Simple Ways to Reduce Dental Costs
For many, visiting the dentist is a necessary but often terrifying event. Just calling to schedule an appointment leaves them feeling sick. Not only are visits often unpleasant, they can also be costly. Here are some simple ways to keep dental visits and the resulting costs to a minimum; setting you on the path to a happy wallet and a healthy smile.
1. Eat foods that are good for teeth and gums. These include banana, guava, oranges, and papayas, green beans, soybeans, and vegetables with dark green leaves. Clean water, coconut water, and milk are much better options than sweetened drinks.
2. Wear protective head gear when playing sports and participating in other rough outdoor activities to reduce the risk of dental damage.
3. Preventive dentistry: We are all familiar with the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin first uttered the words. Studies suggest that for every dollar spent towards preventive dental treatments like twice a year cleanings, fluoride treatments and exams can, as a result, save as much as $8 to $50 per visit.
Flossing and brushing will dramatically reduce dental visits if performed regularly. Investing in a waterpik is also a good way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Just a few minutes twice a day can save you a great amount of pain and money.
4. Say no to frequent x-rays. If you have good oral health it is not necessary to have dental x-rays taken at every visit. Having your teeth x-rayed less frequently can save you a substantial amount of money and also keep your exposure to harmful radiation to a minimum.
5. Try the barter system. Patients with certain skills and professionals such as carpentry or web design may be able to trade for services. Dental hygienists often work independent of the dentist, even when they are located in the same office. So even if the dentist doesn’t want to barter, the hygienist might.
6. Consider having your dental work done at a dental school. Before students can work on customers, they have to reach a certain amount of training. So the work you receive is good, costs a fraction of what a standard dentist would charge and the students get the much-needed practice.
7. Another way to cut the cost of dental treatment is to talk with your dentist or dental surgeon about fees and payment options during your initial visit. Many dental offices have payment plans available, if you ask. If a procedure is going to be expensive, ask about dental financing. Companies such as CareCredit and ClearChoice will finance the dental procedure and allow you to make small monthly payments.
Everyone loves a healthy, beautiful smile. With a little forethought and effort, some common sense and an open line of communication with your dental professional, you will find many reasons to flash those pearly whites for many years to come. Keep smiling and happy brushing!