Why are regular dental check-ups recommended?
I consider there are two main reasons:
- We are healthier, on the long run
- It costs much less, on the long run
As you well know, there are very few people who never get to a dental office with a problem (emergency-pain, swelling, loose tooth, etc.). Besides these dental emergencies there are also other functional problems: mastication, phonation, aesthetics, etc. The conclusion is that whether WE WANT IT OR NOT we shall get eventually into the dental practice.
Hopefully this article will show you that it is much better to go to the dentist’s sooner than later.
We shall start the demonstration with the simplest possible case, but also the most frequent: dental caries.
Dental caries are a disease of dental structures (enamel, dentin, cement) which, untreated, will eventually affect the dental pulp (the nerve) causing pain, inflammation and infection. This period of development and “deepening” of the caries varies depending on the genetics, nutrition, hygiene of the patient between 6 months and 4 years.
- In the first phase, the patient does not feel anything at the tooth in question.
- In the second phase, the caries gets closer to the dental pulp (the nerve) and the tooth gets sensitive to cold, sensitivity that fades away as soon as the stimulus is removed.
- In the third phase, the tooth gets sensitive both to cold and sweet food, sensitivity that disappears as soon as the stimulus is removed.
- In the fourth phase the tooth remains sensitive after the stimulus is removed for a variable period of time (1-15 minutes). From this stage the nerve must be removed.
- In the fifth phase the tooth begins to hurt on its own, without any stimulus, for short periods of time (1-3 hours).
- In the sixth phase, the tooth hurts continuously, and at some point any anti-inflammatory drug is no longer effective.
So far, we have explained, from the medical point of view, the phases of dental caries. We shall continue with some mathematical, financial calculations, with regard to an effective dental treatment of such a problem.
1. First version: ignoring the problem and perpetuating the case until final stage.
We suppose it’s about a molar and the problem shall last for a period of 2 years until the caries reaches the final phase:
- Dental consultation and dental status = 120 Ron
- Regular dental check-ups + professional hygienization = 0 ron
- Nerve extraction (generally the molars have 3 nerves) = 325 Ron
- Root canal filing (permanent) = 275 Ron
- Restoration of fiberglass post abutment = 310 Ron
- Metal-ceramic crown = 945 Ron
TOTAL = 1975 Ron
2. The version where the patient is aware of the formation of these caries and treats them on time, preserving as much time as possible dental, natural tissues. We shall make the calculation for a period of 2 years: Dental consultation and dental status = 120 Ron
- Regular check-ups + professional dental hygienization = 4×250 = 1000 Ron
- Coronary obturation (filling) = 250 Ron caries is treated in phases 1,2 or 3
TOTAL = 1370
In version 2, besides paying the entire amount as calculated over a period of 2 years, in my opinion as an experienced dentist, the most important thing is to preserve a natural, beautiful, healthy, vital molar.
In the first version, of course, we will pay more, in a short period of time and we end up with a dead molar (its nerve has been removed), covered by a metal-ceramic crown that will never be able to provide the functionality and aesthetics of a natural tooth.
You should remember that this calculation is for only one tooth, but the mouth of a man has 28 teeth (+ – 4 wisdom molars) and these caries appear on several teeth.
It is essential to become aware that oral health is an important thing for our life! Regular visits to a dental practice (on average twice a year) for professional dental check-ups and hygienization will not only help you save money, but the functionality and aesthetics of your mouth will be much better!
Thank you and I wish you HEALTH!!!
Dr. Sorin Gageanu