In the last blog, we discussed how dental insurance works and how the benefits provided by dental insurance are sometimes not adequate in dealing with the dental problems. Getting good quality Dental care is further complicated by the rising healthcare cost. In light of these facts, it is becoming more and more important to learn about ways to save money at the dentist. In this blog entry I intend to highlight a few points which I believe will help you rein in the cost of dental care.
1. Prevention is the key
As the old saying goes – An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of care. This could not be more true in today’s world. Not only it will save you tons of money in the long run but also save you time, potential discomfort, loss of function etc. Here are a few things to help prevent dental issues and hence the cost –
Regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash
Regular dental checkup
Avoiding too much of acidic, sugary drinks (energy drinks, soda) – Acid and sugar are lethal combination that can rapidly destroy the teeth.
2. Taking care of small problems
“I don’t have any pain, why should I go to a dentist?”
Many of us think that if there is no pain, it might be okay to wait. Majority of the dental problem do not hurt in the initial stage. You may not feel any pain, sensitivity for prolonged period of time. Most of dental problems are silent in nature. It is like having high blood pressure which do not interfere in day to day function unless it is out of control. Small cavities and the onset of gum infection are often painless and present no symptoms. At this stage, treating them is often easy, quick, painless and cheap. Treating disease or dental condition like cavities and gum infection in early stages can often save the teeth and the gum structure.
Waiting for it to hurt or cause problems like sensitivity, pain, fracture is often an indication that problem has gone too far and may require more advance procedure to save the teeth which may be expensive and time consuming. Again, regular dental checkups is the key to help identify issues in a timely manner and avoid expensive treatments.
3. Doing it in stages
Sometime it is possible to do dental treatment in stages. Taking care of any active infection and pain is the first priority. After that, sometime it is possible to divide the treatment in stages – this can ensure that you don’t incur significant expenses upfront. It helps in planning with regards to time and finances.
4. Alternative treatment
Ask if there are any alternatives available to the recommended dental treatment. Most of the times the proposed treatment is the ideal one but sometimes there are alternatives available. The alternative options may have some drawbacks or shortcoming but they can work at a more affordable cost.
5. Ask questions
It is very important that you get involved in the care. The more informed you are about your dental health, the better it will be for you in long run. Ask for a plan from your dentist. Think about what are your immediate and long term goals with respect to your teeth. Ask your dentist how they can help you achieve your goals.
Contact us at Queen Anne Dental at 206-486-8600 for any questions or concerns.