Too many Americans skip necessary trips to the dentist. Why is that? It could be because of dent phobia (fear of the dentist). The most likely cause behind this consistent absence is the fact that dental care is expensive.
How Can You Reduce Costs?
Dental Savings Plan
Instead of getting private dental insurance, you should consider a dental savings plan — this is also called a dental discount plan. An annual membership will only cost $150 or less per family.
It’s a benefit program that lets you access discounts with certain dentists. The plan won’t cover 100% of the treatment costs, but it will reduce them so that they don’t put such a big dent in your wallet.
Make sure to check whether the dentist you are going to accepts dental savings plans. Not all dentists will. You don’t want to go through your appointment and then find out that you have to pay for the entire treatment out of pocket.
Rethink Your Clinic
If your dentist’s office is too pricy, you can go to a different location to get your dental work done. You can get the same services at more affordable prices at dental schools, community dental clinics and non-profit organizations.
Take Care of Your Teeth
The better that you take care of your teeth, the less likely it is that you’ll have to pay for expensive services. So, what can you do to practice good dental hygiene?
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss everyday
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat less sugar
- Wear a mouth guard when you’re playing sports
- Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth when you sleep
What Else Can You Do to Prepare for Dental Costs?
Save Up for Emergencies
Sometimes, dental emergencies happen. You can break a tooth while playing a contact sport. You could lose a crown after biting into something hard. You could have a toothache that keeps you up all night. Whatever it is, you can’t wait until your annual cleaning to address the problem. You need to call your dentist and set up an appointment right away.
You should start setting up an emergency fund so that you can manage that cost at a moment’s notice. With this fund, you could pay for the urgent treatment on the day of your appointment without affecting your monthly budget. You don’t have to choose between paying your bills and fixing your teeth.
It will take time to build up your emergency fund. While you’re building it up, you could go to a website like CreditFresh to apply for a line of credit online if you run into any urgent financial problems. If you’re approved for a line of credit online, you could request a draw and have funds in your bank account quickly. It could come in handy when you don’t have the savings to manage your dental costs right away.
Don’t Skip Dental Care
It may sound counterintuitive but skipping dental appointments will not save you money. It will cost you more to ignore them. A quick cavity filling is much more affordable than a root canal or tooth removal.
In general, you should visit the dentist at least once a year for a cleaning. You should also book an appointment any time that you think you have a problem, whether it’s a painful cavity or a cracked tooth. Don’t skip these visits. It will reduce dental care costs which is better for your wallet in the long run.