According to the National Association of Dental Plans, 64 percent of the population has some form of dental coverage. That leaves around 114 million folks with no dental insurance. What happens if a tooth is chipped or a root canal is needed?
Are there ways to save money on dental care? Absolutely. Consider the following options at your disposal. They’re sure to put a smile on your face!
A Dental Savings Plan
A dental savings plan is kind of like AAA. You pay an annual fee and in return get a wide variety of discounts on all kinds of dental procedures. This isn’t insurance but instead resources to find a dentist who significant savings on items like root canals, crowns, implants and even braces.
You’ll still be paying for those services but with a dental savings plan, they won’t cost you full price. DentalPlans is a good place to begin your research for this dental savings option.
Check Out a Dental School
Like any other professional, dentists have to go to school. They also have to practice. At some point, using the fake teeth will only get them so far. They need to get their hands into a real mouth. That is where you could save on many types of procedures.
Every dental school offers a clinic that provides dental students the opportunity to work on a patient. They will be closely supervised during the procedures by an accredited dentist. There is a nominal fee at the clinics but it is a lot more affordable than going to a regular practice. The American Student Dental Association can point you towards the closest clinic. Even your favorite dentist had to practice on real patients first!
Ask for a Discount
Before your dentist does any work on your behalf, they will make you aware of the price. Many provide a written invoice in advance of the procedure. There is nothing wrong with asking for a discount on those procedures. Perhaps if you pay in cash, your dentist will lop off a few bucks. You might even consider going to another dentist for the same procedure but at a different rate. Yes, this makes a dentist sound a bit like an auto mechanic, but when your money is at stake you should try to save wherever you can.
Also, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist to set up a finance plan. You might be able to pay off a big bill with a little each month. Perhaps you can suggest a direct withdrawal so they know the money will come to them.
Look For Local Programs
Beyond the dental school clinics, many communities offer dental programs for seniors and low-income families. These are like Urgent Care facilities but for dental issues. Tooth Wisdom has a growing database of community health centers that specialize in this kind of care. In some instances, this care could even be free if you qualify. Free is always a good way to go!
Keep Brushing and Flossing
Obviously, the best way to afford dental care is to not need dental care. Follow the sage advice of brushing and flossing after every meal. Maybe you can get away with flossing just once a day but make sure the brushing lasts at least for two minutes. Plus, those twice-annual cleanups can also go a long way towards keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Dental care is much like general health care. Preventative approaches are always best.