Why shouldn’t you postpone necessary dental procedures or office visits? If you’ve waited weeks, months, or more for dentist-recommended work, take a look at the questions to ask right now.
Why Did the Dentist Recommend the Procedure?
The reason behind the recommendation can help you to decide whether you need to schedule a make-up appointment immediately or if the procedure really can wait. Purely cosmetic dental procedures, such as in-office whitening, aren’t emergency issues. Even though you should always discuss the postponement of a procedure with the dentist, most patients can safely wait for a cosmetic visit.
Recommended procedures you shouldn’t wait to schedule include:
- Dental fillings. Left untreated, dental decay can progress into a serious infection or permanently damage the tooth. Prompt treatment stops the decay process, improves your mouth’s health, and can alleviate oral discomfort.
- Dental crowns. Dental crowns can help to strengthen a weakened tooth and correct cracked, chipped, or worn teeth. The sooner you get the crown, the lower the risk of additional damage, wear, or pain.
- Tooth extractions. The dentist may need to remove a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Not only can this procedure eliminate dental discomfort, but it can also stop an infection from spreading.
Along with these procedures, you shouldn’t put off visits related to pain, swelling, unexplained bleeding, or dental injury. A chipped or cracked tooth, painful area of your mouth, or other similar issues require immediate in-office attention.
Should You Wait for Gum Care?
Are your teeth decay-free? Even though you may not have cavities, dental damage, or tooth-related issues, may still need an in-office appointment.
Don’t postpone your next dental visit if:
- You have bleeding gums. Do your gums bleed when you brush or eat? This is a sign of periodontal, or gum, disease.
- You have swollen or red gums. Red, swollen gums are another sign of gum disease. Like bleeding when you brush, this symptom requires professional attention.
- You have loose or sensitive teeth. Some seemingly tooth-related issues are periodontal problems. Loose or sensitive teeth coupled with other signs, such as bleeding or swollen gums, signal a periodontal infection.
Prompt periodontal treatment is necessary to control gum disease. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner you’ll see and feel relief.
Should You Wait for Routine Appointments?
You’ve scheduled your filling, crown, or other restoration. But what about routine checkups and cleanings? Even though you may not think a routine oral care appointment is necessary right, you could have an unknown issue. The cost of an appointment, dental insurance, time issues, and other similar concerns may result in missed routine care.
Before you skip your next appointment:
- Talk to the dentist. The dentist can provide you with the facts on routine care. Beyond general care, the dentist can also help you to understand why this service is necessary for you as an individual.
- Consider your at-home oral care routine. If your brushing and flossing routine is less than ideal, you need a checkup and cleaning to refresh your oral health.
- Assess potential problems. Do you have oral discomfort, bleeding gums, or swollen gums? Even though it may seem minor, an oral issue could have a serious cause. Not only do regular visits include a cleaning, but the dentist will also look for potential problems.
Ask your dentist how often you should schedule routine appointments. Some patients may only need annual or biannual visits, while others may need visits more often. An existing issue, such as gum disease or an infection, may require multiple office visits each year.
Should You Schedule an Appointment If It Seems Too Expensive?
Cost is a major factor in the decision to schedule immediate dental work. While a routine cleaning may not come with excessive costs, restorations, extractions, and other in-office procedures may seem pricey.
Even though dental appointments may seem out of your price range, you shouldn’t let finances keep you away from the office. If you’ve postponed dental care because of the costs:
- Ask about payment plans. The dental office may offer payment plans that make the cost of the procedure reasonable. Talk to the office or billing staff about spreading out payments over time to keep the costs within your price range.
- Ask about discount plans. Some private companies offer dental discount programs. Unlike dental insurance, these won’t have deductibles or co-payments. Instead, discount plans reduce the costs by procedure or percentage.
- Ask about insurance. Your insurance may cover more than you think. Before you postpone a procedure, ask the dental office staff to pre-authorize the claim with your insurer. This will give you a better idea of the total costs to expect.
The dentist and their staff want to help you achieve a healthy mouth. If you don’t think you can afford dental care, the practice may have ideas you haven’t heard or thought about.
Do you need to schedule a dental appointment? Contact Valley Oak Dental Group for more information.