Common Sense Ideas for Significant Dental Savings
by Denise Gabbard
Everybody loves having a nice and bright smile, but it can be costly to keep your teeth that way. Even regular teeth cleaning can cost upwards of $100 per procedure, with any major dental work costing much more than that, commonly in the four-digit range.
Having dental insurance can help significantly reduce the cost of having work done on your teeth, but dental insurance itself can be costly as well.
The most obvious way to keep dental costs low is to take excellent care of your teeth. Brushing several times daily and flossing regularly go a long well towards lowering the dental care costs. Even so, ultimately some dental problems may come up.
There are ways to save significantly on these items.
Discount Dental Plans
If the typical comprehensive dental coverage insurance is too pricey for you to maintain, then discount dental plans are definitely worth looking into. These plans usually require you to sign up for a specific time, typically, but not always for one year.
They do not cover you 100%, as some dental plans do, but can cover anywhere from 15% to around 60%, depending on the procedure. Be advised also that you can only use certain dentists that accept the plan at their offices.
Dental students constantly need people to “practice” on while they are undergoing their studies. Usually the students are required to perform a certain amount of actual dental work while attending school before they can graduate or receive a license to practice.
For this reason, you can receive dental work at a lower price than going to a dentist that is already established. You can find dental schools online by visiting the ADA website. Dental students do their work with the oversight of experienced and licensed dentists.
Clinical Trials and Studies
Whenever there are new products coming onto the market or new dental techniques, studies using them on willing participants provide an examination of the results. Depending on the procedure they are testing and need help with, you may be able to receive free dental treatment as part of the study.
The National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research is one great place you need to look, to find out which studies are taking place in your surrounding area.
Online Coupons and Offers
We all know that the internet holds deals for just about anything you can imagine. The same goes for dental work. Dentists that want to increase their business or maybe just bring in new clients will typically run specials or deals online. You can find some of these deals in websites such as Groupon and Living Social. They do so in the hopes of attracting new clients that otherwise may go elsewhere, to come to their business instead.
The deals you find online usually offer free or reduced price exams and X-rays, cleanings or fillings. These deals can be sometimes be for a certain percentage off your total bill.
Second Opinion or Delay
If a dentist tells you that you need major dental work for your toothache, do not just take it as gospel. Keep in mind they are businesspersons as well as healthcare practitioners. If business is slow they might quote you a higher cost procedure than needed.
Do not feel bad for requesting another opinion to find out if delaying the procedure without doing further damage is possible. For instance, porcelain veneers might be the best option for your teeth, but you might be able to get by with some additional fillings
Government Programs and Dental Clinics
Many areas have programs available that can help pay for dental procedures for unemployed or low-income people. So do not suffer needlessly with poor dental health without checking into what is required to qualify. The National Institute of Dental and Cranofacial Research (NIDCR) is a good first resource to find low cost dental programs.
Many other ways to save money on dental care exist, but there is no substitute for regular brushing and flossing. By doing those two simple things, you can save yourself thousands of dollars over time. Also important is cleaning the tongue on a regular basis and massaging the gums with a toothbrush. Some foods also prove beneficial to good oral health, such as calcium-rich cheese, crunchy vegetables that keep teeth clean, and onions which kill bacteria naturally.
(Denise Gabbard is a fervent writer and blogger. She writes regularly on some of her favorite topics—writing, SEO, social media, travel, and many health and finance topics, including how to find cheap mortgages, good dental insurance, and the right investment opportunities.)