According to research done by the American Dental Association, a person pays $666 a year in dental expenses and that a lot of people are skipping out on it because of the cost. Even with benefits, you may have big out of pocket expenses or not enough money to cover the services that you need.
The emergency fund you have built can all be spent on one trip to the dentist, and if you have a tight budget finding the funds to pay for the dentist can seem impossible. People who have dental coverage can struggle to pay pricy procedures like oral surgery and root canals because after retirement Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care.
However, avoiding dental care because you don’t have the money to afford can cause bigger dental issues and cost more in the long run. Your overall health is dependent on good oral health. The following are a few tips that can make the costs of dental care more controllable.
See A New Dentist
To attract new patients, many dental offices offer special discounts, like free cleaning and exams and even credits on more advanced procedures. This is also helpful if you want a second opinion on an expensive procedure your dentist recommends. You should request the treatment plan and see a new dentist, have them look at the plan and get a more accurate proposition.
At Modern Day Smiles, we offer a new patient special for $59 which includes X-rays, an exam and cleaning. The special is for new patients only, and does not include periodontal therapy, and is not valid with insurance or any other offers.
Sign Up for a Dental Savings Plan
You pay an annual fee for a dental savings plan that you have chosen, and then you get a discount on most dental services from 10 to 60 percent. Some plans even include medical services like vision care, prescriptions, and cosmetic dental procedure. Many providers offer family plans for under $200 a year, an $80 to $150 for individuals. Before deciding to purchase a dental make, make sure you have access to providers and what the dental plan covers.
Use Dental Hygiene Clinics or Local Dental Schools
A wide range of services is offered by many state and local health departments, taxpayer-funded community health clinics and dental schools. The services can include root canals, crowns, extracting teeth, filling cavities, cleaning, and even emergency care. Some of them have low fixed prices, like for example $15 for X-rays, while others base the fees on how much you can afford.
These clinics can be on a first come first serve basis, and some of them might have some income restrictions. To find more low-cost dental care in your area, you should contact your local health department or search online in your local area.
Practice Preventive Dental Care
The cheapest and the best medicine is prevention. You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Brushing will keep your gums and teeth healthy, and flossing will prevent plaque and cavities as its result. Not brushing your teeth can lead to issues that can be very costly, so having a good and consistent oral routine is key to keeping your mouth procedure-free and healthy.
Having regular check-ups at the dentist are also important, and although it may cost you some money and time, you will see that your efforts are worthy when you skip out on the bills for crowns, root canals, and fillings.
You should keep an eye for the symptoms before something minor turns serious. You should make an appointment at the dentist if you notice:
- Constant sensitivity to cold, hot or sweet drinks and foods
- Swelling that can be an indicator of an infection
- Bleeding while brushing your teeth
- Pain when eating or chewing
- Bad Breath which could also signal an infection
Skip Out on What Isn’t Necessary
You should ask about your visit and the fees before your exam, and see if you can do it without a certain service. For instance, the American Dental Association advises that adults and teens can wait up to 3 years between X-rays – which shows cavities between teeth – if they take good care of their gums and teeth. Many people pay for X-rays every 12 months.
What’s important to keep in mind that you may need X-rays as often as every 6 months in case you are likely to get cavities or have tooth decay. Skipping out on them could mean getting an expensive crown or root canal later, so you should be well informed about your teeth and the condition they are in before making this decision.
Watch out for the Fillings Scam
One of the most common scams in the dental industry is the diagnosis of nonexistent cavities. You shouldn’t let your dentist pressure into getting multiple fillings done right away if you don’t have any evidence of the problem and pain. This is where a second opinion from a dentist can be useful.
There are ways to minimize out of pocket dental costs and maximize the insurance benefits. To reduce the amount of expensive dental treatment good advice is to focus on preventative care. You shouldn’t make an assumption that dental costs are the same everywhere, but instead, ask for cash discounts and make comparisons that will result in smaller rental bills.
At Modern Day Smiles, we offer $100 off on major procedures and an exam and x-ray for only $29. In case you don’t have insurance, you can ask about our in-office dental plan. To schedule an appointment, call 727-231-4530 and you can be sure you’ll get the smile you always wanted!