There are many places a person can go to get treated without breaking the bank. To experiment with this one can do a simple web search for " free dental care austin, tx". There on the first page is a clinic available a few minutes from downtown labeled as a low income dental clinic, they even offer payment plans. With this in mind, perhaps the reason more people wait until the last minute to treat cavities is phobia of the dentist.
In a study done in the Netherlands in 2009, 1,959 Dutch adults aged 18-93 were surveyed as to individual phobias. Four of these phobias were dental fear, fear of snakes, heights, and physical injury. Each one particularly frightening in its own way no doubt. This information in helpful is understanding how phobic the average person is in getting dental caries treated.
The majority of subjects rated fear of snakes as one of their greatest phobias. However, dental fear comes in at a close second. Thus, according to the data gathered the average Dutch resident would prefer facing the dental chair than be faced with a snake.
"Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Adults (Age 20 to 64)." National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1 Jan. 2005. Web. 5 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesAdults20to64.htm>