But there are ways to save money. Prevention is the best option for limiting expensive dental work, said Curatola, adding that regular dental exams and cleanings are vital to maintaining healthy teeth.
Additionally, he recommends these four cornerstones, which will be detailed in his upcoming book, “Smile Healthy”:
1.) Eliminate detergent products (most toothpastes have a common ingredient found in soap) and alcohol-based mouth rinses that dehydrate the sensitive environment of the mouth.
2.) Healthy Nutrition is essential. Remember the three A’s, alkalizing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich. Citrus fruits, sugary foods and acidic drinks are among those that can damage teeth.
3.) Stress management. Stress has many debilitating effects on the mouth like dry mouth and bruxism and TMJ disorders.
4.) Exercise and fitness. It is commonly known that athletes have a very low incidence of gum disease. Regular healthy exercise improves circulation and immune function, said Curatola.
If expensive dental work is unavoidable, try these three tips, suggested Curatola:
— Ask your dentist for a written treatment plan which includes several options. For example, expensive “heroics” to save a much compromised tooth (such as root canal treatment, crown lengthening and a crown) with a questionable prognosis might best be handled by a tooth extraction and replacement by a dental implant. “In this case a second opinion will also come in handy,” he said.
— Ask your dentist to prioritize your care. If the overall cost is overwhelming, it is best not to postpone everything, but to take care of those problems that could become more expensive if not attended to immediately.
— Ask your dentist for financing options that allow you to defray the cost of treatment over a short period of time. Many dentists use dental financing plans such as Care Credit, which enable patients to make regular payments over the cost of a year without any interest, or over a longer period at a reduced interest rate. [FoxNews]