The Hidden Costs of getting a Tooth Pulled

Categories: General Dentistry

pulling a toothSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

Americans spent as much as $162 billion on their health care in 2021, according to the American Dental Association. And just like your overall health, it’s better to spend money preventing issues than paying for expensive treatments later. However, failing to properly care for your teeth may lead to tooth loss or the need for an extraction. Unfortunately, the damage doesn’t stop once your bad tooth is extracted. In fact, there are many additional hidden costs to getting a tooth pulled that may end up costing you more money than fixing a bad tooth or preventing dental disease to start with. So today on the blog, explore the hidden costs of getting a tooth pulled and ways to prevent needing an extraction.

The number one cause of tooth loss among American adults is periodontal disease or gum disease. Gum disease is a chronic infection in which harmful oral bacteria erode the gums, developing pockets around the base of teeth, which harbors even more bacteria. Additionally, once gum pockets form, they quickly worsen without professional dental treatment.

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. You might have gingivitis if you notice pink in the sink when brushing or flossing your teeth, red or inflamed gums, and stinky breath, despite having brushed recently. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible if caught and treated with routine oral hygiene at home, as well as six-month dental cleanings to remove tartar buildup.

Unfortunately, ignoring gingivitis means that eventually, it progresses to gum disease, which has four stages that ultimately lead to tooth loss if not managed properly. As bacteria erode the gums and jawbone, teeth become loose and may fall out on their own or need to be extracted by a dentist. Unfortunately, you cannot reverse gum disease at this point, although you can stop it from progressing and getting worse. However, you can explore tooth replacement options like dentures, bridges, or dental implants to replace missing teeth, once you get your gum disease under control. Additionally, ignoring tooth loss may lead to more severe issues like TMJ disorder, painful chewing, and lack of self-confidence.

While tooth replacement options are available, they can be costly or cost more than the price of preventing gum disease. Plus, most patients will miss work or school the day of their extraction, and sometimes longer, depending on their healing process.

What preventing tooth loss may cost you

You can prevent unnecessary tooth loss by taking good care of your teeth and gums at home. Plus, what you’ll need for your oral hygiene routine is affordable – a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.

Start by brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and floss before bed. It’s the flossing part that most people leave out of their oral hygiene routine. But think of flossing as the only way to clean between your teeth. Therefore, if you’re brushing regularly, but never floss, you’re not cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth!

Also, commit to twice yearly dental cleanings. If you don’t have dental insurance that covers your cleanings or go to a dentist that does not accept your plan, find out how much they charge for a dental cleaning, routine x-rays (which are usually only needed once a year), and a routine exam by the dentist. Then, divide the total cost by six months so that you can save the exact amount that you need in time for your appointment. Depending on the cost, you should be able to save as little as $25 a month for six months and pay for your preventive visits. That’s not a bad price considering the long-term cost of tooth loss.

Family dentists in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz, California

Prevention is key when it comes to your oral health and overall health. While you might think that dealing with the consequences later will save you money, that’s never the case. Instead, you’ll end up with costly repairs, time missed from work, and unnecessary discomfort that could have been avoided by preventing dental disease. If you would like to learn more about protecting your oral health against tooth loss or are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411.