A smile is a natural accessory that everyone deserves to don. However, a study by the New York Post reveals that about 57% of Americans feel insecure about their teeth and need to cover their mouths whenever they laugh. Dental care can help restore the confidence to smile. However, high dental costs make these services a privilege to few people.
Fortunately, we have uncovered ways to help you get dental care without breaking the bank. Here are some ways to prevent dental costs from bankrupting you.
1. Only Work With Dentists in Your Healthcare Network
Dental networks are crucial to practitioners and care seekers. While the networks help professionals strengthen their knowledge base and acquire invaluable skills, they also help patients get services at more affordable rates.
Typically, in-network dentists are contracted with a specific insurance company. Therefore, finding a dentist within your network means you will get services at negotiated rates. Fortunately, more dentists prefer to work within networks. Zippia says about 82% of practicing dentists prefer working with private companies. Therefore, your employer probably has the dental bit covered. Additionally, you are more likely to get more coverage, thus more access to more complex services like restorative treatments.
2. Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions
Simple instructions like brushing your teeth daily or maintaining a healthy diet greatly reduce dental care costs. Practicing prevention also helps you prevent potential dental illnesses by fighting bacteria, thus, fewer visits to the dentist.
Sticking to the dentist’s instructions after complex procedures like surgery to prevent complications is even more vital. Always remember to ask questions for further clarification, especially if you are trying to create a healthy oral care routine. For example, if you just got aligners, you must do more to keep bacteria at bay. According to Forbes, you should clean your aligners thoroughly seven days a week. Otherwise, you may harbor bacteria leading to other conditions like teeth discoloration and plaque buildup.
3. Join a Dentist’s Membership Plan
A dental plan is a financial agreement between a patient and dental facility which requires the former to pay the agreed monthly or annual subscription for access to dental care. This service is significantly helpful to anyone who wants to promote preventive dentistry.
Otherwise referred to as a dental savings plan, these programs may be better alternatives to dental insurance, which often include confusing deductibles, reimbursements, and a lot of paperwork. It is also a reasonable option for families that do not have access to employer-sponsored dental coverage, as independent insurance plans usually have various treatment limitations, longer waiting periods, and annual maximums.
According to Pressroom, about 50 to 75% of people need orthodontic treatment. Dentist membership plans offer a better way to access private dental treatment, which means cost-effective services from your preferred dentist. The plans also allow dentists to operate at higher standards; thus, patients can access advanced technology.
4. Visit a Dental School
Dental schools offer dental services to patients at low prices. Most schools have dental clinics to allow their students to practice, usually under three levels of service, including the student, faculty, and graduate levels. The Student Clinic level is the lowest, with longer appointments and fewer visits, and you would only have to pay about a third of the usual private practice fees. On the other hand, faculty and graduate clinics take you less of your time at close to standard rates.
The facilities offer a win-win situation for their students and patients, where the student learns through practice while the patients save money through affordable services. However, the environment may require patience, as students work slowly but carefully under supervision. Regardless, you are guaranteed comprehensive care.
These tips should help you get dental care while saving money. You can also seek financial assistance from charities focusing on specific groups like the youth, seniors, veterans or children. These options usually have longer waiting periods with some restrictions but help significantly by clearing the larger chunk of your bill. Check out our website for more money-saving and financial literacy guides.
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