When was the last time you’ve been to the dentist?
For many adults, it may have been years or even decades since the last time they set foot in a dental office. When someone neglects their dental visits, it’s often due to fear, inconvenience, or not wanting to pay the expense of a dental appointment. However, problems like gum disease can set in, become worse over time, and ultimately lead you to a far more dangerous and expensive situation. Discover why it’s never too late to pursue the care you need.
Alarming Statistics About Dental Visits
There are many reasons why someone may neglect their dental appointments, but these stats from the Center for Disease Control show that a surprising number of people do put their oral health in jeopardy.
- 64.4% of adults aged 18-64 visited the dentist in 2016
- 64.3% of adults over 64 visited the dentist in 2016
- 84.6% of children ages 2-17 visited the dentist in 2016
- 31.6% of adults ages 20-44 have untreated dental caries
- 18.6% of children ages 5-19 have untreated dental caries
A Pattern of Dental Neglect
At first glance, it seems like good news that the majority of Americans are making it to their dental appointments. However, when these stats are read in reverse, you can see a dire pattern of dental neglect as well as the damage it causes.
For example, it’s true that 64.4% of adults visited the dentist, but that also means that 35.6% did not. That’s over one-third of American adults who neglected their dental care for an entire year. Avoiding the dentist for a full year can lead to consequences like:
- Not seeing early signs of oral cancer until it’s progressed to a late stage.
- Neglecting problems like gum disease and cavities until they become far worse.
- Missing opportunities to treat conditions while it’s still easy and inexpensive.
- Tartar is only removed at the dentist – without these visits, it spreads and accumulates.
I’ve Neglected My Dental Visits – What Are My Options?
If you’ve passed up on attending your biannual dental appointments, you may know you have issues or you may feel like your mouth is fine, but odds are, there are problems developing beneath the surface. Neglecting the dentist is a terrible idea, but if you’ve done it, all hope isn’t lost. From full-mouth reconstruction to porcelain veneers, a Hollywood smile is still just one treatment away.
What Can I Do About My Stained and Unattractive Smile?
If you hate going to the dentist but love drinking wine and coffee, you may have teeth that are severely stained. This can make you think you have a terrible smile that will require tons of dental work, but that’s not necessarily the truth. Just because the appearance of your smile is bad, doesn’t mean it’s a direct reflection of your oral health.
Veneers Can Make Your Neglected Smile Beautiful Again
If your teeth have been afflicted by stains, cracks, and other minor faults, there’s a treatment that can turn it all around and make your smile beautiful again: Dental veneers. Veneers are thin, hard shells that adhere to the front of your teeth, masking damage, strengthening your teeth, and vastly improving your looks.
To find out if this versatile treatment is right for you, schedule a consultation with a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Dan McAllister at Montana Dental Works. He’ll develop a custom treatment plan and inform you of your dental care options.
I Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Years and I’m Missing Teeth
In addition to pain and discomfort, missing teeth can reduce your confidence in smiling altogether. If you’re missing teeth, there are effective ways to restore the function and appearance of your smile. The most affordable solution is dentures, but the most permanent and high-quality restoration is dental implants. Luckily, there are many versions of dental implants that can save time or money for patients.
An Innovative Solution to Missing Teeth
Using the technique that makes dental implants extremely durable, many dentists have come out with variations designed to improve the process. That technique is osseointegration, and it allows the titanium fixture to seamlessly integrate with human bone. One such variation that is much quicker than traditional implants but just as strong is TeethXpress, an innovative treatment provided by Dr. Keith Cooper in San Jose, CA. Visit a doctor in your area to find out which variation works best for you.
My Whole Mouth is a Wreck and I Don’t Know What to Do
There’s no doubt that neglecting your dental appointments can lead to devastating problems that destroy your teeth, infect your gums, and ruin your smile. Even if your mouth has been ravaged by gum disease and cavities have taken their toll on your teeth, you’ll still have an opportunity to flash a beautiful smile again.
When the damage to your mouth seems too severe to overcome, you may need a full-mouth rehabilitation. More than a single treatment, full-mouth rehabilitation involves whatever combination of procedures you need to restore your smile. Only certain doctors, like Dr. Darlene Hart in Pembroke Pines, FL, offer this intensive yet life-changing procedure. It’s important to know that no matter how bad your mouth gets, there are dentists who are able to repair it.
Avoid Serious Problems By Attending Your Dental Appointments
As you can see, dental neglect always leads to worse conditions that could be prevented by attending your biannual appointments. Many dental problems get worse over time, so treating them as early as they come can save you time and money in the future. When it comes to dental diseases, the old adage from Ben Franklin rings true: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”