If you’re interested in saving money, (and who isn’t?) you probably focus your money-saving strategy on the things you can afford to do without. For the most part, that’s a wise approach. A penny saved is a penny earned! Cutting out your morning Starbucks runs, avoiding snack purchases when you get gas in your car, and even cancelling that gym membership you never use will keep money in your pocket and add up over time.

Photograph of a young boy at the dentist.

You may also think about proactive things you can do to save money – such as clipping coupons, carpooling or taking public transportation, joining a babysitting co-op, and turning up your AC settings a couple of degrees to lower your electric bills. Those, too, are smart, effective ways to save money.

Here’s a money-saving idea you may not have considered. Making and keeping regular dental appointments and following your dentist’s recommendations for restorative dental work will save you money in the long run. Potentially, being diligent about your dental care can save you thousands of dollars. If you’re willing to forego your $4 per day Starbucks habit to save money, you should definitely be willing to see your dentist regularly. Not only will you save money in the long run, you will have a nicer smile! That’s something to smile about!

Spend Money to Save Money?

It may sound counterintuitive that spending money to visit the dentist – potentially hundreds of dollars if you do not have dental insurance – will save you money. But, it’s the truth.

Let’s consider an all-too-common scenario. You go to the dentist for your routine checkup and cleaning, which isn’t too terribly expensive. However, when the dentist tells you you have developed a cavity and need a filling, or a crown, you leave the office without making that follow-up appointment. You promise to call back later to schedule the procedure, but you’re actually thinking, “I don’t feel any pain, so there’s no way I’m paying for that!”

For a while, even for months or years, you may pat yourself on the back for being so smart and money-savvy. You dodged a bullet, you think, and saved a few hundred dollars on dental work that you obviously didn’t really need.

Money Spent on Early Dental Intervention is Money Well Spent

The problem is, that decision and that confidence will eventually catch up with you. And that few hundred dollars you saved? That will actually cost you.

Instead of a filling or a crown, by the time your teeth do start causing you pain, you may need a root canal or you may need to have one or more teeth pulled. If you have teeth pulled and don’t want a smiled marred by missing teeth, you’ll need to get a dental implant or a bridge. Instead of spending a few hundred dollars to have the dentist-recommended work done, you will end up spending (easily) thousands of dollars. When you factor in the argument that “time is money,” avoiding early intervention will cost you even more. The more involved a dental procedure is, the longer each appointment takes. Often, root canals, extractions, and implants require multiple dental visits.

If you forego routine dental care for years and years, your avoidance can end up costing you even more. Systematic neglect of your oral health can eventually lead to the need for dentures. Not only are dentures very expensive, they also require you to buy special cleaning products to maintain them.

Another exorbitantly expensive side effect of foregoing dental care is that what begins a small cavity can fester and lead to a tooth abscess and even a blood infection. This, in turn, can necessitate a visit to a hospital emergency room. That, as you’re undoubtedly aware, is incredibly expensive.

Regular Dental Care and Early Intervention: A Small Price to Pay

It’s simply human nature to balk when you learn, unexpectedly, that you need hundreds of dollars of dental work. It’s also human nature to want to delay or avoid something that you really don’t want to do. The bottom line, though, is that if you forego regular dental checkups and ignore your dentist’s recommended treatment plan, it will cost you much more down the road – financially and in terms of anxiety and discomfort. Visiting the dentist costs money. It’s an investment in yourself, though, which is the best kind of investment!

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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