Don’t let cost be the reason you don’t see your dentist regularly. Here are 5 ways to better your oral health without breaking the bank.
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More Americans than ever aren’t going to the dentist. It’s not because they hate sitting in that chair with their mouths wide open. It’s because they can’t afford it. According to Vox, one in three Americans didn’t see a dentist in the last year. Whether you are afraid the dentist will hurt you (he won’t), embarrassed to be reminded about daily flossing (we’ve been there), or you can’t afford it (yup, that, too), there is no reason not to be seeing your dentist regularly.
Taking care of your mouth is way more than just for aesthetic reasons. Why, you ask? I’m sure you’ve heard this 1000 times, but if you haven’t, oral health is a window to your overall body health. Here’s the nitty-gritty: your mouth is a cesspool of various bacteria. With regular flossing and brushing, you can keep those bacteria at bay, but if you don’t, bacteria can spread into various vital organs and infect them. Your heart and bones are the most susceptible to infection or decay from poor oral hygiene. That’s why seeing your dentist regularly is important.
With dentists recommending you see them at least twice a year, it’s easy to see why people hesitate. Unfortunately, most people just cannot afford it or often don’t go until it’s too late. Depending on where you live, the cost of dental procedures can vary greatly. According to Delta Dental’s Cost Estimator, a regular cleaning in Texas can cost $88-$105, whereas in California it would be $110-$147. With that kind of range, people are often too scared to see how much their dental procedures will cost them. They only ever see the emergency dentists-when it’s far too late. What sounds better to you, a $100 cleaning or a $1000 root canal? Yeah, we thought so, too.
But how often do you REALLY need to see your dentist? You should be seeing your dentist as often as you’re seeing your doctor (*hint: It’s not only when you’re feeling pain). Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean we need to break the bank in the process. We asked our dentists, health professionals, and patients, just like you, what they do to help keep their costs down. Here is what we found:
If your company provides health insurance, odds are they offer dental insurance, as well. All you have to do is make an appointment, make sure they accept your insurance, and then double-check with your insurer that they will cover that specific procedure. People often say that one of the hardest things to find is, “a dentist in my area”. They are either too far or their insurance doesn’t cover that specific location. We got you covered! Use our search engine if you need help finding a dentist near you! We provide a dentist search with reviews, including emergency dentists. How convenient is that?!
Most basic cleanings are covered by insurance or with a little copay. If you qualify for Medicaid, most states offer basic diagnostics, emergency situations, and preventative services like cleanings and x-rays.
You would think Medicare can cover your basic dental needs, but here’s the catch. Medicare Plans A and B don’t cover your basic dental services under the Original Medicare. However, under the Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), they do cover some services like vision, dental, or hearing. It’s best to look at all your options and choose the one that is best for your needs.
Students are often the best way to get services done for cheaper than you would pay a professional. The best part? You save some money, and they gain some real-world experience. It’s a win-win situation! Like beauty school, you can have dental students perform dental services, with professional supervision, on you for a fraction of the price. But it comes at a price. The only downfall is it takes a couple of hours versus thirty minutes at a normal dentist’s office. Unfortunately, you also won’t be able to build that relationship and history that you would if you had a designated dentist. Why does this matter? Maybe you like to make sure your dentist knows your entire dental history and pain tolerance. Whatever floats your boat. However, if saving you 60-80% is important, then this is a great alternative. I don’t know about you, but I can sit through a couple of hours if it will save me a couple hundred bucks. A dental professor will oversee all procedures to ensure quality and safety, and the students are competent professionals, so NO WORRIES! If you have the time, you can save a good chunk of cash. Who wouldn’t want that?!
Some dentists attempt to lower cost by offering an annual membership ranging anywhere from $75 to $150 to save 10-60% on services like cleanings, x-rays, fillings, and teeth whitening. Better yet, you can sign up FOR at 4Smile, and our memberships allow you to get discounted rates for dentists in your local area. What can be better than that? Oh, we know! You can use our search tool to search dentists with reviews in your local area, too! That way you know your teeth are in capable hands.
If you’ve spent time bravely defending our country, there are some great benefits you can take advantage of. If you’re enrolled in the VA health care program, they now offer dental insurance as part of their coverage. Want to find out more? You can learn more about their options here.
If you’ve exhausted all your options, you can look into government-funded or non-profit organizations that offer free or low-cost dental care. You can use this site to find free dental care in your area. If you’re not having any luck there, you can also find free or reduced-rate dental care at these facilities.
You can also look into community-based health care providers, known as federally qualified health centers, that receive federal funding to provide low-cost primary care and dental care to lower-income areas. There are also organizations that specialize in aiding veterans, disabled Americans, seniors, and others with certain medical needs.
Check out this article by lovetoknow for an entire listing of clinics that offer fillings, extractions, cleanings, x-rays, and much more to those who cannot afford proper dental care. Have a unique circumstance? They have specialized clinics for just about every case. There are a plethora of options for those seeking help.
Alright, you’ve looked at EVERY option you can think of and STILL nothing. If your insurance plan won’t cover your procedure, I would advise you to talk to your dentist to see if they would maybe provide a payment plan or discounted rate. This strategy would work better with a dentist you already see regularly rather than a new or emergency dentist. That’s why it’s important to go regularly, folks. Build those relationships! But you will never know if you do not ask.
If you’re needing help finding a dentist in your area, looking for a dental search with reviews, looking for an emergency dentist, or even just wanting to find a new dentist altogether, 4Smile can help you with that. Does it really work? Before you check non-profits or government programs, check out our search engine to see if we can find an affordable dentist in your area! You can also contact any of our representatives to help you search for the right professional for you. We’re looking forward to helping you.
4smile give discounted rates for paying members only
I thought that it was free for patients and the dentists pay a membership fee?
the business plan is not clear yet. +email@example.com what do you think?
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Disclaimer: These FAQs are meant to provide general information about dental conditions and treatments. The FAQ does not provide medical advice, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. 4smile.com provides no warranty and accepts no liability for the information disclosed here. FOR MEDICAL ADVICE SEE YOUR LOCAL DENTIST.