Dental hygiene tends to be one of the first things drilled into us as youngsters, but most adults tend to encounter some kind of issue with their teeth during their lifetime.
The UK dental market is expected to reach a value in excess of £8 billion in 2021, showing there is plenty of demand for such services.
If you want to avoid shelling out for pricey treatment, however, it is a good idea to be aware of all the issues that could land you in the dentist’s chair.
To help with that, we’ve taken a look at the most common reasons people have to visit the dentist in the UK.
If you don’t care for your teeth sufficiently, they will start to decay. When plaque builds up it turns sugars into acid and that is what corrodes teeth.
It is a particular issue among children, with it estimated that up to a quarter of youngsters have some form of tooth decay.
It is the most common reason for children aged 5-9 to be admitted to hospital, with more than twice as many cases as the next most prevalent cause (tonsilitis).
Cavities and gum disease
As tooth decay progresses, it can lead to cavities. This is when a hole is created in the enamel of your tooth, exposing the bone-like dentine underneath.
Dentine is more susceptible to decay so the process speeds up, with the pain arriving when bacteria enter the area of the tooth where nerves and blood vessels are located.
The build-up of plaque can also affect your gums, which could start to bleed, swell and feel sore. If treatment is not received in the early stages of gum disease, the gum may struggle to continue supporting the teeth. In extreme circumstances, the bone in your jaw may even become damaged.
Wisdom teeth problems
You could experience your wisdom teeth coming through as late as your early 20s, and with your mouth already full, they may struggle to find room or create issues by emerging at an angle or getting stuck.
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common surgical procedures undertaken in the UK. They are usually taken out to avoid tooth decay beginning.
How to pay for it?
Unfortunately, most dental treatments are not paid for entirely by the NHS – even being registered with an NHS dentist just means you benefit from reduced prices compared to a private service.
With a private dentist, the cost of treatments like bridges, implants and crowns could potentially run into the thousands – usually when you least expect it.
If you are facing unplanned dental bills and don’t have savings to fall back on, a short-term loan could help make paying for the emergency treatment you need more manageable. However, you must be sure you will be able to keep up with the monthly repayments if you do choose to apply.