Ever felt like that “must-have” treatment recommended by your dentist is not that necessary? Or perhaps that the dentist recommended a costly procedure whereas there is a cheaper alternative for the same diagnosis?
According to reviews on Angie’s List, some dental patients believe that they’re getting more up-sell than patient-centered recommendations, like when the dentist urges them to get fillings, new crowns, deep cleaning, or cosmetic procedures.
At the same time, there is a group of patients who choose to forego the recommended treatment because they feel like they don’t have the time, and that they can put off the treatment until it is absolutely necessary. Some are just nervous about getting a cavity filled, a tooth extracted, or a tooth capped, while others have extenuating circumstances, such as a newborn child or sick family member, and dental treatments don’t seem that crucial at the time.
What happens when you delay recommended dental treatment?
While there are instances of up-sell, it is still important to get dental treatment for problems that are likely to lead to more complex or serious issues, infection, or tooth loss if left unattended, preferably as soon as the diagnosis is made, says Dr. Risos, a practicing family dentist in Chula Vista.
Here are some reasons why you should not put off a procedure:
1. Higher risk of complications.
The longer you postpone getting the needed treatment, the more serious the problem becomes. For instance, what started as a small cavity that could hardly be spotted on X-ray can quickly develop into a large hole that requires a large filling, which translates to more time in the office and higher cost of treatment.
2. Risk of not getting the dental care you prefer.
If your delay to get treatment causes the problem to grow worse, it could get to a point where you need emergency treatment. This means that you will be willing to receive any kind of treatment from any dentist available, just to address the issue. This lack of choice can be frustrating, because it inconveniences you a lot more as the issue could have been addressed during regular dental hours, and probably costs you more.
3. Higher dental expenses.
Emergency treatments and after hours procedures tend to cost a lot more because it is considered special treatment. This is a cost you could have avoided with timely treatment.
4. Poor dental hygiene.
When you require a dental procedure, in many cases, some of the symptoms include pain and discomfort. These symptoms can affect your dental hygiene, causing you to forego regular brushing or flossing if it hurts, or because your gums bleed easily, putting you at risk of more complications. The pain and other symptoms could also disrupt your normal routine, like eating and talking.
Set Your Appointment as Soon as Possible.
When the recommended treatment is necessary, which is usually the case for most non-cosmetic procedures, it is important to schedule the appointment right away to avoid costly complications and inconveniences that could occur later.