When you are on a budget, you may be tempted to forgo dental care in an effort to save money. Instead of skipping necessary care, you can take advantage of one of the numerous options for affordable dental care. Taking a bit of time to research budget-friendly alternatives helps you slash your dental expenses.
Utilize a Dental School
If there is a dental school in your area, check to see if it offers any clinics. Many dental schools provide services at a reduced cost so that students are able to get experience working on actual patients. A qualified dentist who can step in and assist if needed supervises the procedures. Offerings generally include both preventive and restorative procedures.
Find a Clinical Trial
Clinical trials seek to discover new ways to treat ailments, including dental issues. Patients with a particular issue may be needed for research purposes. Participants in a clinical trial may have a portion or all of their medical costs paid for. You can inquire with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to see if there are any trials that you are eligible for.
See if You Qualify for Medicaid
In some states, Medicaid coverage includes dental care. The coverage may be limited to emergency dental services, or it may include more comprehensive benefits, such as cleanings and fillings. Benefits and eligibility requirements vary greatly from state to state.
Children who do not have dental coverage are covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP is available to any child enrolled in Medicaid and includes preventive and restorative care.
Focus on Prevention
It is much more cost effective to prevent dental problems before they arise. If your teeth seem to be prone to plaque buildup, it may be worthwhile to have more frequent dental cleanings, even if you have to pay out of pocket. An extra cleaning can help control plaque and prevent the need for more expensive procedures.
Your dentist can also recommend and prescribe prescription products intended to promote a healthy environment in your mouth. A prescription toothpaste or mouthwash is much more budget-friendly than a filling or tooth extraction.
If you do not have dental insurance or if your insurance only covers a minuscule portion of your costs, ask your dentist if a discount is available. Customers who pay cash ahead of time may receive a reduced rate.
Your dentist office may be able to offer attractive financing terms so you can pay over time.
You do not have to choose between maintaining your dental health and saving money. By taking advantage of affordable dental care, you can do both. Exploring cost effective choices keeps your teeth looking and feeling their best.