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The Hidden Costs of getting a Tooth Pulled

hidden cost of pulling a tooth

Sciota, Pennsylvania

Taking care of your teeth and gums is every bit as important as taking care of the rest of your body. And just like with many other aspects of a person’s health, prevention is easier — and less expensive — than treating a problem. Only in the most extreme cases of dental decay, infection or overcrowding will a dentist usually recommend an extraction. Many times, the most extreme cases of decay and infection can be prevented by a few simple dental tools and a little bit of time each day. Follow along today as our family dentist in Sciota explores some of the hidden costs of tooth extraction — and how it can be prevented.

What are the costs of tooth extraction?

Having a tooth pulled will hit you in more than just the pocketbook, although those costs may be high, too, especially if your insurance doesn’t cover everything needed.

In addition to the financial burden of treatment and tooth replacements, other, more hidden costs should be considered, including:

  • Lost wages because of missed work during treatment
  • Dietary/Nutrition adjustments if a tooth is decayed or infected and then again once it is pulled
  • Follow-up treatments and potential complications
  • The impact on self-esteem and confidence in social and professional situations

But let’s take a deep dive today into the leading cause of tooth loss in America — gum/periodontal disease — since, as it’s said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

How does gum disease lead to tooth loss?

Gum disease is a long-term inflammatory disease that begins as gingivitis and, if ignored, can lead to full-blown periodontal disease, damaging the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

Here’s how it begins:

Saliva and tooth surfaces host normal bacteria in the mouth that feed on what a person eats — especially food particles left behind — and emit damaging acids in the mouth. These acids eat away at enamel, the tooth’s outer, protective shell. Meanwhile, as the bacteria grow in your mouth, they turn into plaque and tartar buildup, which attracts even more bacteria.

At this stage, you may have gingivitis, which is reversible if proper oral health practices are employed.

What are symptoms of gingivitis?

  • Swollen, dark red and/or bleeding gums
  • A pink tinge in your toothpaste while brushing your teeth
  • Bad breath that isn’t caused by potent foods/beverages and doesn’t go away after brushing
  • Receding and/or tender gums

Without proper oral health practices, mouth bacteria continue to feed and thrive, eventually creating pockets and channels that allow the bacteria to travel further down a tooth’s surface. Gums can then start receding, paving the way for the bacteria to cover the entire surface of the teeth and reach their root pocket. This will warrant a deep clean by a periodontal dentist; otherwise, it causes infection and weakens the tooth’s roots, ultimately leading to either natural tooth loss or tooth extraction.

How can I avoid gum disease?

The cost of tooth loss or a tooth extraction involves any tooth replacement option you choose, including dental implants, bridges or dentures, because leaving a space where a missing tooth is will lead to jawbone loss, possibly even more tooth loss and other dental issues like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Fortunately, preventing all this requires only a few small investments: a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, about five minutes each day and two visits a year to our Sciota family dentist.

We recommend brushing twice a day, once after breakfast and once before bed, for two minutes each time and flossing during your nighttime routine. Be sure to visit us every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning, during which we can remove any tartar that may have developed on the surfaces of your teeth since your last visit.

Family dentist in Sciota, PA

The costs of tooth extraction will far outweigh the costs of preventing the need for a tooth to be pulled in the first place. If it’s time for your bi-annual checkup at our office, call Chestnuthill Dental at (570) 865-7929, or reach out to us online today. If you’ve let your oral health slide, schedule an appointment so we can help get you back on track.

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