Throughout my time practicing I have been confronted from some patients questioning if they really need a filling. Their argument is that it doesn’t hurt so I don’t need it. Truth be told why would you wait until it hurt? Do baseball players wait until a ball has incapacitated them before they put on a cup? NO! they put it on before they go one the field.
Prevention is the key to everything we try to achieve in dentistry! Even trying to prevent further damage or decay. The further along the decay encroaches on the tooth, the more structure of the tooth that has to be removed. When we take away the structure we make the tooth weak and that’s what we are trying to prevent. If we wait until there is pain, we are increasing the chance that more work will need to be performed on the tooth. This could include the possibility of root canal therapy and a crown to the possible need to extract the tooth. All of this could be PREVENTED if you will just let me fill that tooth.
Now lets look at the pocket book aspect of this. A two surface filling that doesn’t hurt would cost around $200. Root canal therapy would be approximately $900 to $1100. And then a crown would be another $1100. Lets talk the extraction route…The extraction would cost approximately $200. After the extraction we would need to fill that space. Implant, bridge, or partial denture now becomes the treatment choices to fill the gap and the fees for these procedures can reach $5,000.
So when your dentist tells you that you have a cavity but you feel that it’s ok and it doesn’t hurt, remember it may not right now but it will in more ways than one it you wait to get it taken care of.
Dr. Carl Graves D.D.S.