You don’t have to compromise on your wallet to keep your smile and teeth healthy. With proper budgeting, you can keep all three in good shape. In fact, by keeping your teeth healthy, you are actually taking care of your wallet as gum diseases and other oral problems can lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road.
Dentistry doesn’t have to be expensive if you budget your costs well. Here is how you can budget for your dental care so you can enjoy good oral care without breaking your bank.
The number one rule of budgeting is to be pro-active. The longer you wait to get proper oral care, the more your teeth will deteriorate and the more expensive it will be to get treatment. So, if you want to show some love to your wallet, schedule an appointment with your dentist and visit at least every 6 months.
Stop problems before they begin
Schedule regular visits to the dentist. These regular visits will cost you a few hundred dollars at most but these can save you thousands of dollars in treatments if things get worse.
At a regular visit, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth, making sure everything is in good shape. She will also scale and polish your teeth to remove tartar and plaque that are a leading cause of gum diseases.
By visiting the dentist regularly, hence, you can nip the problems in the bud, protecting your wallet from unpleasant surprises.
Check if you have dental insurance
Check if your insurance company offers dental insurance. Not all companies offer it so it’s a good thing to confirm before buying health insurance.
If you do have insurance, gather details of your coverage plan and see what’s covered and what’s not. Most insurance plans cover routine visits as well as treatment procedures while some even cover cosmetic procedures.
See if the coverage requires payment of an annual deductible. Take all insurance costs into account before estimating the costs of dental procedures.
Buy dental insurance if your health insurance company doesn’t offer it
If your medical insurance doesn’t include a dental plan, you should definitely consider buying it.
When buying a dental plan, don’t look for the cheapest option out there. Instead look for the one that covers the services you are likely going to use in the future. You also don’t need to buy the plan that covers services you don’t need. For example, if you don’t think you’re going to get cosmetic procedures, there’s no need to buy a plan that covers that.
Most dental plans give you a list of dentists that are in their network. So, if you’re not convinced into looking for a new dentist, make sure your dentist is in that list. Alternatively, ask your dentist if they accept the plan you are buying.
If not, look what policy the insurance company has about going out of network.
Estimate the costs of dental procedures
Even if you have insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to estimate the costs in advance as you’ll be paying a part of the costs yourself.
Call the dentist and take information about all the common procedures and the ones you are likely going to use. For example, you might want to ask for the cost of the regular X-ray and routine cleaning.
Estimate the monthly costs and set aside that amount each month
Calculate the yearly cost based on the dentist’s costs, your coverage, and deductible, if any. Divide the annual cost by 12 to get the monthly amount. Set that amount aside every month and schedule an appointment when you have the funds waiting in your account.
Look for a dental school if your dentist’s charges are too high
If your dentist’s charges are too expensive for your current budget, look for a dental school to get your treatments done. Dental schools are cheaper but they almost always offer good quality care.
With these simple tips in mind, you can easily budget for your dental care and keep your costs down while enjoying good quality oral care.