Emergencies and No Dental Insurance
Some people that do not have dental insurance and/or cannot afford treatments may postpone or miss appointments for long periods of time (Carefree Dental 2016). People need to maintain their oral health at home and the clinic due to its close connection with overall health. Otherwise, their teeth may develop problems that require costly care. However, assuming they take care of their teeth well at home, some uninsured people can see dentists in order to save money in the long run.
Without regular dental care, patients’ oral health could deteriorate to the point where they need expensive treatments or even emergency care. Missing dental procedures could lead to many consequences, ranging from “[losing] teeth,” “[gum] disease,” “[stained] teeth,” to “[infection]” (Carefree Dental 2016). With these mounting problems, these patients may spend more on costly treatments, such as a deep cleaning for periodontal disease that could have been prevented with regular cleanings (Carefree Dental 2016; Renter 2015). Some of them resort to the emergency rooms (ER), but “many ERs are unable to do more than provide painkillers and antibiotics to dental patients. Plus, the cost of the visit itself is often 3 times more than a routine dental visit that could’ve prevented the issue in the first place” (Carefree Dental 2016). For ERs with dentists, they could perform extractions, but, afterwards, patients may have to see another dentist, who could “deal with the cause of their dental distress, or to get missing teeth replaced” (“Dental Emergency: No Insurance and Toothaches Fill the ER;” Freundlich 2012). Meaning, patients must spend additional funds on more dental appointments (“Dental Emergency: No Insurance and Toothaches Fill the ER”).
While uninsured patients may fear the costs of dental treatments, they may maintain healthy teeth by undergoing regular preventative treatments and practicing routine homecare. According to the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute, “69.0 percent of adults pay more for dental insurance and their copayments than the actual cost of their care” (“Dental Emergency: No Insurance and Toothaches Fill the ER”). Furthermore, based on a study by William Giannobile, “a professor of dentistry and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan,” for those that have no risk factors and cannot pay for two cleanings and examinations annually, they could possibly see the dentist once a year in order to spend less cash on these procedures (Carefree Dental 2016; Preidt 2013). People also need to take care of their teeth at home, such as “‘[brushing their] teeth twice a day,’” but they could still “‘develop severe gum disease because their tartar had built up for years, causing gingivitis and gum disease,’” according to Dr. Marshall Young, “a dentist in Newport Beach, California” (Dador 2018; Renter 2015).
Patients should regularly receive preventative procedures in order to avoid costly procedures and emergency treatments later on (Renter 2015; “Dental Emergency: No Insurance and Toothaches Fill the ER”). Without dental insurance and with homecare, people could avoid spending most of their money at the clinic.