For those who are in need of dental care, but lack access to dental insurance, it can be difficult to overcome the cost of regular cleanings and preventative maintenance. The good news is that dental providers are aware of the struggles facing people without dental insurance and have taken a few steps to make things easier on their patients, but first you have to take the initiative.
Prioritize Your Dental Care
The best way to save money on costly dental procedures is to make sure that you don’t need them in the first place. If you proactively take good care of your teeth with regular cleanings and maintenance you are less likely to need surgeries, implants and other more invasive procedures down the road. This can save you serious money in the long term.
Look for A Payment Plan
Since dental insurance requirements vary from place to place and insurance is not always easily accessible, dental care providers have taken steps to ease the pain. Many providers now offer payment plans that allow you to make monthly installments, usually with a small fee. This is a big break for many people, allowing them to get adequate dental care without having to worry about a huge bill due immediately.
Try a Dental Membership
Similar to dental insurance, some dental care providers actually offer their own in-house memberships. For a single annual fee they will give you a set number of cleanings, exams and maybe even cover more in-depth procedures like tooth whitening and X-rays. Plus, some of these memberships also include reasonable discounts on any other services you need throughout the year.
Attend a Community Health Event
Most large cities host annual healthcare festivals that provide inexpensive care to those in need during one big event. If you are unable to make payments on your dental care, it is possible that one of these free events will be able to help you get the care you need. However, it is important to keep in mind that some of these charitable events have specific income limitations and other qualifying factors that affect your eligibility.
Check Out Local Schools
Much like beauty schools offer steep discounts for hair styling to people who come into their training salons, there are many small dental schools that have in-house exam facilities. You may be able to get low cost dental care from students in training who are under the oversight of more experienced dental trainers. Depending on the type of care you need, it is possible to get a 40-50% discount on services this way.
Avoid the Big Names
One problem many people face when looking for low cost dental care is the feeling that they are up against a big chain. Many of the largest dental care providers across the country are known for their advertising, but are often subject to the rules set higher up in the corporate offices. Instead, try to find local care providers who operate independently and have a little more control over their own costs and patient interactions. If you are able to work one-on-one with your dentist to create a care plan and arrange payments, it is more likely that you will be able to find a good deal and negotiate to make payments on a schedule that works within your budget.
Overall there are a lot of options available for people in need of dental care who don’t currently have dental insurance. Weaknesses in the dental insurance market have led dentists to find other ways to make their services affordable to patients. Take some time to talk to your local dentists, like those at Dental Health Associates, to find out what payment options are available to you and if there are any alternatives to traditional insurance that will meet your needs
The most important thing for you to do is always make sure to take care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing and make teeth cleaning twice a year a priority to prevent as much damage as possible in between dental visits.
If you are looking for affordable dental insurance in Wisconsin, please contact our friends at Momentum Insurance Plans for more information. They have plans for every budget and can help answer any questions about the type of coverage you need to keep your teeth healthy.