Should I skip the dentist to save money?


In Canada, we have very good basic healthcare coverage through the provincial governments. For example, in British Columbia we have the BC Medical Services Plan, in Alberta we have the Alberta Healthcare Insurance Plan, and in Ontario we have the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. 

There are a lot of similarities between all the provincial health services, in that it always covers life-saving treatments such as diagnostic procedures, surgical procedures, etc. The similarities also extend into what the provincial healthcare doesn’t cover, such as optical (contacts and glasses), dental (fillings and root canals), and prescription drugs. As a result, when it comes to taking care of their health in these areas, many people try to avoid expensive procedures, especially in terms of their dental health. Seeing people put off going to the dentist is extremely common, not only due to the cost, but simply because it’s an unpleasant experience. Sorry dentists!

A big issue that few people consider is the financial impact of putting off their dental health, which can sometimes lead to very dire consequences, both medically and financially. Let’s break down some of the common costs of dental work and see how much you can potentially gain or lose by not going to the dentist.

The costs of common dental procedures

For this article, we will be referring to the BC dental association’s suggested fee guide to see what a typical procedure will cost. You can see a copy of the guide here. 

Under the “Prevention” services such as cleaning, and fluoride treatments, you can see that an hour of cleaning costs less than $200. Regular cleaning is part of upkeeping your dental health, and will be useful when it comes to avoiding any further damage to each tooth. Let’s say you decide to put off a regular, annual cleaning, and eventually you develop some cavities. This is where the costs start to ramp up. 

For each “restoration”, an individual tooth can cost more than $200 dollars. If the cavities aren’t detected in time, and you develop a few cavities on your teeth, the bill can easily ramp up to several hundred dollars, or more. The unfortunate thing about cavities is that they aren’t really noticeable unless you are going for annual exams, so most people don’t notice them until they start hurting. So what does this mean? 

A hurting tooth means the damage has reached the nerves in the root canal. The absolute minimum cost for a single root canal is $456. Keep in mind that most of the teeth in your mouth have more than one root, which means potentially, each single tooth can cost up to $916. 

Still want to keep waiting?

Ask yourself the question again, “Should I go to the dentist?” we hope that after reading this article, your answer will be a very easy “YES”. Not only to save yourself from the pain and discomfort in your mouth, but also to save yourself from the pain inflicted on your bank account. 

One way you can help get yourself the dental procedures you need right away is with a medical loan, such as a loan provided by FlexFi. Don’t let your financial situation get in the way of good dental health, and don’t let it cause you more financial hardship in the long run! 

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