See a Dentist Now to Save Money Later

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Can It Wait?

You may be able to put off some types of dental care to save a few bucks, but there are times when you need to act fast.

Checkup and Cleaning

It can wait
Most dentists recommend a checkup and cleaning every six months, but there's no hard evidence to support that timing. If you take good care of your teeth and rarely have problems, alternating checkups and cleanings every six months -- so you get each of them once a year -- can save a little dough yet help ensure that something major won't go unnoticed for too long.
Don't delay
If you have old fillings or a lot of dental work, the odds of a problem increase, so those six-month checkups are essential. If you have periodontal disease, you may need to get a professional cleaning every three months.

Sensitive Teeth

It can wait
If your teeth have become temperature-sensitive because you're using an at-home whitener, stop using the product and talk to your dentist at your next visit.
Don't delay
If a tooth is suddenly sensitive to cold, heat, or sweets, you may have a cavity that has caused the pulp inside your tooth to become inflamed. Get a filling now to avoid an expensive root canal or tooth extraction later.

X-rays

It can wait
If your checkups look good and your dentist has no reason to suspect a problem, you can probably schedule your X-rays every other year rather than the usual once a year.
Don't delay
If something hurts, you probably need an X-ray pronto to determine if there's decay or damage your dentist can't see.

Pain or Swelling in Your Mouth or Jaw

It can wait
Some things really can't wait. If the pain is mild and there's no swelling, make an appointment within a few days.
Don't delay
If you have intense, persistent pain or swelling, see your dentist immediately. You might have an infection or abscess that needs prompt treatment. Left alone, severe infections can be life-threatening.

Continued on page 3:  Cost Cutters

 

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