Dental care is important for your overall health, but it’s also frequently expensive. Without the proper precautions and investments, you could end up spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on a single procedure.
Whether you’re simply caring for your own teeth or are managing dental care for your whole family, it’s important to know the best ways to save money on dental care.
The Range of Dental Care
Dental care ranges from affordable to ridiculously expensive, depending on what services you need. For example, the most common dental health service is probably professional cleanings, which are typically inexpensive.
Routine cleanings and checkups are often completely covered by insurance policies – and even if they aren’t, they’re usually less than $100. Dental implants in Roseville, in contrast, are a much more complicated procedure and are therefore more expensive. However, with the right insurance policy and cost saving strategies, you can make dental implant surgery affordable as well.
Top Strategies for Saving Money on Dental Care
Let’s look at some of the top strategies for saving money on your dental care.
- Choose your insurance wisely. Most people elect to purchase dental insurance, or get dental insurance through their employer. And yes, in most cases, dental insurance is going to save you money on the services you need. However, it’s important to read your insurance policy very carefully so you understand what it covers and what it doesn’t. Compare different plans to see how much coverage you get for what you’re paying, and choose the policy that makes the most sense for you and your needs.
- Consider a dental savings plan. If you need frequent dental care, a simple and generic dental insurance policy may not be enough to give you the coverage you need. As a layer of additional protection, or as an alternative to insurance, you could consider starting a dental savings plan. Enrolling in one of these special programs will cost you an annual fee, but in exchange, you’ll get heavy discounts on any and all dental work you do during that time.
- Negotiate for a discount. Instead of going through a middleman, consider negotiating directly with your dentist for a discount. Many dentists and health care providers are willing to work with patients to reduce their bills and collect a reasonable amount of money for the services rendered. If you’re shocked at how expensive your bill is, ask some critical questions about it and see if there are any discounts for which you might qualify.
- Shop around. Before having work done, get a quote for the services and shop around. You might be able to find another dentist on the other side of town who can do the same work for a fraction of the price. It’s also not a bad idea to get a second opinion if a dentist recommends an expensive procedure; it may not be strictly necessary.
- Research free clinics and dental schools. If you’re strapped for cash, and you need some serious dental work done, consider looking into free clinics and dental schools in your area. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find dental students or inexperienced dentists willing to provide services for a steep discount.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene requires you to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least daily, and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash daily. It’s also a good idea to stay away from sugary foods, sodas, tobacco products, and other materials that can damage your teeth or lead to plaque buildup. Practicing good oral hygiene isn’t going to prevent all dental issues, but it will prevent or minimize most of them. It only takes a few minutes a day to stay on top of this, so there’s no excuse not to do it.
- Attend regular professional cleanings. Many people hate the idea of going to the dentist, but it’s important to visit at least twice a year so you can get a professional cleaning and see if there are any significant issues that need to be addressed. In addition to keeping your mouth clean and polished, this is an opportunity to catch cavities before they grow into something worse.
- Take care of issues as soon as possible. Speaking of cavities, it’s important to take care of any dental issues you discover as soon as possible. If you’re on a strict budget, it may be tempting to delay or avoid expensive procedures, but doing so could set you up for significantly worse issues in the future. It’s usually better to work proactively to keep your oral health in the best possible condition; it’s cheaper to get a cavity filled than it is to undergo a full root canal.
- Avoid specialists unless necessary. Dental specialists like endodontists and periodontists are specialized oral healthcare providers who focus on an individual area of care. They’re highly trained and experienced, so they can often handle their specialized procedures with greater skill and confidence – but they’re also much more expensive. See a generalist whenever possible to reduce what you pay.
With some or all of these strategies, you should be able to greatly reduce the amount of money you pay for dental and oral health services. As an added bonus, you’ll end up with healthier teeth and a brighter smile as well!