Cut costs the next time you’re at the dentist
As you've probably noticed, visiting the dentist can be an expensive endeavor. Even simple cleanings can end up costing hundreds of dollars, especially if the dentist discovers that there is something wrong with your teeth or gums. A trip to the dental office can be particularly expensive if you are one of the estimated 100 million Americans who does not have dental insurance. While the Affordable Care Act is set to provide dental coverage to children, adults will still have to fund their own dental care, so many people have been skipping regular trips to the dentist in order to save money.
This is a poor practice, since studies have shown that getting regular cleanings not only reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, but may also lower your chances of developing heart disease. Furthermore, a dentist can screen for serious conditions such as oral cancer, which is often caught in later stages because people do not visit the dental health professional to get screened, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Rather than skipping out on important trips to the dentist or ignoring mouth pain, you should look into all of the ways that you can save money on oral care.
Visit the dentist twice year
First, the best way to save on dental care is to get preventive work done twice a year. Fox News recently spoke to Keith Libou, chief dental officer at Dental Care Alliance, who explained why regular trips to the dentist can save you money in the long run.
"If you go in for routine check-ups it gives doctors the opportunity to make early diagnoses," Libou told Fox News. "If a cavity is developing or anything is happening, the dentist can identify things early, which is almost always less costly as opposed to after it has progressed and becomes a more complicated procedure."
If you let a problem go on too long, then it can turn into an issue that will be far more expensive to treat. For example, while filling a cavity can be a fairly simple and inexpensive procedure, if you don't get it filled and allow tooth decay to persist then you may end up needing a root canal, which is a pricier and more extensive process.
Get a discount dental plan
Another excellent way to save at the dentist's office is to look into discount dental plans as an alternative to insurance. When you have one of these plans, you pay a flat rate of about $100 a year (far less expensive than the estimated $600 a year you'll spend on individual dental insurance), and have access to a wide network of dentists that will work for the reduced fee. According to Libou, people can save an average of 60 to 70 percent on the costs of preventive care like x-rays and exams and 20 percent on more extensive work
Choose the right dentist
Money Crashers magazine recommends that if you want to save on dental work, then you want to make sure to choose the right dental health professional. This means that instead of picking any old dentist out of the phone book, you should request price lists from a number of dentists to compare them and find the most affordable one. According to the news source, you shouldn't be surprised to find that you'll see a wide range of prices, which is why you're better off not choosing the first one that comes along.
Brush and floss regularlyFinally, taking good care of your teeth while your at home by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once can help save on dental care by helping prevent serious issues.