Does living without dental insurance mean you have to abandon maintaining good oral hygiene? Not only for your sake but for the sake of all of us around you, please don’t! Find out how to find the right dentist, afford special procedures and maintain good oral hygiene at home—all without having dental insurance.
Finding the Right Dental Office
Paying for dental without dental insurance can be tough. How can you even afford it? There are several ways to find and afford dental care. Here are a few:
- Call dental care offices in your area and ask what their rates are for uninsured patients. They may be willing to work with you based on your income. It never hurts to ask!
- Go to a dental school for free or low-cost care. You may feel uneasy about letting new dentists do your dental work, but you can rest assured that these students are being overseen by experienced, qualified teachers. They won’t be doing the work unsupervised.
- Consider doing volunteer work to earn your dental. This is a new program called “Pay-it-forward,” explained more in Will Work for Dental: A New Health Care Model? This program allows people without insurance to do volunteer work to earn their dental care. It’s a great way to give back to your community and earn free or discounted dental. Check to see if any dental offices participate in this program in your area.
- Become a member of a discount dental plan like 1dental. You can become a member of a discount dental plan from 1Dental at a very low cost when compared to insurance, and you’re guaranteed to save anywhere from 20 to 60 percent off on your dental work every year you’re a member. There are also no waiting periods so you can begin using your plan right away!
Affording Special Procedures
With or without dental insurance, paying for special surgeries and procedures—fillings, root canals, braces, etc.—can be costly. There are a few ways to help you keep these costs down:
- Prevention. By attending regular checkups, you can prevent bigger and more expensive problems from developing. Cavities that could easily be filled could turn into root canals—a procedure that would cost ten times that of a filling. Additionally, without having regular cleanings throughout the year, you could be looking at $2,000 worth of gum disease treatments.
- Pricing. It’s important to know the price of procedures and treatments your dentist is going to do before they’re actually done. Many dentists, when going through your routine cleaning or checkup, may spot a problem and offer to fix it right then. You want to know the price before any procedure is done. A great tool for members with Careington discount dental plans is their full fee schedule price list. Here we show our members what each procedure will cost and what they will end up paying with the discount so there are no surprises. And sometimes, if the procedure the dentist wants you to get isn’t a dental emergency, you may want to get a second opinion before you proceed.
- Breaking Up the Cost. When extensive work needs to be done, you’re guaranteed a high dental bill. To afford this, talk with your dentist about spacing out treatments or negotiate payment plans with them.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene at Home
Whether you have dental insurance or not, everyone should be practicing these important habits at home:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing your teeth once or twice a day
- Using mouthwash once a day
- Watching what you eat and drink
By practicing these simple and routine tasks, you could possibly prevent major procedures from needing to be done, which would cut down the amount of money you spend on dental care. Regardless of what you do at home though, you will want to continue or start attending the dentist regularly to also avoid major dental work. To understand how important this is, please read: Preventing Diseases with Regular Dental Checkups.