The Gap Between Rich and Poor Teeth


A recent article in the Washington Post called “The Painful Truth About Teeth” discussed the crisis poorer people experience when they lack affordable dental care. While the article focused on the working poor along the East Coast, there are many similarities that Northern Californians would recognize. Nevertheless, our Sacramento dentists want patients to know that affordable, quality options for dental care exist here in the capital city, even without insurance.

The Post highlighted the fact that many Americans may work full-time, but do not have dental insurance. So they put off getting the dental care they need, in the interest of paying for other necessities. This is in contrast with more affluent customers who invest significant funds into their smile and appearance. To quote the reporters: “As the distance between rich and poor grows in the United States, few consequences are so overlooked as the humiliating divide in dental care. High-end cosmetic dentistry is soaring, and better-off Americans spend well over $1 billion each year just to make their teeth a few shades whiter. Millions of others rely on charity clinics and hospital emergency rooms to treat painful and neglected teeth. Unable to afford expensive root canals and crowns, many simply have them pulled. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans older than 65 do not have a single real tooth left.”

No Dental Insurance?

If you do not have dental insurance, what should you do? First, do not put off seeing the dentist for regular exams and cleanings twice a year. This simple step saves a lot of money because regular preventive care prevents small problems from turning into big, expensive ones. For example, do your gums bleed when you brush? This is a sign that you have gum disease. Ignoring these symptoms and failing to get treatment leads to periodontal disease, with decay and tooth loss as the end result — far more expensive propositions to fix.

Regular brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent oral health problems from starting. Brush twice a day with a soft bristle brush, and floss daily. Invest in your dental health and overall well-being by taking the time to care for your mouth.

What if you are already missing teeth, need oral surgery or are interested in dentures or other dental restorations? Contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group to discuss your options. For example, we provide in-house financing through the CareCredit Program. CareCredit works like a credit card, but can only be used for healthcare services. It offers zero percent financing, over a certain time period. For more information about this program, contact our Sacramento dental clinic.

Sacramento Dentistry
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