Most of us have always been terrified of going to the dentist. As a child, the fear was related to the imagined (or experienced) pain of getting a tooth pulled or getting cavities cleaned out. Not to mention the fact that your dentist usually instructed your parents to not let you have candy. Unsurprisingly children hate dentist visits!
For most of us, the fear of going to the dentist has not ceded with age even though the reasons for hating the dentist visits have changed. Now we’re terrified of the huge cost of going to the dentist—and it’s entirely understandable too. Did you know the cost of dental care has risen by twice the inflation rate over the last five years? Even hearing about it hurts the pocket!
It can take well over a hundred dollars to get a simple routine cavity filled! No wonder so many Americans report an unwillingness to visit a dentist even for necessary checkups, putting their dental health at risk. In most of these cases, failure to get a simple procedure for something minor usually results in the conditions aggravating and costing the patient even more money down the road!
Not all of us have the luxury of affording regular dental visits if they cost so much. These visits can be a huge cause of stress for people who do not have that kind of money to spare, and inevitably would avoid going to the dentist. Students, unemployed people and the elderly can’t pay such extravagant charges.
Even if you do have dental insurance there is hesitance now because a few simple root canals can end up exhausting the insurance cap. Even after you have insurance, the out-of-pocket payments can still turn out to be huge and worrisome.
Dentists are starting to worry about patient attendance. More and more people miss out on appointments and the most common reason is that they think that the cost is not justified.
So, where do you go to get affordable dental care? There are a couple of options available for people who can’t pay exorbitant dentist fees. These options aim to make dental care accessible for people who won’t be able to afford dental care and ease the financial burden on them.
These clinics are non-profit and staffed with volunteer dentists who provide you dental care at very low prices. These are specifically for people who are not covered by insurance and have such low incomes that they can’t afford going to regular dentists. The charges are minimal and are mostly based on your ability to pay.
If you’re short on funds and need a dental procedure performed, you can visit a nearby dental school. Dental students need to acquire experience in order to complete their degrees and obtain a license for starting their own dental practice. The dental schools encourage students to provide cheap dental care to people who need them, benefitting both the parties. Don’t worry though, these students conduct the procedures under the supervision of their instructors and are learned enough to be allowed to conduct procedures on you.
Public Dental Clinics
Public dental clinics are state-funded and are open for people who need dental care but can’t afford it. You can visit these clinics for routine checkups but they may not be the best choice for emergency procedures. Their waitlists are extensive and you might not even get your turn for an entire year.
Some private dentists offer small discounts of up to 5% -10% if you offer to pay upfront. It’s not a lot but it’s something. Pay in advance and get your procedures done for a slightly lesser charge.
Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans, more commonly known as dental savings plans, are designed to absorb some of the costs of dental procedures for people. This can encourage people to continue with their treatment plans or go visit the dentist for checkups since they won’t be paying the full amount.
Discount plans give patients discounts of up to 10-60% depending on the intricacy of the procedure, making the procedure relatively lighter on the pocket for the patient. The variety of the procedures covered under the plan can differ across different discount plans which is why it’s important to study the plan well before deciding on one. Most discounts plans give up to 60% off on regular checkups and x-rays, so you won’t have any excuse to skip on those anymore!
Discount plans are also very easy to apply and qualify for. Simply apply to be a part of the dental plan and you will get a membership card within a few days that you can start using right away. You will be required to pay a reasonable, annual charge of a maximum of $150 in most cases. Unlike insurances, there are no deductibles in dental discount plans. This means there isn’t a minimum fee you have to pay before your dental plan kicks in.
The quick processing time of dental plans also means that you can apply for a discount plan if and when you see the need. Say, you have a surgery for a new crown coming up that you recently found out about. You can apply for the plan and get your surgery done at a discounted rate.
Dental Care Savings
The decision on choosing the right plan can be tricky. Different discount plans have different coverage and different dentists in their network. If you have a preferred dentist, you can approach them and find out which discount plans they accept.
You can compare the benefits of dental discount plans on offer here at Dental Plan Provider, weigh your options, and choose the best one for your individual/family needs.