It’s not rocket science. The key to saving on dental costs is easy – take care of your teeth. The best way to take care of those pearly whites is to make sure that you never skip any dental appointment.
Experts agree that early attention to problems can mean the difference between minor work, such as filling cavities, and expensive procedures like root canals, crowns, bridges, and oral surgery.
Visit Your Dentist Every 6 Months
Around 90% of dental problems are actually preventable. You only need to be serious in taking care of your teeth and not miss regular dental visits.
It may sound odd but the best way to save money on dental care is by attending for regular, routine dental appointments.
Skipping dental cleanings and check-ups is a false economy. Dental decay is almost entirely preventable with regular professional dental care, the dentist will be able to identify problems early reducing the need for the extensive and expensive treatment.
Spending a little on check-ups and cleanings will save you a lot in the long run. Just remember: the bill for filling a cavity is much easier to swallow than the bill for a root canal, crown or extraction.
Most dentists recommend professional cleanings twice a year, but if you’re prone to getting cavities, have a history of gum disease or if your teeth have a tendency to accumulate large amounts of plaque, you may need to visit your dentist more frequently.
Practice Oral Hygiene at Home
Experts agree that optimal home care is key to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums between checkups. Brush twice a day, floss before bed, and ask your dentist for ways to improve on your home care.
What you eat plays a role, too. Eating a balanced diet featuring plenty of fruits and vegetables, foods rich in calcium (like milk, cheese, and tofu), and vitamins C and D is beneficial. Of course, avoiding sweets is recommended too.
If you eat a lot of carbohydrates and sugary snacks, it can be the beginning of a chain reaction: bacteria will build up in your mouth, they will ferment those sugars and produce acid, which will then eat away at the tooth causing decay. This whole process will very likely be accompanied by inflammation of your gums.
Consider Dental Insurance
People who have dental insurance are far more likely to visit the dentist than those who don’t have dental insurance.
Having dental insurance gives you peace of mind and confidence that you are able to prepare for any dental workup or treatment in the future.
Plan Treatments with Your Dentist
It is best to sit down with your dentist to discuss your options in terms of dental care. Know which treatments should be prioritized, and which can be deferred until a later date. By addressing and prioritizing the more urgent issues first, the overall treatment cost can be spread out and planned for in advance. As with most things in life, it’s all about planning ahead!
Understand the Treatment Proposed
We are big believers in educating our patients and making sure they understand the treatments they need to have done. We often break this down into short-term, and long-term treatment goals. If you haven’t seen the dentist in years, and now find yourself needing extensive dental work, make sure you understand the plan, and all the options available to you. This will give you peace of mind that you explored all the options, and have chosen what works best for you, both from a functional and financial perspective.
If you need more dental work than you can afford, ask the dentist which procedures need to be completed right away and which can be put off for a little while. Then work out a treatment plan based on needs. The dentist may also be able to offer some temporary fixes to keep your teeth healthy while you save up for the permanent fix.