This following story is a few years old, but it’s a cautionary tale that has been etched in my mind since I read it. I first heard the story while watching ABC News, and it reaffirmed my belief that oral health is imperative to your overall health.
The story goes like this: A young father, a 24-year-old man from Cincinnati, died after forgoing having a wisdom tooth pulled because he could not afford the treatment. The young man had an infection in the tooth which spread to the brain after it was untreated. The infection caused the brain to swell and the young man eventually died as a result.
This story stopped me in my tracks for a few reasons. As a dentist, I dedicate my days to helping improve people’s oral health, but I also have an obligation to tell all of my patients how their oral health can impact their overall health and well being. Tragically, the Cincinnati is not the first person who has died as a result of a dental problem. A common extraction could have saved this young man’s life, but unfortunately, he lacked the funds to pay for the treatment. This story brings up two important issues. The first is that oral care does indeed have an affect on your overall health. The second is that there are options for patients to receive the care they need without putting their lives or livelihood on the line.
At Eugene Family Dental, we work with every patient to ensure that they receive the care they deserve.
Skipping Out on Dental Visits Can Cost You More Than You Think
There are millions of Americans who do not regularly visit the dentist because of finances or dental phobias. The problem is so widespread that about one in five of adult Americans have untreated cavities and about 75 percent of Americans will have some form of gum disease in their lives. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and the disease has been linked to problems like heart disease and diabetes.
Unfortunately, when you skip out on dental visits, you put yourself at risk of having serious dental issues down the road. With regular visits, you can knock out small dental problems before their balloon into bigger issues! And the good news is that dentistry has evolved so much that patients have little to no discomfort during their treatments.
We see patients every week who tell us they have not been to the dentist in several years. Many of those patients are either afraid of the dentist or have financial reasons for staying away from the office. Whatever the case, missing dental appointments almost always creates more costly dental visits down the road. That tiny cavity turns into a big cavity that possibility needs a root canal and crown – or even worse – you could lose the tooth entirely. As patients lose their teeth, it becomes more difficult to chew food and maintain a healthy diet. In fact, studies show that patients without teeth live an average of 10 years less than patients with teeth.
Our office is equipped to handle dental issues large and small. I have training to develop the most beautiful, natural-looking restoration and can treat advanced stages of gum disease. We even offer tooth extractions when the tooth is beyond repair. For patients with gum disease, we use soft-tissue lasers to treat gum disease. The lasers allow us to treat the periodontal pocket, the area of the infection, and then naturally rejoin the gum and the tooth. The laser approach is much less invasive than traditional surgery, which requires a scalpel and sutures and a lengthy recovery period.
If you are have financial concerns or cannot afford to pay for your entire treatment all at once, we offer numerous options that can get you the care you need. We accept all major credit cards, CareCredit and even in-house payment plans.
As a dentist, one of the most frustrating things for me to see is when people decide to go without dental care. The story I shared earlier is one extreme example of how lack of dental care lead to a tragic event, but the fact remains that good oral care can improve your quality of life. By keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes and live a better life.
If you’re looking for a dentist to handle your cosmetic and restorative care, call my office to schedule your first appointment or fill out the online appointment form.