Many people think that they only need to go to the dentist when they have a problem. Since patients can’t see into their own mouths very well, this usually only happens when something is very painful. We call this “crisis treatment” as opposed to “preventive treatment.” These patients feel like they are saving money and time, but only coming in when there is an emergency usually ends up costing much more (in time and money!). Usually these patients will tell us that nothing was hurting, so they thought they were fine. The problem is most dental problems don’t have symptoms, like sensitivity or pain, until they have reached the advanced stages of the disease.
For example, tooth decay doesn’t usually cause any pain until it gets close to the nerve of the tooth. By that time the patient might need a root canal treatment, and then a crown. This means numerous appointments, for a longer time, and for much more money. All of this can be avoided by regular appointments to catch any problems before they get too bad. Did you know your dentist can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms you can feel? Getting a filling is much faster, easier, and cheaper than a root canal!
So think of your regular appointments as an investment in yourself. A little time and money now to ensure good oral hygiene can save you a LOT of pain, time, and money in the future!