4 Ways to Save on Dental Costs

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

My family now has a dental plan. It came as part of the benefits package associated with my husband’s job. Prior to this job, we had always paid for dental costs out of pocket because buying dental insurance didn’t make sense. The benefits package makes dental insurance a no-brainer now, though.

If you don’t have dental insurance, saving on dental costs can be elusive. Here are 4 ways you can save on dental costs if you aren’t using insurance:

1. Non-Insurance Dental Savings Plans

These plans can help you reduce the cost of procedures. You pay a lower cost, and you get access to discounts on procedures. Be careful, though: Not all dental savings plans are good deals. In some cases, you pay the fee, only to find out that what you thought was covered really isn’t. And you should realize that these savings plans aren’t insurance, so you still have plenty of out of pocket expenses.

2. Research and Negotiate

You should research costs for common dental-related procedures to get an idea of what things should cost. We have an orthodontics rider on our insurance since my son will doubtless need braces at some point. However, we will still probably have large out of pocket expenses. As a result, we are already considering options. FAIR Health is a site that can help you find the costs in your area for procedures, and give you information needed to negotiate.

Many dentists will give you a discount if you don’t have insurance. We routinely received a 10% discount on dental services back when we didn’t have insurance. Negotiate for procedures, and know your stuff.

3. Dental School

If you live near a dental school, you can check out the student work. Many students work under the supervision of a professional and you usually are worked on by the latest tools and equipment. The advantage is that you usually pay a much lower cost when you are willing to let students work on you. Realize, though, that appointments often need to be scheduled well in advance, and that there are limited spots, depending on the procedure you are hoping to have done.

4. Take Good Care of Your Mouth

Dentists regularly tell me I have great teeth and good oral hygiene. I’ve never had a cavity. When you take good care of your mouth, you a smaller chance of paying for expensive procedures. You can spend thousands of dollars on filling cavities, having root canals done, and replacing crowns. It’s much cheaper to just practice good oral hygiene now. I also took the precaution of having my son’s teeth sealed. Even though it cost a little bit more now, it is likely to help him fight off cavities and save us money in the long run.

Save Up for Dental Costs

We routinely saved up for dental costs. Our Health Savings Account was a geat help to us and can still be accessed for co-pays and deductibles. And, since we know that our son will likely need braces, we are preparing for that. Just as you need to look ahead to any other expense, you need to think about what’s coming in terms of dental procedures.

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