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How much is a tooth worth?

value of a toothEvery tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond. – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

When I came across this quote it made me think, what is the value of our teeth? Is it really more than a diamond? Dr. Lisa Samaha DDS talks about this in “The Health Journal”. Since the downturn of the economy, more and more people are putting off their dental care. Regardless of the economy or your financial state, decay still spreads, teeth still crack and break, gum disease and infection still happen. Stress can cause clenching and grinding which leads to pain and worn or broken teeth. Injured or infected teeth can’t heal themselves. Without treatment, teeth will eventually be lost. Losing a tooth is losing a body part! The integrity and balance of our jaws and bite are sacrificed with each lost tooth.

Let’s consider the cost. If you were to lose your home to fire or flood, the insurance would cover it for the “replacement cost”, the cost of rebuilding your home. What would that cost be for your teeth? Everyone should have 14 upper teeth and 14 lower teeth. If you were to lose a tooth, the closest replacement to its original state would be to place an implant and a porcelain crown. To replace all 28 teeth, the fees can range anywhere from $98,000 to $140,000 depending on the area you live in and the skill of the doctor.

Many people also have the misconception that dental “insurance” should take care of all your dental needs and hesitate to go to the dentist without it or if they do have it, they expect insurance to pay for everything. Dental insurance generally only helps with a small amount of true dental costs and should never determine your treatment. Think of it more like a “coupon”.

Considering all of this, it only makes sense to see your dentist for regular hygiene visits. Find a dentist that you feel comfortable with and trust and see them at least every 6 months. Your teeth are worth it!

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