(BPT) - Too often we think of dental care as nothing more than a cosmetic concern. The truth is that taking care of your teeth has much more of an effect on your overall health than you might think. As you get older, it is important to ensure that you make dental care a priority to help protect yourself from diseases and ailments that can affect your mouth’s health. If you’ve been hesitant to visit your dentist due to cost, here are four dental cost savings tips that might help.
Dental Cost Saving Tip 1: Prevent Major Dental Work with Regular Check-ups
If you’ve been avoiding your regular appointment with your dentist, you might be missing out on preventive care that could help you save money in the future. Regular dental check-ups, every six months, will usually allow your dentist to catch a problem before you even notice any symptoms. If an oral health concern is treated early on, it is often less expensive than if the problem goes untreated for a long period of time.
For example, during a regular dental check-up, it is not uncommon to find that a patient has a cavity that needs a filling. A filling is a generally inexpensive procedure. However, without preventive dental care, that cavity may go untreated for a long period of time. This could result in decay that requires a root canal treatment, with the accompanying cost of a dental crown. If the decay on the tooth is severe enough, a patient might require tooth extraction and consideration of a very expensive dental implant. Both the root canal and tooth extraction and implant treatment options can be time consuming, painful, and costly.
Save money in your future by ensuring that you visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings.
Dental Cost Saving Tip 2: Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy at Home
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), home oral care can help patients take charge of their oral health by following these general recommendations:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Brush your teeth for two minutes: Two minutes for your whole mouth can also be expressed as thirty seconds per quadrant or about four seconds per tooth
- Floss your teeth to clean between your teeth daily
- Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks
Dental Cost Saving Tip 3: Bundle Your Dental and Vision Insurance
Dental insurance can help you save. Vision insurance can also help you save. Bundling vision and dental helps you save and also simplifies the process for you. Some insurance providers offer bundled vision and dental plans to cover eye health or oral health condition you may need to be seen for. Bundled dental and vision insurance can be a big benefit to those who have Medicare plans that do not cover vision or dental care.
If you and your family need dental and vision insurance, VSP® Vision Care can help. VSP has the largest independent eye doctor network for your vision care needs. As for dental, VSP has partnered with Guardian Dental so you can get dental insurance coverage for your family in minutes. Most plans in most states start at just $20/month. Learn more about vision and dental insurance for you and your family.
Dental Cost Saving Tip 4: Discuss your Treatment Plan with Your Insurance Provider
If you or a family member need advanced dental care, from root canals to braces, it is in your best interest to have your dental insurance provider review the treatment plan. Your dentist will often provide you with a treatment plan and the timeline for the needed dental work. Discussing the plan with your insurance company gives you an opportunity to learn about what dental care is covered, at what amount and whether or not there is a way to maximize your benefits, based on the time of year that you get your dental treatment. A quick phone call can help you go back to your dentist with money-saving plan requests that will help you in the long run.
We hope these four cost saving tips will help encourage you to make your dental health a lifetime priority.