At The Winning Smile Dental Group, we get asked questions by patients all the time who are looking for the best ways to deal with the financial aspects of dental care. While there’s no way to make costs completely disappear, there are simple ways to lessen your bills, avoid extensive care, and ease the financial burden.
Read this guide to learn how to best manage your finances at the dentist.
How to manage finances if you have insurance
Even if you are fortunate enough to have dental insurance, it still requires some management to get the most out of your plan.
Dental insurance is much different than health insurance. The first thing to remember is that there is generally a coverage maximum. Once this maximum is reached, you’ll have to pay for treatments out of pocket.
On covered treatments, insurance will generally cover a percentage of your treatment cost. What they pay of the coverage will then be applied to your yearly maximum.
Every single dental insurance plan is different, covering different types of treatments at different levels. The only way to know for sure what yours covers is to give us a call and see. Our wonderful front office staff will fill you in on what your insurance covers and the best way to take advantage of your plan.
What’s the best way to make best use of your insurance?
No matter your specific plan, most include either heavily discounted or included preventive treatments such as biannual dental exams and cleanings.
The cheapest way to stay in tip-top shape is to make sure you take advantage of deeply discounted preventive treatments. These treatments are the best way to combat decay and other tooth damage. Any treatments you receive due to decay caused by not cleaning your teeth will certainly cost more than your cleanings will.
If you have dental insurance, don’t let your preventive treatment discounts sit on the shelf. Take advantage and keep your mouth, and wallet, as healthy as can be.
How to manage finances if you do not have insurance?
If you don’t have insurance, don’t fear! It’s not oral health Armageddon! There are plenty of options and strategies that will allow you to affordably receive the care you need.
The only thing you can absolutely not do is go to the dentist less just because you don’t have insurance. Remember what we said about preventive treatments? Well, the same applies here. If you don’t get your teeth cleaned and stay on top of issues, that will lead to expensive treatments down the road that you’ll have even less help paying for.
What are your financing options if you don’t have insurance?
So how do you pay for dental treatments if you don’t have insurance? There are actually a lot of options to empower you to have the smile and overall health you deserve.
- Cash and credit cards: We often see patients paying for their treatment with cash or more conventional payment methods if treatment fits within their budget. This simplifies the process for you and reduces having to pay any sort of monthly fee.
- CareCredit: While many can pay with cash, not everyone can afford the costs. CareCredit is a great option for these patients, as it can offer a 0% interest over 6,12, 04 even 24 months. It essentially acts as an interest free credit card for your dental care!
In-house savings plan
Another great option for those wanting to straddle the line between a more traditional payment method and having dental insurance plan is an in-house savings plan.
At The Winning Smile Dental Group, we offer dental health savings plans for the entire family and offer monthly payment options!
Savings plans include:
- Comprehensive exam
- Annual yearly exam
- Emergency exam
- Fluoride treatment
- Bitewing x-rays
- Full-mouth x-rays
- 15% off all additional treatments
These savings plans are a great way to save money on your yearly expenses and ensure you and the entire family get the necessary preventive care you need. It also offers a nice discount on any additional treatments.
How can I reduce lifetime dental health costs?
Keep up on preventive care
As we’ve said now 3 times, the absolutely best way to prevent major issues from developing is to stay on top of preventive care. While there’s no way to completely avoid damage and decay in your teeth and gums, preventive care such as cleanings and exams help put you in a position to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Prioritize oral health maintenance at home
Just as important is making sure you are keeping up on preventive care at the dentist is making sure you are practicing proper oral hygiene at home.
Our advice? Start with brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. It takes more than simply “doing it” for it to be effective, though. Use proper technique and if possible, an electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
What you put in your mouth affects the health of your teeth! While not every dietary decision you make need to be centered around food, make sure to keep in mind what can be damaging to your teeth.
Sugary, acidic foods can spell trouble for your mouth. Foods like soda, candy, fruit juices, and fatty foods can accelerate decay by increasing bacteria which eats away at your teeth’s protective enamel. These foods should be enjoyed in moderation. Instead, focus your diet around whole foods like green, leafy vegetables.
Also, keep in mind that the more you eat, the more your teeth have a chance to be degraded. Snacking lots gives your teeth lots of opportunity to degrade!
When something hurts, call the dentist
The most important thing is to contact your dentist when something seems off. Keep an eye out for:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Chips, crack, or fractures
- Sensitive teeth
- Sharp teeth
- Loose teeth
These are signs that something is amiss! When you check up on these issues regularly, issues can be caught before they’re too damaging to your health and well being and before they get too expensive!
The Winning Smile Dental Group can help you make the most of your financial situation
At The Winning Smile Dental Group, our expert front office staff is trained on the best ways to leverage your insurance and is well versed in alternative financing options.
Even if you think you can’t afford dental care, we can help you manage the cost in a way that works out for you. Contact us today with questions and to see how we can help you manage your dental finances.
Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. She’s a member of the American Dental Association, the Mississippi Dental Association, the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Lewis is known for providing high-quality, comfortable care, while giving you a smile you’ll be proud to share with the world!