Have you ever heard the old saying, “A stitch in time saves 9?” Well, the same concept is true when it comes to dental cleanings. When Cambridge dental patients proactively take charge of their oral health by having biannual dental visits and teeth cleanings, they’re best suited to prevent a multitude of oral health complications that could leave you with an empty checking account or maxed out credit card.
The Basics of A Dental Cleaning
A teeth cleaning is a simple, outpatient procedure that should be performed twice a year, ideally six months apart (though Dr. Chang suggests some patients with certain known oral health issues have more frequent cleanings). During a teeth cleaning, your teeth will be:
- Inspected for any visible signs of tooth decay or inflamed, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Scraped with a dental instrument called a scaler, which your dental hygienist uses to remove built-up plaque and tartar
- Brushed with a rotating toothbrush that cleans deeper than your normal toothbrush
- Flossed to remove any remaining plaque or bacteria
Typically, patients also opt to have dental x-rays taken during biannual teeth cleanings to see if there are any hidden areas of tooth decay, which are common to find in between the teeth, an area that isn’t visible to the eye.
This simple process is highly effective at preventing you from developing several oral health issues that can be more costly than your typical dental copay for a teeth cleaning.
More Expensive Issues That Can Develop if Cambridge Dental Patients Don’t Have Regular Dental Cleanings
If you don’t take proper care of your oral health, you can develop complications that can take a big hit to your wallet. These include:
- Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, occurs when the plaque and tartar build ups on your teeth infect your gums, causing them to get inflamed, swollen, and bleed when you brush or floss. If left untreated, periodontal disease can progress to the point that your gums begin to separate from your teeth, your teeth become loose, your teeth shift or fall out, or you lose jaw bone tissue.
Expensive procedures associated with advanced stages of periodontal disease include oral surgeries like gum grafts, jaw bone grafts, and tooth extractions.
- Tooth Decay and the Need to Have Cavities Filled
If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, Cambridge dental patients can develop cavities. This condition requires your tooth to be drilled and filled with a tooth looking covering. However, in some cases, cavities are so severe that a tooth must be drilled down significantly, and covered with a realistic look tooth cap. While the cap preserves the tooth and functions like a natural tooth, that functionality typically comes with high out of pocket prices.
- Teeth That are Beyond Saving and Require Tooth Extractions
Sometimes, teeth are so decayed that there’s nothing our Cambridge dentists can do to save it. Instead, you must undergo oral surgery to have the tooth permanently extracted.
- The Need for Dental Implants
Whether you’ve lost a tooth to periodontal disease or had a badly decayed tooth surgically extracted, chances are you’re going to want to replace it for functional and aesthetic purposes. Dental implants are the best tooth replacement system on the market. But with that quality comes a pretty price. Even worse, some patients require pre-surgeries before implants can be placed such as jaw bone grafts or sinus lifts.
It Just Isn’t Worth it To Skip Your Biannual Dental Cleanings
As you can see, the costs can really add up if you develop complications from skipping out on regular teeth cleanings from our Cambridge dentists. But what we haven’t even factored in yet is the value of your time spent having these advanced procedures performed, recovery times from oral surgery, and the very common dental anxiety that patients often experience when having an oral surgery performed.
Clearly, it just isn’t worth it to skip out on your regular dental cleanings.
Whether you’re looking for a new dentist who is closer to you, takes your new insurance, works diligently to provide patient comfort, or you don’t have a dentist because you’ve been missing those ever-so-needed biannual appointments, our dentists at Dental Restorative Group want to help.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Chang or another dentist who works with him, call our Cambridge practice today at (617) 489-1470.