We say this all the time to our patients “You can pay a little now or pay a lot later”. I know it seems like we are just saying this to get you to do your work, but it really is true. Cavities and cracks and crowding do not get better with time. They only get larger or worse, causing you to need more procedures than the initial one or two procedures planned. Had it been taken care of earlier, this could have been avoided. And with the increase in procedures comes an increase in cost, because the procedures have become bigger and more complicated, and therefore, more expensive.
For instance, let’s use the example of needing a filling. All you needed was a two-surface filling. You decide you don’t want to spend the money on the procedure, so you are going to wait. That tooth doesn’t hurt anyway. Suddenly, a year later, you start to develop some discomfort in that area, and you come back in to have us check it out. The decay that was small and only required a filling to fix before, now needs a root canal procedure because it has progressed into the nerve. And, it will also need a buildup and full crown to protect it, because much more of the tooth structure is broken down. This simple procedure went from a small amount of money to several hundred dollars.
We don’t want you to have to learn your lesson the hard way. We want to prevent you from needing costly work because it was put it off.
That is a great reason why having your check-up examinations regularly is so important. It helps us find problems before they are big, in most cases. Prevention is the best way to keep yourself out of trouble and to catch problems when they are small. It makes for a happier dentist and a happier patient!