While we understand spending an hour in the dentist’s chair isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time, the consequences for delaying or missing a dentist appointment can be severe. From worsening hygiene to more expensive treatment, let’s look at why going to the dentist is important even when you can’t or don’t want to go.

Importance of Regular Dental Appointments

Regular dental visits are essential for maintaining good oral health. In fact, besides brushing your teeth, visiting your dentist at least twice a year is one of the most important things you can do for your dental and overall health. Biannual dental visits allow your dentist to check for any signs of dental problems and provide preventative care. During these appointments, your dentist will check for any cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, or other dental problems before your teeth are professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist.

Many of these conditions can only be detected in their early stages with special training or by advanced tools that only a dentist can use. Detecting these issues at an early stage allows for better chances of effective treatment with minimally invasive procedures. These often end up being more comfortable and less expensive than the kind of treatment required for advanced decay or infection.

See related: Family Dentistry in Windham.

The Negative Effects of Skipping Dental Appointments

Skipping dental appointments can lead to a host of dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. In some extreme cases, neglecting your teeth can open the door to infections which can steadily worsen—leading to other serious (even life-threatening) complications such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Because the recommended frequency with which you should see the dentist is once every six months, missing a dentist appointment means that any underlying conditions have at least half a year to worsen. As these problems escalate, they become more expensive to treat and also cause more discomfort and pain than if they had been detected earlier.

Undiagnosed Oral Problems

Some oral problems may not be detectable until they cause discomfort or pain, at which point, it can be too late to treat them with simple procedures like fillings and may require more advanced treatment like root canals, crowns, or even extraction. Undiagnosed dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer can progress without you knowing, leading to more serious health problems. Regular dental visits ensure that any underlying oral problems are detected early, allowing for immediate treatment.

Cost of Untreated Dental Problems

Untreated dental problems become more costly to treat as they progress. It’s more expensive to have a root canal or dental implant than it is to fill a cavity, and certain insurance plans won’t even cover more advanced treatments like IV sedation dentistry, leaving you to pay the cost out of pocket. The cost of treating oral problems after delaying treatment is much higher than the cost of detecting them early and treating them before they become serious complications.

Delayed Treatment and Potential Complications

Aside from the financial consequences of missed dental appointments, ignoring dental problems can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and severe infections. Root canals and dental implants become more necessary when treatment is delayed. In severe cases, untreated oral problems can lead to life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, and bacterial infections. While lost and damaged teeth can be treated later through smile restoration and other cosmetic procedures, the damage to your overall health can sometimes be irreversible. In almost every instance, preventative care is the best course of action.

Regular dental visits are critical in preventing dental problems from escalating into more serious complications. Skipping a dentist appointment or delaying treatment can be detrimental to your dental and overall health. Taking care of your oral health is an essential part of maintaining good health in general. Regular dental check-ups can help early diagnosis and treatment of oral problems, ensuring a healthy and long-lasting smile. If you’ve been putting off your next dental visit, call Windham Family Dentistry today and our team of professionals will ensure your mouth is healthy for the foreseeable future. Book your appointment today!