Know the Importance of Fluoride

By: Donna Pleis

An uninformed young girl getting her pineal gland calcified.Although tooth decay is largely preventable, it’s still the most common chronic disease in children. And while fluoride plays a key role in strengthening tooth enamel and preventing decay, parents often opt out of in-office fluoride treatments due to the lack of dental insurance and concerns over cost. Here’s why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children, especially those at risk for tooth decay, receive professional fluoride treatments and how a dental discount plan can make these crucial services affordable for your family.

Benefits vs Cost of Fluoride Treatments

When fluoride is applied directly to the teeth, it incorporates into the outer layer of enamel, making it harder and more resistant to bacterial “acid attacks” that cause tooth decay. In addition, topical fluoride can help stop early decay by remineralizing and repairing enamel.

While the average cost of a fluoride treatment is only around $35, the cost of repairing a decayed tooth, with a one or two surface silver amalgam filling, is $50 to $150 and $120 to $300 for three or more surfaces.  If tooth-colored fillings are used, the fees can range from $90 to $450. These comparisons are proof positive that the money spent on fluoride treatments can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Fluoride Treatments not Just for Kids

  • As an adult, you may think the “cavity prone” years are behind you, but in fact, many adults have medical or oral health conditions that increase their risk for cavities. If you are dealing with any of the following, fluoride treatments now may help you avoid expensive dental work later.
  • Receded gums, due periodontal disease, expose the roots, making them susceptible to root decay.
  • Crowns or bridgework can create hiding places for decay-causing bacteria.
  • Medications, such as antihistamines, medications for anxiety, allergies, or high blood pressure, create a lack of saliva, which increases the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
  • Radiation therapy to the head or neck damages the salivary glands, resulting dry mouth and a high risk for cavities.
  • Cancer treatments and autoimmune diseases, like diabetes and Sjögren’s syndrome, also cause dry mouth, increasing the chance for decay.
  • Orthodontic braces can make cleaning food and plaque from your teeth more difficult and decalicification of enamel more likely.

Dental Discount Plans Can Help

If you have been sidestepping preventative services because of the extra expense, a dental discount plan can help save you money. These plans are family friendly, with affordable premiums, as well as an extra advantage of no deductibles, yearly plan maximums, or excluded services. And as a plan member, you’ll receive a discount of up to 50%, not just for fluoride treatments, but for all dental services, when your treatment done by a participating dentist.

There is no doubt — when it comes to dental disease, putting your focus on prevention rather than the cure is less complicated and certainly less expensive. Just click on the link to the right to gain access to a Confident® dental discount plan through Careington®