By Susan Braden
Caries, commonly known as cavities, affects 60-90% of teenagers and adults, according to the World Health Organization. If a cavity seems inevitable, being prepared with individual dental insurance or some other individual dental plan could be very important. Teeth are necessary for many functions of daily life, such as chewing and smiling, and proper oral hygiene can improve your general well-being as well.
The mouth is full of bacteria, and some are actually beneficial. When plaque begins to build up due to poor oral hygiene or some other issue, however, certain strains of bacteria will gather and grow in these areas. These bacteria feed on certain elements of the food you eat and produce acid that, over time, begins to rot your teeth, which can lead to cavities or gum disease.
Many types of plans will cover the various treatments for this disease. If decay is caught early, the dentist can just remove the rotting part and fill the space with some other substance, such as a resin composite or metal amalgam. In more serious cases, a root canal may become necessary, during which the dentist or endodontist drills into the tooth pulp to remove inflamed, infected matter. A decayed tooth may even need to be extracted. Individual insurance for oral health is commonly used on procedures like these because of the prevalence of cavities. You may need to pay for an oral examination, medication and possibly some lab work in addition to the actual procedure, so the cost can add up quickly if you don’t have an insurance or dental plan.
In 2010, Americans will spend approximately $106 billion on dentistry care (Pew Center on the States). Taking steps to help prevent oral disease could save you money by eliminating the need for restorative or repairing procedures. Proper oral hygiene starts with brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Dentists recommend that you visit a dentist for a checkup or cleaning every six months to a year. Individual insurance or some other form of financial help or discount may help make this care more accessible so that you can have a healthy smile.