The perceived cost of dental treatments makes any short list of reasons why people don't visit the dentist regularly.
This concern, coupled with the belief that the dentist may insist you follow his or her advice to the letter, and the embarrassment you may feel if you can't afford the treatment, keeps many people from seeking dental treatment.
Unfortunately, dental problems usually sneak up on you. Most people have no idea that there is anything wrong until they have pain. A typical scenario is that a small painless cavity grows deeper into the tooth over months or years. When the cavity reaches the nerve, you begin to feel pain when you drink your cold glass of orange juice at breakfast. A few weeks later, a hot cup of coffee sends you through the roof. Finally, out of desperation, you pick up the phone and call your dentist. You come in and are surprised to find out that it has been more than three years since you have been there. Your dentist examines you and takes an X-ray. Sure enough, you need a root canal. After that, the tooth will need to be rebuilt with a post and a tooth crown. The last thing you want to hear is that if you had a dentist visit every six months, that small cavity would have taken less than half an hour to fix, and cost less than $100. Now it will take several hours to fix your tooth, and it will cost more than $1000.
This very common example illustrates how not seeking regular dental care can be penny wise and dollar foolish.
However, there are many tips you can employ to help keep your dental costs manageable.
Consider the following:
- Seek regular dental care every six months.
- Choose a dentist that participates with your insurance plan.
- Ask your dentist for all of your treatment options, the pros and cons of each option, and the total out-of-pocket cost of your treatment before you begin.
- If you require a large amount of treatment, ask if the treatment can be spread out over time, and if insurance can be used for different procedures over successive years.
- Ask if your dental office accepts major credit cards for payment.
- See if your dental office has a low or 0% financing plan for more extensive treatment.
- Some offices have arrangements with financing companies that offer three, six or twelve month payment plans.
- Make sure your dentist stands behind his or her work. See if any of the more extensive work is guaranteed in writing.
- Make sure you trust your dentist. Check his or her credentials, ask for testimonials and look at "before and after" pictures of patients treated in the office. If you have any doubt, always get a second opinion
If you follow these guidelines, I am sure you will be on your way to reducing your dental bills as well as a clean bill of dental health!
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.