We know that times are hard and patients can use all the help they can get in affording the good care they need for their teeth. While we’ll spend later posts talking about how to understand insurance and health care laws, this week we are offering tips and tricks to affording everyday dental expenses.
Take Care of your Teeth
The biggest way you can save money on dental costs is by keeping up with daily dental hygiene. If you take good care of your teeth, there will be fewer cavities, whitening treatments, and other dental expenses to pay for.
Annual dental office appointments are equally important as they clean up your teeth and check for problems that could become serious if left alone. If you have dental insurance, check to see if it covers an annual cleaning. Most insurance plans do. While it may hurt to go to the dentist once a year, it can catch dental problems early so they do not become large expenses later.
If you need more motivation, Michelle at betterbudgeting.com calculates that her family would have saved $8,000 by getting dental insurance and taking better care of their teeth!
Address Problems and Pain Early
If you haven’t been keeping up with yearly or semi-annual dental office appointments, make sure you at least schedule a dentist appointment early on when experiencing discomfort. Waiting too long can turn a simple cavity into a very expensive and painful root canal. Of course, if you brush and floss every day, your chances of needing a cavity filled will significantly decrease anyway.
Create an Emergency Fund
This idea does not strictly apply to dental patients but is instead a theory of being prepared for all sorts of financial emergencies. The idea is to keep money saved but easily accessible for surprise expenses like dental work, car repairs, and other emergencies. Dave Ramsey recommends starting with $500, and moving towards a goal of $1,000. This way when you need to fill a cavity or undergo a dental procedure, you don’t have to stress about coming up with the money—it’s already there. After the expense you can once again work up to the full amount of $1,000. While this doesn’t save you money on the actual expenses, it can really cut back on the stress these emergencies cause.
By taking the time to keep up on dental hygiene, you can stave off the costly expenses of cavities, teeth whitening, and other dental procedures. Do you have any other tips for saving on everyday dental expenses? We’d love to hear them!