Is Dental Care Affordable?
Great Falls, MT
Dental care can be highly expensive worldwide. Many dental patients hesitate to see a dentist due to the fear of high treatment costs. Whether you need a tooth extraction or a dental implant, the high figures may hold you back when you should visit a dental practice. Dr. David Currie and Dr. Kimberly Currie at River's Edge Dental advise patients not to delay dental health problems due to oral complications.
Dental Treatment Costs Before we speak about the affordability factor, understanding dental treatment costs is crucial. Dental health problems can lead to serious issues if ignored. Minor tooth decay may become a bacterial disease, infecting your gums and bones. The most common problem dental patients face is tooth loss. Patients may lose teeth due to poor hygiene, infection, or accidental injuries.
If you opt for dental bridges, the cost can be between $2,000-$5,000. Dental implants may cost between $3,500-$6,700 for a single tooth. Moreover, dental crowns are between $1,100 and $1,300 for a single tooth. These costs may give you an idea of how expensive dental treatments can be. However, there are a few ways to minimize these costs and get the necessary dental treatment.
How to Make Dental Treatments Affordable? You may not find many dental practices with cheaper dental treatments. While valid, you can opt for a few strategies to reduce the costs based on your needs.
Compare and Pick the Best Dental Insurance Plan U.S. dental treatments cost a lot when you do not have a suitable dental insurance plan. Some people overlook their dental insurance plans and settle for the ones with minimum dental coverage. When deciding on your insurance plans, you should choose the ones that effectively fit your dental health needs.
A good way is to compare multiple insurance plans and list the benefits of each. Choosing the plan that goes well with your dental treatment needs can save you significant costs in the long run.
Get a Dental Savings Plan Dental saving plans can help you minimize the burden of dental treatment costs. Some people confuse dental savings plans with dental insurance. While insurers may offer both, dental insurance covers a portion of your dental treatment costs (based on your plan) when needed. On the contrary, a dental savings plan allows you to have a network of dentists with discounted (or pre-negotiated) costs.
Such saving options can minimize your costs when receiving dental crowns or bridges. They are ideal for those who cannot afford dental insurance, have already benefited from their annual limits, and are not frequent dental patients. You may check with your insurance provider to review dental savings plans and compare them with other options.
Consider a Dental School Clinic Many dental patients are unaware of dental school clinics and their benefits. These clinics allow patients to receive affordable treatments. Although dental schools may not allow every patient to receive dental care, you may gain access to a clinic based on your income constraints, household size, marital status, and dependent family members.
Generally, dental school clinics have dental students to provide general treatments to patients. They may not handle more complicated cases due to lack of practical experience. Moreover, dental school clinics offer services at specific hours. You may check your nearby dental schools for treatment costs and appointments.
Negotiate Your Bills Sometimes, dental procedures cost more than a patient might anticipate. If you face such a situation and cannot bear the costs mentioned on the bill, try negotiating with the dental practice. While you decide to do so, you may keep a few factors in mind to make your appeal effective.
First, contact the billing department and explain your financial situation as thoroughly as possible. You may also be asked to verify your income by providing proof. Another way to negotiate treatment costs is by paying upfront costs. When you go for a dental exam, you may ask your dentist about upfront cost policies to determine the best fit.
Request a Monthly Payment Plan Some dental practices will accommodate patients with low incomes. They allow patients to break the total treatment cost into smaller monthly payments. Such payment plans come in handy when getting expensive treatments like dental implants. Asking your dentist to give you a monthly cost plan after your initial dental exam can help you plan your budget.
When you decide on a monthly payment plan, you may thoroughly check your monthly expenses before agreeing on the contract. Moreover, you can compare the monthly costs of dental practices in your area to pick the best fit.
Explore Community Health Centers for Dental Services Community health centers are typically located in underserved regions. These health centers offer affordable services to people who cannot access proper health facilities and therefore cannot bear high treatment costs. Getting appointments at such clinics may be difficult. More importantly, major dental services may have limited appointments.
You may check your nearby community health centers to get more details and plan your visit accordingly. Community clinics are ideal for those with general treatment needs.
Utilize Your FSA Flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings accounts (HSA) are designed to facilitate families in times of financial need. Using your FSA or HSA can save you from financial burdens if you need dental treatments. These tax-based accounts can benefit you in various dental treatments.
You can get dental fillings, cleanings, extractions, x-rays, dental bridges, root canals, dentures, and other treatments based on your account's coverage.
Dental care can be expensive for most patients. However, there are several ways to minimize these costs. The list above highlights a few effective methods to make dental treatments affordable. Consulting a dentist for a thorough oral examination can help you take a quick start. Contact River's Edge Dental at (406) 315-5882 if you have questions.