Dental offices rank low on most lists of favorite places. No wonder. A place that many people associate with pain and expensive bills is hard to love. Regardless of how people feel about visiting the dentist, people who never receive dental care usually live in constant pain or lose their teeth – resulting in them having to pay more money than if they had sought treatment in the first place. The following is a list of ways you can save money on dental treatment, from good dental maintenance to some tricks of the trade.
Practice good oral hygiene
People who master the art of preventive dental care often have the lowest dental bills. This starts with good dental hygiene at home. Routine actions like brushing after meals, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will dislodge trapped food between the teeth and around the gums, removing one of the primary causes of tooth decay.
Diet also has a lot to do with keeping dental treatment bills low. By avoiding sticky foods, sugary and high acidic foods, a person greatly reduces the risk of developing enamel problems, loose teeth and cavities.
Many people never see the dentist for routine dental check-ups and miss an important line of defence against costly dental problems. Many dental insurance plans provide free teeth cleaning and x-rays visits, but many insured patients never take advantage of them. Even those without insurance can reduce the cost of their dental treatments by reporting once or twice a year for a dental exam.
Although a hygienist can remove plaque build-ups on teeth, the major advantage of a check-up is early detection. When cavities begin, they start small. Catching them early on may require a filling, but ignoring problems for years will invariably lead to expensive procedures like root canals, caps, crowns and bridges.
Most dental insurance plans will not cover every dental expense. However, they usually pay for themselves by providing regular check-ups. These plans can really help when a patient needs major dental work because the plan usually pays a percentage of the cost. Many dental plans are surprisingly affordable, so anyone interested should start by asking their dentist which plans they accept. After this getting some quotes from those companies will help a patient find coverage that they can use. You may find some only cover general dental treatment and not costlier treatments offered by cosmetic dentists.
People who seriously want to save money on their dental care can visit the dental school at their local technical college or community college. These schools need patients to practice on, so they usually offer discounted services. Qualified professionals normally supervise students as they work, so patients can get good quality care at a bargain price. When visiting a dental school, patients have the satisfaction of knowing that they help students prepare for a successful career.
When a major dental problem exists, patients should ask dentists about installing a temporary fix to save money. For example, a patient could stick with a temporary cap after a root canal. Temporary measures may not represent a permanent solution, but they can give patients time to collect enough money to finish the treatment.
Depending on the situation, patients can often reduce expenses by having the dentist pull a tooth rather than repair it. In fact, many free dental clinics and Medicaid programs will provide extractions for free. Those who still have most of their teeth may want to ask if extraction will help.