dental cement. Crowns can help restore the appearance and functionality of damaged teeth.
If dental problems are ignored for too long, tooth extraction may be the only option available to correct the problem. Tooth extraction can lead to the need for partial or full dentures.
While these are major problems, there are some common solutions that can help. Veneers can help correct and protect damaged teeth. They can greatly improve the quality of your smile. They are long lasting and easy to care for. While it may be tempting to avoid seeing a dentist for minor tooth problems in an effort to save money, the consequences of delaying treatment can quickly add up. It is better to have dental discomfort treated early in order to prevent more expensive issues in the future.
Informational credit to the Art of Dentistry Institute.