In the last year, over one third of adults admitted avoiding going to the dentist. The reasons for avoidance range from lack of access to services, lack of dental insurance or inability to pay, or avoidance due to anxiety or fear.
Each of these reasons is legitimate and not at all unheard of when patents come to see us at Josey Lane. When you do visit the dentist again—and we hope you come to our Carrollton, TX office—it’s important to not be embarrassed or hide the fact that it’s been a while since your last check-up. The most important thing to remember is that you came back and are making a recommitment to your oral health.
If you happen to fall into that one third adults who’ve been deliberately avoiding dental visits, then keep reading to learn why visiting the dentist sooner than later can actually help you save money and time in the long run. Even if you think you are at a low risk for decay or oral diseases, it is important to make an appointment soon!
People who tend to avoid the dentist
How many people have tried—usually in vain—to get their significant others to the dentist? If the main man or woman in your life is dragging their feet on making an appointment, this isn’t uncommon. And it’s probably not you. In fact, for those of us who have tried to encourage a man to get in to the dentist’s office, recent surveys found that men are even more likely than women to report avoiding the dentist in the last year. Young adults aged 18-29 are another demographic more likely to skip their annual cleaning.
If you’ve ever balked at the cost of a dentist visit, even with insurance, it’s easy to understand why you might have skipped one of your cleanings. However, many dental insurance plans include bi-annual cleanings without any additional cost-sharing for the patient. If your employer doesn’t offer insurance, there are affordable options you can search for online that start from as low as $15 a month.
Many adults also report avoiding or disregarding more expensive treatments, even those that are necessary, like root canals or filling cavities with dental costs to blame. If you are find yourself in this situation, it is important you discuss payment options with your dentist.
Finally, other survey respondents cite a lack of access to dental services as their main reason for avoiding the dentist. For those living in rural areas, there is a severe practitioner shortage, particularly for those with Medicare or Medicaid. In fact, 60% of the 4,438 total designated “dental health professional shortage areas” nationally were located in non-metropolitan areas. However, every state is expected to face a dental shortage over the next 10 years.
Even if you consider yourself low risk for oral health issues, the truth is that an issue could pop up at any time and, if not addressed, it can compound.
For example, what may start off as a small cavity could, over time, develop into issues with the root of the tooth that require a root canal—or even the loss of the tooth.
While plaque on your teeth may not seem like a huge issue, it can quickly transform into a problem resulting in gum disease.
As these relatively small issues compound, the price and severity of the procedure increase, too. By visiting the dentist on a bi-annual basis ensures relatively minor issues can be addressed in the most expedient and cost-effective manner.