If you don’t have dental insurance, the worst thing for you to do is to skip dental care. Small problems quickly become big expensive problems if you ignore them which is why it is very important to visit the dentist regularly. So how do you afford the dentist?
Usually there are many choices when it comes to dentists in a particular area. Look for a dentist that offers the lowest prices in your neighborhood. You may be able to negotiate further if you know how much other dentists charge in your area.
Find a Dentist that Accepts Payments
Dentistry is a particularly competitive field, especially when there are plenty of dentists in your area. It behooves you to look for a dentist who will accept payments. Often these dentists will help you get the care you need, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Pay Cash Upfront
Having someone who can pay for the procedure upfront is a big bonus to many dentists who are used to the hassle of sending in bills to insurance companies. See if the dentist nearby will cut the costs if you pay upfront.
Look for Dentists Who Offer Savings Plans
Some dentists will offer special dental plans and packages that have you pay a smaller fee upfront and then you get free or heavily discounted services. For example, a dentist might offer a $99 plan that gives you two free cleanings, check ups, and one full set of mouth x-rays, plus a percentage off any dental work.
Look for Dentists Who Offer Specials
Sometimes dentists will offer specials to new clients in order to get more business. When looking for the the right dentist, ask if the dentist offers specials. You might be able to get a free visit and free cleaning just for becoming a client.
If you’re really strapped for money and need dental work, you may be able to get free dental work done through free service days from the Dental Group Practice Association. You may also be able to find out about low cost or free dental service through your state’s dental association website.
You may be able to get good quality, low cost dental work by visiting a dental school. While not as fast as a regular dental practice, you’ll have students work on your teeth and have a dentist check the results. The American Dental Association has accredited schools listed so you can find out if there’s one near you. While you might be squeamish about a student working on your mouth, you’ll be glad to know that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that the students do a good job and you get quality work.
Take Care of Your Teeth
One way to save money is to simply take good care of your teeth. That means brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily, avoid sugary and starchy foods, and use fluoride. You’ll want to visit the dentist regularly so that you don’t have to spend any more money on things like fillings or expensive dental procedures.