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Dentistry in a Struggling Economy

Saturday, September 3, 2011 @ 01:09 PM Karen Hood

by Dr. James G. Hood, D.D.S, M.A.

Dentistry in the United States is second to nowhere in the world in terms of quality. We are fortunate in this great nation to have not only highly trained dentists and oral health specialists, but to have their services readily available as well. However, in these difficult economic times, many people are not taking advantage of the excellent dental care available.

On a regular basis people tell me, “I don’t have dental insurance, so I can’t have dental work done.” However, oral health is crucial to overall health and quality of life and should be considered a necessity, not a luxury. Many of my patients would prefer to complete diagnosed dentistry no matter the cost, no matter whether or not they have insurance coverage. Mind you, I’m not saying that insurance isn’t often a significant help—it is. However, your dental work should not be governed by an insurance company. Each person should spend time with his or her dentist to discuss how to make their dentistry affordable for their situation. Everyone should know what good oral hygiene is and receive instruction in how to practice preventive dentistry. Your dentist and dental hygienist are a wealth of knowledge on how you, as an individual, can best keep, maintain, and restore your oral health.

Oral hygiene is best when practiced regularly and frequently. It should be easy to understand that a person who brushes their teeth twice a day and flosses daily will enjoy better, more stable oral health than a person who brushes infrequently or not at all. Machines run better and last longer when well-maintained; likewise, patients who come in for a twice-yearly professional teeth-cleaning and check up complete with oral cancer screening rarely need restorative dentistry. However, those who do not practice any preventive dentistry are most often seen on an emergency basis only.

I see patients from all walks of life, and I can tell you from experience that the healthiest mouths are not found only in those who can easily afford quality dentistry. The healthiest mouths are found in people who understand and practice preventive dentistry, no matter their income. Frequently, patients cannot afford to have all the necessary, diagnosed dental work to be performed at once. However, we can almost always complete a treatment plan in which the dental work is done in phases for those who truly want to have quality dentistry.

The point is, don’t let financial difficulties or a lack of dental insurance prevent you from taking proper care of your oral health. Preventive dentistry in the form of regularly brushing and flossing will go a long way toward ensuring that dentist appointments are simple, inexpensive affairs, and when you do need more extensive dental work, don’t put it off until it becomes an emergency. By discussing it with your dentist, you can work out a treatment plan that will get you back on the road to full health in a way that won’t burden you financially. Call today to set up an appointment with the Dental Care Associates of Spokane Valley.

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