Visiting the dentist can be scary, but that’s not the main reason that people skip out on dental care. According to the American Dental Association, the number one reason for avoiding the dentist is the cost – even for those who have insurance. While dentist fees can be high, it is also crucial to your health. If the price of dental care is keeping you from visiting the dentist, check out these ways to lower dental costs, according to Financially Fit.
1. Work Out a Trade
Who says your dentist can’t benefit from YOUR profession? If you specialize in an area that may be helpful to your dentist, try to work out a trade with your dentist. For example, are you an exceptional photographer? Offer your dentist free pictures to decorate his or her office with in exchange for free dental care. Don’t be shy about asking your dentist about this – you may be helping him just as much as he’s helping you.
2. Negotiate Rates
Research typical insurance rates in your area and compare them to what your dentist is charging. Ask your dentist if they can match or beat those rates and accept the payment as cash instead of going through an insurance provider.
3. Family Discounts
Sometimes, dental offices offer discounts if the entire family goes to the same dentist. Often this will save you at least 10% off your visits. Just explain to your dentist that your family members are all regular patients, and ask if they would be willing to give a family discount. Many times, they will.
4. Be a New Customer
Dental offices often provide discounted or free services for new customers. If you’re a new patient at a dentist’s office, ask about any free services for first-time visitors. You can save up to a couple hundred dollars by taking advantage of these offers.
5. Space Out Lengthy Procedures
If you need a procedure done that will require many office visits, try to spread the appointments out over this year and the next. Many insurances have yearly maximums, so this will ensure that you are getting the most out of your insurance for these visits.
6. Schedule Appointments During Non-Busy Hours
Appointments scheduled for a slower time, such as Friday afternoon, are best if you want to ask your dentist for a moderate discount. Another option is to ask to be put on a “short call list,” where the dentist agrees to give you a discount if you come in on short notice.
7. Ask About Payment Plans
Often, dentists will work with you to come up with a payment plan, so you can pay for your work in increments instead of having to pay it all up front. Ask your dentist about this possibility.
8. Preventative Care
Simply brushing and flossing your teeth every day, and making routine visits to the dentist twice a year can save you thousands of dollars off dental work. Not taking care of your teeth can result in many severe dental problems in the long run, and end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Taking care of your teeth now is perhaps the best way to save money on dental care.
9. Dental Clinics
Many community health centers offer low-cost or even free dental care. Do some research on dental clinics in your area, and be sure to pay attention to any restrictions like “low income only” or “homeless only.” Check out our Free Dental Finder for a list of clinics in your area.
10. Discount Dental Plans
Discount dental plans are a great way to save a large percentage off of your dental work. For a low monthly payment, you can save up to 60% off of some procedures. No matter what work you need done, discount plans can save you hundreds of dollars. Find discount plans in your area today.
Don’t let the price of dental care scare you away. Talk to your dentist about different ways you can save. Find out what plans and insurances they accept. Ask about any discounts or payment plans they offer. Your dentist values your business, and will likely be more than willing to work with you to save you money.