One of the very first things people ask when calling a new dentist for the first time, is “do you take my insurance?”
Your dentist doesn’t necessarily have to be in-network with your insurance plan to file claims on your behalf. But — if they are in-network — it will ensure the lowest pricing on your treatment.
In-network dentists have contracts with the insurance carrier to provide services at specific, fixed rates. As such, the discounts are consistent across the board.
Choosing the Dental Insurance Plan with the Most Coverage
A dental insurance plan will help you fit necessary treatments into your budget. For example, some people have very healthy teeth and require little more than routine check-ups twice a year, or a filling every five or 10 years. Others may have an elevated risk of tooth decay and require more coverage for restorative treatments.
Depending on what you need your monthly premium or deductible to be, you can find an affordable dental insurance policy that covers these concerns. Let your carrier know what your oral health has been like in the past, and they will work with you to pick the plan with the best coverage.
Keep Your Routine Check-ups
Most people need a dental check-up every six months. During these visits, your dentist will:
- Assess your teeth and gums to make sure there haven’t been any changes since the last appointment.
- Screen for symptoms of gum disease while it’s still reversible or managed through non-surgical therapy.
- Have the hygienist clean your teeth and review effective oral hygiene techniques to keep your smile healthy.
- Take necessary diagnostic x-rays to pinpoint areas of disease before they’re visible to the naked eye.
Treat Problems Early
Don’t put off getting treatment for issues that may seem too small to bother with. If you do, that cavity will just have time to get bigger and deeper. Before you know it, you won’t be paying for a filling at all: you’ll be worried about paying for that root canal that you need.
The best way to lower your dental bill is to treat problems as soon as they’re diagnosed. Not only are the treatments cheaper, they usually take up less of your time. If you’re unable to make the time in your schedule to take care of your teeth now, you run the risk of missing a day or more of work a few months from now when that tiny cavity has turned into a big problem.
Get a Second Opinion
It’s not atypical for two different dentists to have differing opinions on what your treatment options are. One may say that an area needs to go ahead and be filled, while another one might recommend using fluoride at night and monitoring the area. Or, you might have one dentist suggest a partial denture, while another one has more experience placing and restoring dental implants.
Their outlook on your treatment plan can have a big impact on the total cost of your bill (and the amount you owe out of pocket.)
Ask About Your Options
Maybe your dentist recommends a certain treatment but you don’t know enough about it to decide if it’s the “right” one for you or not. Ask your dentist if there are other options available. For instance, you could extract a tooth…or you could get a root canal and crown. Or, you could get a dental bridge rather than replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant. Weighing your options can help you adjust the cost of your dentistry without sacrificing the health of your smile.
The more information you have, the more educated decision you can make about the total cost of your treatment. It never hurts to ask if there’s an alternative that might be more affordable.
You can also ask your dentist about temporary treatments to address a problem, while you save up for a permanent procedure.
Consider Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans are the affordable option to dental insurance. Also known as “Dental Savings Plans” these plans enable you to save anywhere from 10%-60% on dental care, depending on the plan that you choose and the treatment that you need.
For help finding an affordable dentist in your area who accepts dental discount plans, and information on how these plans can save you money at the dentist, contact one of the dental savings specialists at LowerMyDentalBills.com.