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What’s one place most humans like to avoid? The dentist’s office, and with good reason. Not only can it be painful depending on the procedure, but it can also be extremely expensive and put a dent in your budget.
What are the best ways to minimize the impact your teeth have on your bottom line? Here they are:
1. Start with preventative maintenance.
Free or low-cost dental care can sometimes be hard to find. That’s why preventative maintenance is a must. If you take good care of your teeth, you can reduce the risk of needing costly dental care down the line.
As basic as these tips may seem, some people refuse to follow them, which can result in hefty trips to the dentist. If you know you’re lacking in any of the following, it’s time to get serious before it’s too late:
- Brush your teeth twice daily.
- Floss regularly.
- Use mouthwash.
- Reduce your consumption of sugary drinks and candy.
Those are preventative measures you can do at home to cut dental costs. But you can also minimize the risk of costly procedures by going to the dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned.
On average, you should try to get your teeth cleaned at least once a year. Even better, aim for once every six months.
While each visit can incur a cost, catching any potential problems before they get worse can help you save in the long run. Filling a cavity costs less than a root canal or crown, plus it’s a lot less painful.
2. Pay in cash.
Some dentists will give you a cash discount if you ask them. They’ll do so since it reduces the number of billing issues and credit card fees they have to deal with.
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Paying in cash and saving a few bucks can be particularly helpful if you’re traveling or don’t have dental insurance, so be sure to ask if it’s an option.
3. Try payments.
Some dental work is unavoidable and must be done, regardless of your finances. If you don’t have a credit card and are short on cash, ask your dentist if you can set up a payment plan for the work to be performed.
Some dentists may be willing to work with you, and this option is better than going into debt to get your teeth fixed.
4. Create a doable strategy.
Do you have a lot of dental work that needs to be done? Before you get flustered and wonder how you’ll pay for it, ask your dentist to come up with a strategy.
For instance, what work can be put off for later? What must be done now?
Since your dentist is the expert, they can tell you what to focus on first that fits your finances. You can then get the other work done when you’re able to pay for it.
5. Solicit the help of students.
Dentists didn’t become professionals overnight. They had to work at their craft, and guess who they usually experiment on? Living, breathing humans like yourself.
If you go to a dental school, you can get work done at a significant discount. And before you worry about something going wrong, know that instructors are supervising the students.
Is going to a school the same as finding a free dental clinic? No, but the discounts can be deep enough to help you score significant savings.
6. Get a dental discount plan.
Is your employer’s dental insurance too expensive? Do they not offer dental insurance at all? Either way, you can still get the coverage you need by purchasing a dental discount plan.
As long as you can afford a small annual fee in the neighborhood of $100, you can get a substantial discount on your dental work as long as you choose an in-network dentist.