At Denton Smiles Dentistry in Denton, Texas, routine dental exams and dental cleanings are part of the main dental services offered. The American Dental Association recommends a minimum of one dental exam and cleaning every six months. With such a recommendation, why do people avoid their six month dental check-up and cleaning? The primary reason is that “dentistry” is a “need” and not a “want.” To further illustrate this idea, I'd like to talk about “gasoline” and “dentistry.”
There is an entire industry that helps consumers find the lowest gas prices in their area. Websites such as www.gasbuddy.com use “crowd sourcing” to help you find the lowest price gas in the area. As I write this, you can purchase regular gas in Denton, TX, anywhere between $3.07/gallon to $3.37/gallon. For 12 gallons of gas, that’s a difference of $3.60 per tank! That $3.07/gallon seems like a pretty great deal, right?
But wait—I can remember when I could fill my entire tank for less than $20! That $3.07/gallon no longer seems like such a great deal. It’s a little depressing to think about how much less you used to pay to fill your tank. However, I'm willing to bet you thought that $20 to fill your gas tank was expensive back then, too—gasoline is funny that way.
I can’t remember a time when I ever felt like I was getting a good deal on gasoline. It’s because gas is something we need to run our cars. It’s not something we would prefer to buy. I’d prefer not to spend a single dollar to put fuel in my car. I much prefer buying a new iPad or a new leather coat. I’d probably spend some time researching the nicest leather coat I could buy for the least amount of money and I’d probably post about my sweet new coat on Facebook. I’ve never bragged on Facebook about the awesome new tank of gas I bought…have you?
Let’s say (hypothetically) that you are at your dentist's office to have a routine teeth examination and cleaning. The doctor takes a big, ugly intraoral photo of one of your upper back teeth that reveals a huge, black filling. He says, “this filling is failing and there's a cavity under it. In order to fix it, we need to do a crown. It's going to cost about $1200.”
“Wow—$1200 is a lot of money! And your tooth doesn't even hurt!” Now pretend that the dentist said, “this filling is failing and there's a cavity under it. In order to fix it, we need to do a crown. It's going to cost about $800.” I just saved you $400, so you're probably psyched about the sweet deal, right?
Yeah, I didn't think so. Is there any number that the dentist throws at you that makes you think, “wow, that's a fantastic deal on a time consuming and potentially uncomfortable procedure! I think I'll have two?” Probably not.
Let’s face it—health care is expensive. Worse than that, it’s not altogether transparent. Most people usually don’t understand health care related costs, and they don’t really want to spend the time to compare prices and options. Many people do not have the luxury of comparing prices because of unforeseen emergency dental procedures. Most individuals simply conclude that it's going to be expensive—that maybe their insurance will at least cover the majority of it. Then, they hope that the balance on their monthly insurance statement isn't more than they are able to pay. You actually have more control than that when it comes to dentistry.
The more needs you have, the more expensive your dental treatment will be. A Suburban has greater fuel needs than a Prius, therefore the Suburban is more expensive to drive. If you have high risk factors for tooth decay (a lot of existing fillings and crowns, mouth-drying medications, drinking a lot of pop, only visiting the dentist when something hurts, etc.), you're driving a Suburban. Wouldn’t you prefer the fuel costs of a Prius?
Here are a few things you can do to drive the Prius instead of the Suburban:
- Visit your dentist often—at least every 6 months!
- If you have a tooth problem, don't wait! Call us right away at 940-380-1188 (even if it doesn't hurt).
- If you drink pop, do it sparingly with your meals. Avoid “sipping all day” on acidic or sugary drinks.
Of course you'd rather not pay for dentistry, but just like gasoline, it’s a need and not a want (it is if you want to keep your teeth)! To keep your dental costs down, I hope you'll think of these hints every time you are waiting for your gas tank to fill. Maybe you’ll decide to keep some floss in your glove compartment…just in case!
Till next time,