Many people avoid visiting the dentist’s office because they’re concerned about a very specific kind of pain – a pain in the wallet. Roughly 40% of adults don’t visit a dentist even just once a year, often not because they don’t want to, but because the costs are too high.
Dental visits and procedures can be costly. But savings are available if you know where to look. Here are some easy and effective ways to save money on dental care:
Purchase Dental Insurance
Usually provided by an employer, dental insurance is the traditional way many people handle their dental bills. There are a few different types of dental insurance available, each with different costs and coverage. If your employer doesn’t offer dental insurance, you might not be able to afford it on your own. Aside from purchasing a policy, you’ll probably have to pay at least a portion of each dental bill out-of-pocket. Plus, dental insurance policies often have restrictions on pre-existing conditions. So, if you have dental needs right now, purchasing dental insurance might not be the most effective solution. Fortunately, you have other options.
Purchase a Dental Savings Plan
One affordable alternative to dental insurance is a dental savings plan. Also called a dental discount plan, it’s a membership club which offers discounts at the dentist’s office. As a member, you’ll be able to choose from over 100,000 participating dental professionals. Discounts are given right at the dentist’s office when you present your membership card. Depending on the specific plan you have and the dental procedures performed, you could see savings of 10% and 60%. Everyone is accepted into a dental savings plan and there are no health restrictions, making this a popular option for those with dental issues they want treated ASAP.
While convenience is important, a willingness to travel can lead to lower prices. Traveling for dental care is often called “dental tourism” and there are two types. The first type of dental tourism involves leaving the country for dental care abroad. Popular destinations include Mexico and Europe. Most people should probably stay away from dental tourism. The quality of the care is often difficult to determine from afar. Plus, follow-up care can be hard to access. On the other hand, searching outside your immediate city or town is often a smart move. Dental costs can vary substantially even within the same state. If you’re willing to drive a bit you might find significant savings. Use a dental cost calculator to narrow down nearby areas with lower rates, and then contact individual dentists to explore specific price options.
Ask for Options
Don’t be shy about explaining your financial situation to your dentist. This lets them help prioritize procedures based on cost and need. The dentist might also be able to space out complicated procedures over a longer period of time, so you can pay throughout the year.
Also, many dentists offer cash discounts. Dealing with an insurance company can be a time-consuming and complicated process for a dentist. A patient who pays cash is much simpler. Cash discounts are often used by the dentist as an incentive. While the specifics vary by dentist, the typical cash discount is around 6% to 8%.
Focus on Proper Prevention
Of course, the best option is to simply prevent problems in the first place. Visiting a dentist for regular check-ups helps stop small issues from turning into something more serious and expensive.
Twice-a-year prophylactic cleanings remove tarter and other buildup. Generally, most dental insurance and dental savings plans make visiting a dentist for preventative cleanings easy and affordable.
Finally, don’t forget the basics. Brush at least twice a day or, ideally, after every meal. Floss daily. Limit coffee, wine and soda. Avoid cigarettes. Small acts of daily dental care help create a life free from major dental problems.
The Best Way to Save on Dental Care
Daily care and regular check-ups will save you the most money over time. The longer a dental problem is left untreated, the more expensive the solution will eventually be.
Fortunately, a dental savings plan helps make dental care affordable. Interested in learning more about how a discount plan can save you between 10% and 60% on many different dental procedures? Contact the experts at LowerMyDentalBills.com today to learn more.