Dental news reports across the globe have been highlighting a recent trend with regards to individual dental care.
It seems there is an alarming upswing in the amount of people choosing an emergency room for their last-ditch dental effort at oral health, as opposed to the dental office.
According to this Yahoo News article, more Americans are turning to the emergency room for routine dental problems — a choice that often costs 10 times more than preventive care and offers far fewer treatment options than a dentist’s office, according to an analysis of government data and dental research.
There are too many problems with this life or death approach to dentistry to list here so we’ll just concentrate on the two biggest ones; health & cost.
Oral Health & Overall Health
While the scientific and medical communities are still unsure about how exactly our oral health affects overall health, there is one fact that has to be universally acceptable – ignoring proper dental health care is not good for our health!
If we wait until an abscessed tooth hurts so bad that we need to go to an emergency room, something is wrong beyond the pain in our tooth or the infection in our mouth.
We can’t treat our teeth and gums – or any other part of our bodies – as if they’re disposable.
If we take care of them every day by flossing and brushing 2x a day for 2 minutes, together with maintaining an active relationship with our local dentists – meaning a visit every 6 months – most of us will breeze through checkups and maybe even doze off during a cleaning.
Meaning we don’t have to endure life or death dentistry at the emergency room, the health of our teeth and gums doesn’t suffer, and we actually save money by taking care of ourselves.
A dental ER visit is not anywhere near the realm of healthy; not for our mouths, bodies, or checkbooks.
That’s right, maintaining optimal oral health is another way to “feed the pig!”
Do you know what the average dental emergency room visit costs?
According to the infographic below, in 2010 in the state of Florida, it was $765.
And the average cost for a routine dental exam and cleaning?
No need to even do the math here, if we’re going to the emergency room dentistry route we are losing more money than if we simply went to the dentist every six months as recommended.
A down economy should never be a reason to ignore optimal oral health; it will actually cost us more money to delay even just regular dental cleanings and exams.
We don’t need to wait for the government to debate the future of our oral health care, or break the bank on life or death dentistry at the emergency room.
There other easy to pay dentistry options and alternatives to dental insurance available, from jetting off to Istanbul for full set of dental implants to cruising the local community college for student cleanings.
But the beauty of optimal oral health is in its simplicity, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. If we just follow these simple rules, dental health care costs won’t get us down and the cavity creeps can’t fortify their defenses.
1. Brush 2x per day for 2 mins
2. Floss daily
3. Visit the dentist every six months
And don’t be afraid to get your primary care physician involved in the conversation.