How Much Could Skipping The Dentist Cost You?
Everybody appreciates the value of saving on healthcare costs: to put dentistry, for example on the 'back burner' in order to have money for things of more immediate concern.
The question is, how long can you keep doing this before you or your families teeth suffer harm?
A tooth with decay (left) left without treatment. Within the year, in this case, the tooth totally broke down, snapped off and resulted in infection. As well as pain, the patient experienced swelling and difficulty in eating. The tooth was eventually removed after dental surgery at a cost of £180. The repair, had it been done earlier would have cost around £70 and the tooth would still be present.
Patients often neglect or delay care because of tight budgets, however, it often costs more in the long term. Likewise, having treatment carried out on a budget may well result in greater costs later.
Being a private dental practice, our patients pay a fee for each treatment they carried out.
This allows us to carry out the treatment without the need to rush and using the best materials and technologies available. This costs much more than a dentist working to a fixed budget (such as certain examples of NHS care) but in reflection usually ends up a far better job.
In other words, you very often get what you pay for.
For materials, we always try to get the very best available as this gives a better result overall. Trying to save money in the short term very often results in a substandard result, meaning you have to repeat the same treatment.
Having to do a treatment once well for a higher cost initially almost always comes out preferential to a cheaper option multiple times.
If you have your treatment carried out to a high standard and the dentist takes an interest in you and your teeth giving appropriate and specific oral hygiene and maintenance advice to you, why should treatment be expensive?
We charge £48 for a 30-minute full mouth examination. If our patients look to be looking after their teeth there is no need for 6 monthly check-ups and we extend these often to 9 months or a year.
Many of our patients then only pay us for an exam per year and as a result, this works out cheaper than NHS dental care!
These are all things an intelligent and thinking patient should consider and I would reiterate our suggestion that seeing a good dentist often should actually save you money year on year.
You would also be saving teeth, avoiding pain and having the peace of mind that you are far less likely to suffer from dental problems
Written By Dr Mark Boulcott