Avoiding dentists leads to skyrocketing costsA joint research project conducted by Gio Dental Clinic and Arna Dental Clinic over a year showed that more than half of the 248 patients studied only went to a dentist when they suffered from extreme pain, thus requiring more extensive work at a high cost.
The study showed that the cost of ignoring a bad tooth or an irritated gum, which many people take lightly, can add up to as much as 11,500 won ($12) every day over 10 years.
The research team divided the patients into five categories according to how badly their teeth were damaged. Patients who visited the dentist suffering fairly light pain accounted for 34 percent. A further 39 percent visited the clinics when their teeth or gums had suffered more than 50 percent damage. Those who came to the clinic after completely losing their tooth made up 7 percent.
Most of those in the first category needed only a single clean-and-scale. When a patient’s gums bled during brushing, they needed an average of eight visits at a cost of about 510,000 won. The next category, where the patient’s gums bled often, cost an average of 1.2 million won for visits of up to two months.
Once teeth became unstable in the gum, implants became necessary and the medical bills could easily exceed 2 million won, the study showed. The cost of implanting eight upper teeth and six lower teeth reaches approximately 42 million won, with the treatment taking as long as 12 months.
by Park Tae-kyun
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