Why regular dental care now can save you big later
Dental care can be overlooked by many, but it literally pays to take care of your teeth. With proper at-home dental care and regular dental visits, you can save big on the costs of restorative procedures (e.g. fillings, onlays, crowns, root canal treatment) and decrease the likelihood of health problems in the future.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups.
How often should we brush our teeth?
Either 2x day for 2 minutes
OR 1x day for 6 minutes
How often should you change your manual toothbrush?
3 to 4 x a year
How often should you see a dentist?
2x a year
… Not all of us follow our dentist’s orders.
86% of women brush twice daily or more.
66% of men brush twice daily or more.
49% of people floss daily.
Women change toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months on average.
Men change toothbrushes every 5 months on average.
- 17% of those without dental insurance visit the dentist twice a year.
- 46% of those with dental insurance visit the dentist twice a year.
Dental care disparities
Not enough Australians are receiving proper dental care, a problem that could hold serious implications.
“I never have preventive care”
- 32% of people with dental coverage
- 74% of people without dental coverage
“I have visited the dentist once or less in the 10 years
- 7% of people with dental coverage
- 28% of people without dental coverage
“I predict I won’t go to the dentist in the next 5 years”
- 3% of people with dental coverage
- 21 % of people without dental coverage
What you can save with regular dental visits
With proper at-home dental care and regular preventive visits with a dentist, the average person can benefit from more cash and better overall health.
The cost of restorative dental care once problems arise can far outweigh the cost of the regular preventive care.
National average cost for preventive dental visit: $60-$330
National average cost for a one-surface filling: $120-$170
- Once damage to a tooth becomes permanent, a filling replaces the decayed areas.
National average cost for a crown: $1500-$1700
- For extensive decay, a crown is a custom covering that replaces a tooth’s natural crown.
National average cost for root canal treatment: $1200-$2500
- Once decay reaches the inner tooth, tooth pulp is removed and replaced with a filling.
National average cost for tooth extraction: $200-$450
- If teeth are severely decayed, the affected tooth might need to be removed entirely.
There’s a strong connection between oral health and your overall health. Proper dental care can affect or contribute to various ailments.
Endocarditis – Gum disease can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream, causing infection in other parts of the body such as the inner lining of the heart.
Cardiovascular disease – Research suggests heart disease may be linked to oral bacteria and chronic inflammation from periodontitis (gum disease). Gum disease increases risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. People with gum disease are twice as likely to die from heart disease. Gum therapy improves blood vessel health and helps prevent heart attack.
Diabetes – Researchers are finding that proper gum care may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. 93% of adults with severe gum disease are at risk for diabetes. If you have diabetes and bleeding gums, your risk of premature death increases by 400% to 700%. Healthy gums help prevent diabetes.
Rheumatoid arthritis – Studies show that regular gum care may also help people with rheumatoid arthritis control their condition.
Stroke – Gum disease increases risk of stroke. People with gum disease are three times as likely to die from stroke. Gum therapy improves blood vessel health and helps prevent stroke.
Alzheimer’s – Gum disease and tooth loss increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Pregnancy – Around 40% of pregnant women have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. Pregnant women with periodontal disease may be 7 times more likely to have a baby that is born too early or too small.
Cancer – Harvard studies state gum disease increases Pancreatic and Kidney cancer risk by 62%. Gum disease increases risk of head and neck cancer.
Prolonged life – Eliminating gum disease adds 6.5 years to your life.
References: American Dental Association, Australian Dental Association, Colgate, The Mayo Clinic, National Underwriter Life And Health, American Medical Association, Brighter.com, Dentalcarealliance.net, American Academy of Periodontology