When it comes to dental disease such as cavities, periodontal disease, or tooth abscess, time is of the utmost importance. What may start as a simple filling or a small dental procedure can turn into a more extensive surgery and more costly treatment if not done in a timely manner and leave your teeth more damaged. To find out what the right course of dental treatment is for you, contact our Highlands Ranch dental office today and schedule your consultation with Dr. DeLapp or Dr. Parsons.
What are some reasons not to delay treatment?
The main reason to never delay dental treatment is that dental disease is a continuous disease and will progress. It is hard to tell how rapidly your disease will progress. Delaying treatment may end up with a more aggressive and devastating disease costing you more time, money, and possible pain with extensive treatment. What may start off as a simple filling may turn into a root canal and crown (A $300 1 hour filling becomes a $3,000 3 hour root canal and crown- approximate costs and time).
Tooth decay: Although you may have read on Pinterest that you can “heal” your cavities with coconut oil or some mixture, this is untrue. A cavity refers to the “hole” that bacteria leave after eating away at your teeth. Enamel is not able to regrow and repair itself. There are no products or treatments that regrow enamel. Once a cavity or whole is present the only way to fix it is through a filling by removing the bacteria infection and replacing it with bio compatible dental filling material. Delaying treatment of cavities, can lead to the progression of the bacterial colonies eating more of your tooth structure and causing cavities to enlarge. This may require additional dental treatments such as root canals and crowns. These areas may also darken and cause the teeth to have a blackened and un-aesthetic appearance. Teeth undermined by decay or large cavities may even break. Some cavities can grow so large they require the tooth to be extracted necessitating a dental implant or bridge.
Root Canals: Many roots canals are recommended due to infection or dental pain. These also may be recommended as a direct result of delaying dental treatment of a cavity. If the tooth is infected at the nerve or root this can cause immense dental pain. If not treated in a timely manner, these infections and pain can continue and worsen leading to tooth loss and in extreme cases the infections may spread to other areas of area leading to medical treatments and possible hospitalization.
Gum Disease: This is said to affect up to 80% of the population. Bleeding gums, painful dental cleanings, and bad breath can be some signs of gum or periodontal disease. Our Highlands Ranch Dentist may recommend periodontal therapy as well as a maintenance program to help this disease from progressing and keeping your gums and bone healthy. If left untreated, gum disease progresses into periodontal disease which eats away at the bone that hold your teeth in place causing premature tooth loss. Tooth loss then in turn can cause a collapse of your facial features making you appear to be more aged.
Chronic Bad Breath: As discussed in an earlier post, bad breath may be caused by bacteria left on your tongue. But bad breath may be a sign of a more serious dental disease including cavities, periodontal disease, or even oral abscess. It is important that if you suffer from chronic bad breath to seek immediate dental attention with our Highlands Ranch Dentist.
Tooth Loss: If you had a tooth extracted for any reason, you are left with a space. Although you may function normally at first, long term the teeth around the open space with shift and move to fill in that space causing your teeth to be mal-aligned. This may cause problems not only with the esthetics of the teeth but the way they function leaving it more difficult to restore or fix in the future. Don’t delay replacing that tooth just because you feel it is “ok” now. Read our blog on dental implants here.
Want to learn more on how you can keep your dental disease risk low or keep your dental cost low? Follow through with recommended treatment immediately. Delays in treatment can cause more pain, costs, and time. Have more questions about this? Call 303-694-9740 and speak with our Highlands Ranch dental office today! Our family has been caring for patients in the Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Castle Pines, Parker, and the greater Denver Metro area since 1982.