Table of Contents
- 1) Get dental insurance or a dental savings plan
- 2) Schedule a routine check-up through your dental insurance
- 3) Consider dental school clinics for treatment
- 4) Look for low-cost dental clinics
- 5) Talk with your dentist to lower your dental bills
- 6) Schedule regular preventive dental visits
- 7) Wise up about wisdom teeth
The cost of dental exams, cleanings, and restorative treatment can add up quickly. This is especially true if a procedure was unexpected and not a part of your budget. If the cost of dental treatment is preventing you from getting the care you need, read on to discover how you can save money and reduce your overall dental expenses.
1) Get dental insurance or a dental savings plan
Many employers don’t offer dental benefits in their initial plans. Dental insurance is often a personal choice. Unlike health insurance, you can enroll for dental insurance during any time of the year. However, to qualify for the lowest price, you may have to agree to a one-year commitment.
Some people do not think they are a good fit for dental insurance and opt for a dental savings plan instead. A dental savings plan is comparable to a dental membership club. These dental plans often require an annual fee but are typically much less expensive than standard dental insurance. Through dental savings plans, your dentist will give you a discount on the services you need (which is typically more than you would with dental insurance).
2) Schedule a routine check-up through your dental insurance
Most dental insurances offer biannual dental check-ups as part of their program. These covered visits help ensure you are focused on preventative care and following a good dental hygiene regimen at home and at the dental practice.
In fact, preventative care can eliminate costly treatment down the line. Therefore, don’t miss out on your complimentary dental exams and professional teeth cleanings.
3) Consider dental school clinics for treatment
Going to a dental school for treatments is a low-cost option if you don’t have good dental coverage. Even though students perform the procedures, they are supervised by precepting clinicians.
You will most likely spend more time when receiving dental care from a school because instructors must double check their student’s work before you leave. The benefit of spending this extra time is that your teeth and gums will receive a more thorough treatment.
4) Look for low-cost dental clinics
If there are no dental schools near you, look into any dental clinics that are connected with a government-funded community health center. These clinics will charge you based on a sliding scale for your individual income no matter what services you receive. Furthermore, they offer dental care for children, adults, and senior citizens.
Some of the clinics run under governmental programs while others finance and run themselves. There are also several charities and nonprofits that offer free or low-cost dental services.
5) Talk with your dentist to lower your dental bills
Prices for any dental treatment can vary by hundreds of dollars or more depending on the restoration. If you receive a quote that you believe is too high, shop around and figure out the average prices in your area for that same treatment. If you’re open to traveling, reach out to dental practices in towns nearby that offer the same service at a significantly lower rate.
When you find a dentist you want to work, be honest and upfront about your financial situation. For example, you can always ask about an effective temporary fix for any current dental emergencies so you can save money for a more expensive treatment. Or you can try to work out a payment plan with your dentist. A payment plan is more likely to be an option if you are a regular patient.
Another option to try is asking for a cash pay discount. In fact, if you are paying cash, many dentists will offer you a discount on your treatment.
You may be able to get a formal treatment guarantee with your dentist for repairs and replacements within a specific period with reduced rates or even at no charge. Most guarantees require bi-yearly cleanings so your dentist can help you prolong the life of your restorations.
6) Schedule regular preventive dental visits
Some plans cover preventative dental treatments at 100%. Your dental care coverage is an easy way to keep your smile healthy. Preventative dental treatments are an important way to save money because they help prevent severe and pricey procedures.
Preventive dental treatments include fluoride, x-rays, cleanings, and oral examination.
7) Wise up about wisdom teeth
Consult with your dentist about your wisdom teeth to determine if you can wait until they erupt before having them removed. A simple extraction is less invasive and cheaper than a surgical extraction which involves making an incision in the gum to remove an impacted tooth.
Even if your wisdom teeth have erupted and they aren’t affecting your bite and you can clean them properly, your dentist may suggest you postpone removing them until they become an issue. However, delaying a necessary extraction could lead to more oral complications and expense down the line.
There you have it! You now have 7 different ways to reduce your overall dental expenses. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments below!
Author Bio: Dan works at Dentalkind, quality dentistry in Billericay, Essex. Dentalkind have a team of qualified and experienced dentists offering honest and ethical dental advice and treatments to suit your needs, all under one roof for your convenience.