Dental care doesn't just keep your smile beautiful; it's also necessary for general health. For those on tight budgets or without dental insurance, a dental visit can be expensive. Fortunately, there are many options for saving money so you can get the care you need.
1. Preventative Care
Although regular dental cleanings and checkups come with a fee, it is often less expensive to pay these fees once or twice a year compared to going in only when something is wrong. This is because cleanings can cost much less than a filling or root canal, so in the long run, you save money by preventing the need for emergency dental care in the first place.
2. Cash Payments
Many dental offices provide different discounts depending on how you pay. A common way to qualify for a discount is to pay upfront for the visit instead of being billed or going onto a payment plan. Some dentists will give a flat fee discount or a percentage off discount. In some cases, certain procedures may simply have a low flat fee if you pay in full at the time of the visit.
3. Sliding Scales
A sliding scale is a billing practice where there are different fee rates based on the income of the patient. Usually, you must apply for the sliding scale before services are rendered. You'll need to fill out an application detailing information such as income and family situation, and then you will be offered a discount or a fee level that's based on this information. Sliding fee scales are especially helpful for lower-income patients.
4. Negotiated Costs
Don't be afraid to negotiate with your dental office for a lower fee. Even if they don't offer discounts for paying cash or based on income, you may be able to get a lower price simply by asking. Negotiating services may also lead to lower prices. For example, if your entire family needs a cleaning and exam, don't be afraid to ask if you can get a family or group discount.
5. Treatment Alternatives
Ask your dentist if there are lower-cost alternatives to the recommended treatments. A common alternative is to opt for a lower-cost metal filling instead of the natural-looking porcelain filling, especially if the filling is going into a less visible tooth. Another example of a lower-cost alternative is to opt for a bridge to replace a missing tooth instead of investing in a more expensive implant.
Contact your dentist to learn more about options for affordable dental care.Share