Priorities, priorities, that is what we have to decide. Unlike the leaders in Washington, we have to balance our checkbook! The past dental articles I wrote concerned getting and keeping your mouth healthy so if a disaster occurs, we shouldn’t have to worry about intolerable throbbing pain in the mouth. But, some dental treatment is optional, and expensive.
Dentists are constantly frustrated by the fact that half of the dental population in the USA only comes in for treatment when something is bothering them. The reason for delay is fear of the dentist and lack of money to pay for the treatment. Most dental insurance provided by the employer has a maximum coverage per year. Reach that limit, and the rest comes out of your pocket. With the federal government printing paper money to ‘increase jobs’, the result is the dollar that is worth less and everything costs more, including dental treatment. So don’t spend your money on treatment that can be avoided.
Avoid root canals, the tooth may last only eight years, and then need extraction! When decay invades the tooth and reaches the nerve, the pain is usually prolonged sensitivity to cold or hot. A dental x-ray will help determine if you need a root canal treatment. Dental specialists, Endodontists, do this treatment better and faster than a General Dentist, but charge more. Since the life of a tooth is limited once a root canal is done (the root becomes brittle and can fail), a cheaper solution is extraction and replacement. Replacement can be an expensive implant or less costly partial denture. Or going without..you see many people like that.
Avoid braces for Johnny. The parents want a beautiful smile, but is it necessary? One dental argument is that the teeth need to be straight for cleaning..but as a Periodontist I can say that usually that isn’t needed. When the child grows up he or she can send themselves to college and get a pretty smile. If a disaster happens, being a Prepper may be a way of helping your family survive.
Avoid having wisdom teeth extracted. Getting them extracted can prevent future periodontal disease in that area, but it takes a long time for that to occur. Also, having them extracted early can help bone regeneration. The oral surgeon likes to take all four out under sedation. That is nice for his pocket book. Delay this procedure in most cases and buy prepper supplies. Studies have shown that the wisdom teeth do NOT make your teeth crooked!! Myself, I can afford the treatment for my grandchildren, but will be using an experienced military trained general dentist who will use local anesthesia (shots only) and do two teeth at a time, leaving one side to eat. I feel that this decision is cheaper and safer than IV sedation.
My suggestion is delay the braces and buy a generator, food for an extended period of time, or whatever you think will help your family survive if the lights go off for a long, long time.