Holding off on oral surgery may seem tempting, but it’s always wise to follow through with recommended treatments as quickly as possible. Even if the problem seems minor, a small dental issue can quickly escalate into something worse. Here are five reasons not to delay oral surgery:
1. Dental Problems Are Painful
Most dental problems that require surgery cause at least some amount of pain. While recovering from oral surgery can also be uncomfortable, following through with surgery promptly will result in less pain than living with the dental issue for months or years. Pain can affect how you function in virtually every area of your life, and you deserve relief.
2. Increased Risk of Infection
A mild dental issue may not feel like a high priority, but delaying treatment for too long will increase your risk of infection. Not only is an infection painful, but it can jeopardize your overall health. Symptoms of infection include severe pain, fever, swelling in the face or neck, and swollen lymph nodes. In extreme cases, patients can develop sepsis, which occurs when an infection spreads throughout the entire body. Sepsis is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate care.
3. The Problem Can Spread
Dental problems tend to spread when they go untreated. For example, a cavity may spread to the surrounding teeth, causing additional decay. Alignment issues can cause further damage, too. If you require surgery for TMJ, for instance, delaying the procedure could lead to extra wear and tear on your teeth. Getting surgery promptly will greatly reduce the risk of developing more dental problems.
4. Early Treatment Means Faster Recovery
In most cases, the earlier you see your dentistry team for treatment, the easier the recovery is. Because the issue hasn’t spread to your other teeth or caused additional damage, the surgery will be fairly straightforward. This means you’ll experience less pain during recovery and get back to normal much faster. For example, getting your wisdom teeth removed as a teenager is usually easier than getting them removed in adulthood because the teeth become more deeply anchored to the jawbone over time.
5. Early Treatment Can Reduce Your Costs
Concern about cost is one of the most common reasons patients delay oral surgery. However, waiting too long increases the risk of developing additional dental problems, which will be more costly to repair. For example, a filling is less expensive than an extraction and an implant. Earlier treatment may also mean a less invasive surgery, which can decrease the amount of time you have to take off to recover. This could reduce your lost wages, childcare expenses, and other recovery-related costs.
Oral surgery can be a difficult experience, but delaying it will only make the problem worse. If you need dental surgery, it’s important to schedule the procedure as soon as possible so that you can get relief from your pain and reduce your risk of complications. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, you should consult with a trusted dentist right away.