It is estimated that around 23 percent of the American population doesn’t have dental insurance. This amounts to around 73 million people across the country! So, if this is something you lack then you know you aren’t alone.
Now, one of the reasons that people steer clear of these insurance packages is that they have their limitations. Historically, dental insurance plans are focused on prevention. This means that they typically cover teeth cleanings and similar preventative methods.
So, if you need more significant work done, quite a bit of the bill will need to be covered by you. While this may sound disheartening, there are a few things you can do to remedy the situation. Here are the best ways that you can lower the cost of your dental care.
Improve Your Oral Health Routine
Perhaps the first thing you should do is to improve your oral health routine as much as possible. When you take better care of your teeth and gums, your risk of disease and decay drops quite a bit. As such, there will be no need for all those pricey procedures.
This means that you should floss every day, brush with a fluoride-based toothpaste, and cut out any bad habits that might damage your teeth. It is also a good idea to improve your diet and focus on foods that are beneficial to your oral health. More importantly, you should cut down on sugary and acidic foods.
It is also a good idea to visit your dentist once or twice a year for cleanings. These professionals are vital in preventative dentistry and can ward off a number of issues. After all, it is much better to pay for a couple of cleanings than to have to pay for a root canal.
Make Price Comparisons
You would imagine that certain dental procedures cost the same, regardless of where you go. This, however, isn’t the case. Dentists price their work according to a number of different factors. In some cases, this can include a great location and an exclusive reputation.
This is why you shouldn’t blindly pick the first dentist that you come across. Instead, make inquiries with several clinics around your area. Then, you will be able to see just how much the prices can vary across the board.
Now, it isn’t always about bargain hunting with your dentist, though. Keep in mind that you need to find someone who is qualified and has the right skills and tools. So, you may want to avoid picking someone whose prices are well below the others.
Look for a Discount
There are some clinics that will offer certain discounts. Understand, certain establishments deal largely with patients that have insurance plans. As such, they often have to wait a while for approval before getting paid. This is why they prefer a small percentage of their clientele to be cash-paying customers.
To encourage such individuals, these clinics will offer a certain discount for individuals who pay in cash upfront. Therefore, this is an opportunity that you should definitely check on. While it may take a little bit of trouble, you will be certainly glad that you made the effort.
Get Guarantees on Procedures
When a dentist states that you have to have a certain procedure completed such as fillings, it is important to ask for a guarantee. Such treatments have to last at least a few years before needing replacements. To ensure that you won’t need any additional work done in the meantime, get a guarantee.
If your dentist can’t offer you a guarantee, you may want to find someone who can. You should also get the agreement down in writing. This way, if something happens to the fillings or bridge before you are due for any replacements, the work may be handled for free.
Investigate Dental Tourism Options
If you imagine that dental costs are this high all over the world, think again. There are many countries across the world where you can get the same high level of care but at a much lower price. Due to this phenomenon, dental tourism has taken off in a big way.
In case you need to get something more complex done, then it is best to get care in another country. For instance, a dentist in Turkey isn’t just cheaper, you also get to enjoy an excellent level of care. The dentists here are incredibly skilled and use the highest quality materials possible. Not to mention, you can also enjoy a short holiday!
Consider Dental Schools
Dental students need real-world practice before they can become dentists. This is why dental schools often offer discounted rates for most of the procedures offered by professional dentists. If you want a simple procedure, you can often save hundreds of dollars on this method. Thus, it is certainly a good idea to look up any dental schools in your area.
It should be noted, though, that the more complex procedures will be close in price to what you have to pay for a dentist. In these instances, it will be worth it to do some calculations and determine where best to spend your money.
Search for Community Health Centers
If you want heavily discounted care, then you should look up local community health centers. These offer up services to lower-income individuals and so, may be able to help you as well. While you can save money with such centers, there are a few downsides as well.
To start with, there are often considerable waiting times involved. Since these places cater to so many individuals, you may find yourself waiting weeks for an appointment. So, if you need more urgent care, then this may not be the best option for you.
These are the main ways that you can greatly reduce the cost involved in your dental treatment. Therefore, it will serve you well to take these suggestions to heart. By implementing them, you may just be able to save yourself hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars. This could completely change your outlook on your oral healthcare opportunities.