Four Reasons Why Not to Delay Your Dental Care
Do you have a cavity? Are your gums sore? You may be tempted to wait until the problem actually starts to bother you before seeing a dentist about it. After all, if it doesn’t hurt, why should you bother fixing it?
But Newport Beach dentist Dr. Desiree Yazdan advises against delaying your dental care, and for four very good reasons:
1. Dental Problems Don’t Get Better on Their Own
Unlike some types of medical or health issues, dental problems don’t simply “go away” over time. Rather, they exist continually and nearly always worsen as time goes by. (Hence why you SHOULDN’T DELAY YOUR DENTAL CARE)
There are a few exceptions of course. Early tooth decay starts out as mild demineralization of the enamel, weakening it before a visible cavitation (hole) forms. If oral hygiene is improved and fluoride supplementation is used, then the enamel can be remineralized and the cavity process can be reversed. Gingivitis is the same way; a mild inflammation due to poor oral hygiene can be reversed within 1-2 weeks of improved brushing and flossing.
Unfortunately, physical cavities and aggressive infections like gum disease do not go away with time. Even improved brushing or flossing may not keep them from getting worse, depending on how advanced they already are. Instead, avoiding dental care simply allows the situation to become more involved and aggressive. Without physically removing all of the bacteria inside of the infection, medicating it, and putting something in its place (in the instance of cavities) the condition will continue to worsen.
It’s best not to rely on DIY or homeopathic remedies for treating major dental problems, as doing so only allows more time for the oral infections to get worse. At The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry, we incorporate preventative and minimally invasive therapies as often as possible. If a condition can be halted or reversed, we will want to take that route well before recommending a more aggressive or invasive treatment. But you can only know the best option by seeing a dentist as soon as symptoms start to present themselves.
I have to tell you though, sometimes there are no symptoms. Which is why you shouldn’t delay your dental care. . . which brings us to #2.
2. Even if it Doesn’t Hurt, There Could be a Big Problem
Pain is a red flag for issues such as abscessed teeth, cavities, or gum disease. After all, a toothache may be one of the most painful conditions that you ever experience.
But a lack of dental pain doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Even very severe areas of tooth decay or dental abscesses may deaden the affected nerves, leading to a lack of pain in the area.
If something appears to be wrong with the tooth and symptoms like swelling or visible cavities are evident, don’t let the lack of pain delay you from seeing out care from our Newport Beach dentist. When the slightest thing feels “off” about your smile, it’s best to go ahead and schedule an exam so that Dr. Yazdan can intervene when the issue is still painless.
Sometimes though, there are no symptoms at all… no swelling, no redness, no pain. This is why you should make sure you are seeing your dentist regularly (2-4 times a year for cleanings, and once for an exam). This way, your hygienist and dentist can detect any early signs of any problems. If you delay your dental care, you are risking having more invasive treatment.
3. Delaying Treatment Costs You More in the End
Dental problems naturally progress as time goes by, changing the options for treating or restoring them.
For instance, a small cavity at your next checkup requires a filling to prevent it from spreading. But since it doesn’t seem to cause any issues, you want to wait until it starts to hurt. About six months later you’re due for your next checkup. By then, Dr. Yazdan discovers that the decay has spread into the nerve, creating an abscess, as well as the adjacent tooth that was cavity-free during your last visit. Now you need more than a filling; a root canal, crown, and filling on an extra tooth are on the revised treatment plan.
Unfortunately, by this point, correcting the issue will now cost more than double what it would have if the cavity had been filled several months prior. Even if you have dental insurance to help with the fees, the deductible or out of pocket portion may be more than you had expected.
Treating dental issues earlier on can save both money and a healthy smile.
4. You Could “Lose” Your Smile
Eventually, all types of dental disease — whether they be periodontitis or tooth decay — reach a point where the tooth can no longer be restored. At this stage, it’s best to remove the tooth altogether and replace it with something like a bridge, implant, or denture.
At The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe there’s nothing as good as maintaining healthy, natural teeth. That’s why Dr. Yazdan tries to preserve the smile you already have, rather than move on to more aggressive therapies that may not be necessary.
Schedule a Consultation or Second Opinion
Want to find out if you need that root canal after all? Maybe you’re considering getting a second opinion about if you qualify for dental implants? Our Newport Beach practice is happy to answer any questions that you have. Schedule your visit with Dr. Yazdan today to get started.
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