Does your tooth hurt? Are your wisdom teeth starting to hurt, or is another problem plaguing your mouth that requires dental care? You’ll need dental insurance unless you want to give your dentist thousands of dollars in cash. Dental procedures, because of their precise nature and highly trained specialists who perform careful work, are more expensive on average than other sorts of medical expenses. The easiest and most direct way to reduce your dental fees is by getting dental insurance, and insurance can even open the door for preventative care by allowing you to go in for regular checkups that many people avoid because of the expense involved. There are other ways to reduce your overall cost of dental care, however.
It’s important you learn how to reduce these costs, as dental care is essential. Gum infection is associated with an increased risk for heart attacks and heart disease, but how can you get good insurance on a budget? Read on to learn how to reduce dental fees in order to save yourself some money.
Try Getting a Plan Through Work
Most employers offer their full-time workers a dental plan, and those that do typically pay half or more of the premium costs, and many plans fully cover exams, x-rays, and cleanings. On average, basic procedures such as drilling and filling can be covered by up to 80%, and even larger cost items such as crowns and root canals will fall into the half-pay policy. Plans through your employer typically have an annual deductible of $50-$100, and many insurers have a yearly limit of around $1250.
Could a Dental HMO Work?
DHMO – Or Dental Health Maintenance Organizations – Tend to be available in larger urban population centers. These tend to charge a few hundred dollars per year, and enrollees get cleanings twice per year and exams at no added fee, with partial coverage for many more procedures such as fillings or crowns. A fifth of all dentists nationwide participate in these programs, so check and see if there is a DHMO available in your area.
Check Community Health Centers
These can offer low-cost care but might have a limit on what services they offer, and many have a waiting list. To find a center near you, give your local health department or state dental programs.
Take Good Home Care of Your Teeth
One of the biggest no-brainer solutions to the issue of dental healthcare costs is to ensure that your teeth are healthier and last longer anyway. Brush for the full two minutes instead of the average 30 seconds most people spend, twice per day with the softest bristle brush you can find, and floss before bed. This routine helps ensure your enamel and gums are healthy and that your mouth is free of many kinds of bacteria that damage your teeth. Avoid sodas and sugary beverages that break down your teeth and irritate your gums, weakening the teeth themselves.
Between bargain hunting, good dental hygiene, and community options, there are a variety of ways to keep your dental health care costs low – But the largest tends to be finding an insurance plan through your employer. If you can do it, and it is within your means, you should do it. Your dental health is essential.