Postponing Dental Repairs Can Add To Costs, Treatment Time

added on: December 12, 2017

It’s human nature to want to delay things that aren’t easy, pleasurable or seemingly high priority. Tending to dental needs is often an easy one to delay since, as is all too common to assume, “if it doesn’t hurt, then nothing is wrong.”

This assumption is what allows small problems to become big ones, and often emergency needs. As a matter of fact, an article in the Washington Post shared findings of emergency room dental visits costing $1.9 billion yearly, 40 percent being public money, according to the Health Policy Institute at the American Dental Association using data from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.

The article shared concerns of Marko Vujicic, the Institute’s chief economist and vice-president, that the majority of emergency room dental visits were for infections that could have been handled in a dentist’s office. He feels (rightly so that this is a highly wasteful and inefficient way to spend public dollars. (

Perhaps it is lack of funds or dental fear that causes some people to postpone dental treatment until the needs become dire. In our office, however, we find the majority of delays are simply due to the assumption that “there is no rush.”

An example of this is occasionally when a crown is needed. When a patient assumes the recommendation of a crown is not an immediate need because there is no pain, the potential for a broken tooth and, all too often, emergency dental care is not as much “if,” but “when.”

Taking proactive measures with your oral health is wise for several reasons. In addition to being able to prevent or minimize certain problems, preventive or early care can help minimize treatment costs and time. For example, having a tooth repaired through an inlay, onlay, filling or crown can often help a patient avoid the larger costs and decisions associated with tooth removal and replacement.

Another bonus are the benefits received from a whole-health standpoint. Research has found that the oral bacteria of gum disease (which affects over 47 percent of the nation’s adult population) can enter the bloodstream. Once bloodborne, this bacteria has been found to trigger inflammation that has been associated with a wide range of serious health problems.

Studies have linked oral bacteria to some cancers (including pancreatic and lung), heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and preterm babies. And those are only some of the health problems. As research continues, more and more connections are being made between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.

If you have dental needs that you have postponed, rethink your commitment to your oral health. Imagine how good it would feel to have a healthy, beautiful and confident smile. You’d probably smile more often, which research has shown is good for your mental well-being. You’d be able to laugh and enjoy being close with others, enhancing confidence. And, you’d give your overall health a leg up by decreasing your risk for systemic inflammation.

Let’s begin with a no-cost consultation to discuss your individual needs and goals. We can determine a plan that helps you achieve a worry-free, attractive smile that you’ll WANT to share often! We can also discuss how you can make achieve this through interest-free payments that fit your budget. Call 586-739-2155 to schedule an appointment.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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