Save Money on Dental Care With These Tips

Save Money on Dental Care With These Tips

Save Money on Dental Care With These Tips
Reading Time: 4 mins

Taking good care of your teeth and gums can help prevent oral hygiene problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. These diseases are the result of plaque, which is a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque can build up soon after a meal when teeth are not cleaned properly. In Canada, treatment of dental diseases is expensive, especially if you don’t have comprehensive dental insurance. According to the Canadian Dental Association, one out of three Canadian adults do not have dental insurance, which can make visits to the dentist a pricey affair.

Even if you have insurance coverage, your particular plan might not cover all of the dental services that you require. This can leave you with huge and unexpected out of pocket expenses. Therefore, in addition to practicing good oral care, saving money on dental care itself is also important. In this post, we have suggested a few strategies that can help you save. 

Watch Your Diet

A poor diet can lead to dental diseases, which in turn can negatively impact your overall health and be expensive to treat. These diseases include dental cavities, developmental enamel defects, dental erosion and periodontal disease. According to the Canadian Dental Association, cavities are the main cause of tooth loss in Canada, and diet can sometimes play a significant role. Dental erosion, which is also on the rise among Canadians, is influenced by dietary choices as well.

Cavities are a result of demineralization of the enamel and dentine by organic acids formed by bacteria in dental plaque. These practices can help you avoid unnecessary dental visits and save on dental care in the long run.

Practice Preventive Dental Care

Preventive dental care aims at identifying and preventing early dental issues before they have a chance to occur. This means that if you have to visit your dentist for services such as fillings, resin restorations, root canals, or extractions, then you have essentially passed the point where preventive dental care is useful. Preventive care can include routine oral exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and x-rays. Another way to help prevent major dental issues is to observe strict adherence to routine dental hygiene methods, such as proper teeth brushing and flossing.

Make Use Of HSAs And FSAs

Both Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can be valuable cost-cutting tools for dental care.

HSAs are used to pay for eligible dental care for yourself, your spouse and eligible dependents, such as children, siblings and parents. The money deposited in your HSA comes from you, and not your employer or insurance, and is therefore tax-advantaged. The account is designed to assist people with high-deductible health plans: dental services covered under HSAs can include fillings, crowns, root canals, bonding, extractions and dentures.

An FSA can help you pay for eligible dental services for you as an individual, as well as for your spouse and eligible dependents. Classified as tax-exempt savings accounts, there is no deduction made from contributions into the account for employment or federal income. You are advised to use your FSA, as it is a “use it or lose it” benefit. Dental services that are covered by FSAs include teeth cleaning, crowns, dentures, fillings and sealants, bonding, inlays and onlays, all diagnostic and preventive services, and treatment for gingivitis, temporomandibular joint syndrome and disorder, gum recession and oral surgery. We strongly recommend that you make use of your HSA and FSA to save on health care.

Consider Dental Insurance

Dental insurance can be a big plus for your health insurance coverage, as it can keep both your smile and your budget in excellent shape. Some dental insurance plans also have a waiting period of six to twelve months before they can be used, but  plans will usually cover your bill within a certain percentage range, depending on the particular procedure that needs to be covered. According to our experts, therefore, it is advisable to ensure that your waiting period is over before you undertake any significant dental procedure, so you can make use of your insurance coverage.

Ask For A Cash Discount

If payment for your dental services is out of pocket, you may be able to reach some kind of financial agreement with your dentist. This can help you cut down on the overall cost of dental care. For instance, you may ask for a cash discount if the dental services offered are paid for in lump sum and in advance.

By providing you with a cash discount, the dentist will also save some money. This is because the costs a dentist incurs by engaging in some third-party dental financing programs can be expensive in Canada. It might be greater than the 2% or 3% merchant fee that the dentist would pay to a credit card company. That is why your dentist might opt for a cash discount for clients who pay their dental fees in full and in advance. Therefore, cash discounts might be cheaper in the long run for you and your dentist.

Go To A Dental School

Dental schools need patients for their students to carry out their training. Since seeing a private dentist can be expensive, dental schools offer a great opportunity for advanced students to complete their training hours, while they offer discounted dental services to patients at a lower cost. Students who work on dental patients only do so after sufficient training and are supervised by a professional dentist who offers backup help and instruction should anything go wrong. Considering this, it is safe to go to a dental school for simple and routine dental checkups in order to save on dental care.

Conclusion

Many people tend to put visiting a dentist on the backburner. This is because they believe that they can keep up with their oral hygiene routines. To them, there is no sense in spending time and money on preventive care when they can do that on their own at home. However, visiting a dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleaning is particularly important. Contrary to the popular belief that avoiding dental care visits saves you money, skipping these visits may ultimately leave you with higher dental care expenses in the long run. To avoid this, stick to all recommended dental care practices, regardless of their complex nature, time consumption or cost.

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