Oh, the news that turns up  when you have Google Alerts set up for “root canals”:
As if smoking were the worst of it.
Broadmeadows Magistrate Court heard Muhammad Velipasaoglu smoked, spoke on the phone, didn’t wear a face mask or gloves and had unwashed hands while performing nine consecutive root canals on a young woman.
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In the horrific case, the woman was asked to hold the suction herself during root canal surgery and gave evidence Mr Velipasaoglu “dropped several of his tools, picked them up and continued performing the procedures with the dropped instruments”.
And that’s only counting the obvious opportunities for infection. There are 9 more with those root canal teeth. (What You Need to Know About Root Canals)
The Herald Sun reports that “the woman paid $1500 in cash for the treatment” – and that she’s “still receiving corrective and restorative dental work.”
Kind of defeats the purpose of getting a bargain.
Yes, dental work can be expensive. But undoing any damage can cost a lot more in the long run.
As always, your best option is to prevent problems before they arise – or, barring that, seeking appropriate treatment as early as possible, when problems are generally easier and cheaper to solve. And by keeping up your dental health, you may also be saving money, long-term, on medical costs, as well.
This point is pounded home by a recent study  in Geriatrics and Gerontology, which compared medical expenditures among Japanese 80 year olds with varying degrees of periodontal health. Those who had the most severe gum disease had significantly higher medical expenses than those with the healthiest gums.
This builds on earlier research such as last year’s study  in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Its authors analyzed insurance claims data from 338,891 people who had both dental and medical insurance, showed signs of periodontal disease and had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis or pregnancy – all conditions strongly associated with gum disease. Crunching the numbers, they found that, excepting those with RA, those who were treated for gum disease had both fewer hospitalizations and lower medical expenditures for their systemic condition.
If you’re serious about saving money on health care, your best strategy remains pro-active prevention.
See also: The Cost of Dental Work – and the Cost of Avoiding It