Dental bills are one of the most expensive regular treatments needed by everyone. Many people skip dental care because the expense is so high. You don’t have to skip dental care if you know how to save on these important and much needed procedures. And since we are going into the season of sweets, now’s a good time to consider the costs.
7 Ways to Save on Dental Costs
1. See if you can participate in free dental trials. These are offered at many teaching clinics and dental colleges. You not only get free dental care, but often you get paid for your time in agreeing to do the trial. To find out where these are, just Google “Dental Trials ______(your city or state)____”. Also search the NIDCR website.
2. Look for low-income dental clinics in your area. You can usually find these by looking in the phone book or just doing a simple online search. If you are truly stumped, call a dentist in your area and ask them if they can refer you to a low-income area. Often times, you can get 25%-50% off dental care and only be required to put a small down payment at your first appointment. You don’t have to be super broke to take advantage of these clinics either. Many of them offer discounts even if you make 3 times the poverty level. Additionally, ask about grants, especially at the beginning of the year as many of them offer dental grants to anyone who qualifies.
3. See if there is a dental school in your area. Many of them offer deep discounts on cleanings and routine visits. They are often open to the general public as well as any income level.
4. Take care of your teeth. While this is a no-brainer, taking good care of your teeth will save you hundreds of dollars down the road as well as a large amount of pain and work lost. Make it a priority to get your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months. It is not only important to your overall dental health, but it will also save you from expensive dental procedures such as root canals, extractions and fillings.
5. Always get a second opinion on an expensive dental procedure your dentist is recommending. Dental work is often subjective and there may be a less expensive option available to you.
6. Get a written treatment plan and ask your dentist to tell you which procedures you can put off and which ones could end up being very costly if you let them go. This way, you can get imperative procedures out of the way and avoid costly future ones, while allowing yourself to take care of things as they fit in the budget.
7. Consider a dental savings plan. This isn’t dental insurance. Instead, it’s a way to get discounts at the dentist if you pay out of pocket. A simple search online can help you find one. Make sure you compare them to get the best deal for what you need.