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Despite what you might think, skipping dental visits in an effort to save money can actually create some costly side effects.

Millions of Americans are forgoing routine dental care, either because they don’t have dental insurance or are unable to afford routine dental checkups, and this can lead to both financial trouble and health-related risks. The Institute of Medicine recently reported 33 million Americans live in areas that don’t provide sufficient dental services, and almost 5 million children skipped dental checkups because their parents were unable to afford taking them to twice-yearly visits. While many assume missing dental visits can help reduce health care-related expenses, not regularly seeing a dentist can actually increase financial woes.

Thomas P. Connelly, a cosmetic dentist practicing in New York City, recently wrote an article explaining that the best ways to save money on dental bills are routine dental care like brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups. Connelly said he routinely sees patients who are visiting the dentist for the first time in years, and the most common reason they went without checkups was to save money. However, he explained that skipping regular dental visits can allow minor dental ailments to turn into serious medical problems that cost more money to treat than to prevent.

“You do not save anything by ignoring your teeth,” Connelly wrote. “In fact, it will end up costing you a lot — either in high dental bills, or lost teeth (which, trust me, you don’t want to happen).”

Another problem associated with forgoing regular dental care is it can lead to more serious health-related issues, aside from aching teeth and sensitive gums. The Institute of Medicine report also associated a lack of routine dental checkups with an increased risk of diabetes, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and unplanned trips to emergency rooms that regular visits to a dentist could have prevented.

Source: PR News Wire.

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