How many times have you decided to skip a dentist appointment because you didn’t want to pay those exorbitant dental bills? It’s a tempting thing to do because the dentist can be pricey (and let’s face it; we all want an excuse not to have to go sit in that dentist chair!) However, your decision to skip the dentist can actually cost you a fortune down the line. On the other hand, preventive dental care can be a smart money saver.


Creative Commons License photo credit: mikedemers

Prevention is Cheaper than Treatment

It may seem like it costs a lot of money to get your teeth cleaned, but you really need to keep in mind that preventative care is almost always cheaper than treating problems after they develop. Failure to take proper care of your teeth and gums (including making your regular trips for dental checkups) can result in the following expensive (and painful!) dental needs:

  • Repairs for cavities including fillings and crowns
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extraction
  • Dentures

When you compare the cost of going to the dentist for a cleaning with the cost of these procedures (some of which can easily get into the thousands of dollars) then you see that it is worth it to just go to the dentist before those problems develop.

Bad Teeth Cause Expensive Health Problems

Maybe you are one of those people who never go to the dentist and insist that you don’t have any tooth pain so it’s not a big deal. Even if you are lucky enough not to develop some of the more serious dental problems described above, it’s possible that you’re creating other health problems in your body.

Bad teeth and gums can cause, contribute or exacerbate the following health conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke and other cardiovascular complications
  • Diabetes
  • Pneumonia caused by bacteria
  • Effects on the fetus during pregnancy (such as low birth weight)
  • Osteoporosis (especially a risk for women)
  • General reduced immune system function

Your teeth and gums have to be kept healthy for the rest of your body to work properly. You may experience minor problems that send you to the doctor, or your body may succumb to some of these other more serious problems. You don’t want to compromise your health this way, and you have to know that this will also compromise your finances. It’s a lot less expensive to just go to the dentist for proper preventative tooth care than to have to pay hospital bills because you needed emergency treatment for pneumonia or a stroke!

The Cost of Halitosis

Failure to properly care for your teeth can lead to a condition that many people are embarrassed to even acknowledge – halitosis (known more commonly as “bad breath”). There can be many causes of ongoing bad breath but the most common cause is large amounts of bacteria on the tongue. Yuck. That’s gross to even think about, let alone to experience!

The truth is that this uncomfortable topic can cost you more than you might imagine. If other people notice your bad breath then they may be turned off by you. And if you are uncomfortable about your bad breath then you will lack confidence when speaking to other people. This can have a grave effect on your social interactions, impacting everything from finding employment to being exposed to new opportunities. In the end this means that you lose money!

Job Interviews when you Have Bad Teeth

Halitosis is just one dental problem that can make it difficult for you to get a job. In today’s market you really need to have all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed and that means presenting yourself in a high-quality manner. Someone who shows up with yellowed teeth that clearly aren’t taken care of is less likely to get the job than someone who has comparable skills but great teeth. It may not be fair but it’s the facts!

Paying a Fair Price for Dental Work

As you can see, it’s worth it to invest in your teeth before they start to cause you financial problems. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to pay a fortune for good teeth. There are things that you can do to reduce the cost of going to the dentist including:

  • Get good dental insurance. Many health insurance plans don’t offer good dental coverage so it’s worth it to look around for good dental coverage.
  • Understand your dental insurance. Make sure that you know exactly how much you’ll need to pay and what is covered when it comes to your dental plan.
  • Ask your dentist to work with you. The dentist and her staff will be able to help you select the preventative treatments that will take care of your teeth at the lowest price.
  • Shop around. Some dentists charge more than others, so don’t be afraid to shop around for a different dentist.
  • Go to a clinic or a dentist that offers a sliding scale. This is for people who opt not to invest in dental insurance.

And of course you should be taking care of your teeth properly at home. Brush them for a full two minutes twice daily and floss twice daily as well. Keep your tongue clean. The more you do at home, the less you’ll need to pay the dentist to do for you!